Monday, October 05, 2009

Waitrose dumps Fox News in protest over remarks about Barack Obama.

The row over Glenn Beck and his remarks that Obama is a racist have managed to cross the pond, with Waitrose, one of Britain's most upmarket supermarket chains, withdrawing advertising from Fox News in protest over what Beck said.

Beck's outburst prompted dozens of companies – among them Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Travelocity – to withdraw their adverts from his show for fear that their businesses might become tainted by association.

Now Waitrose, which advertises on the channel carried by Sky in Britain, has followed suit after customers complained about the Glenn Beck Show.

An angry Waitrose shopper who emailed the chain to express his distaste over its decision "to be associated with this particular form of rightwing cant" received an apology last week.

"We take the placement of our ads in individual programmes very seriously, ensuring the content of these programmes is deemed appropriate for a brand with our values," said a customer services spokesman. "Since being notified of our presence within the Glenn Beck programme, we have withdrawn all Waitrose advertising from the Fox News channel with immediate effect and for all future TV advertising campaigns."

A spokesman for the supermarket, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership, could not tell the Guardian how many complaints had been received over the matter. "We believe it was the right thing to do," he said, adding: "We take the views of our customers seriously."

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but that sounds to me as if Waitrose are going further than a lot of other companies. Most company's simply request that their adverts not be shown during the Glenn Beck show, but Waitrose state, "we have withdrawn all Waitrose advertising from the Fox News channel with immediate effect".

If more company's did this then Fox really would have to start paying attention because this would seriously start to hurt Fox where it matters: in their pockets.

I'll have to start shopping at Waitrose to show my support for their stance.

Meanwhile, in the United States, James Carville skewered Beck for his blatant hypocrisy:

"I think he's nuts, OK?," the outspoken Democrat said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union,"

"Just out-and-out nuts. And I also think that he's a blatant hypocrite," Carville said. "Here's somebody that sits on his show … weeping about how much he loves America and … and then he's absolutely giddy when his country doesn't get the Olympics."

On that same show Lyndsey Graham distanced the Republican party from Beck:

"[H]e doesn't represent the Republican Party," Graham said of Beck, "When a person says he represents conservatism and that the country is better off with Barack Obama than John McCain, that sort of ends the debate for me as to how much more I'm going to listen."

I know some will argue that this only proves that Beck stands for individualism rather than either political party, but I disagree. This proves that Beck stands for nothing other than the advancement of Glenn Beck. He can't own a thought for a second. He's simply a provocateur. How else, as Carville points out, can you weep about how much you love your country and then cheer when it fails to win the Olympics? There's no logic to that. Unless the real thing that's fuelling him is hatred for Obama? That's the only way to make sense of those contradictory positions.

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