We can in fact go even further than this, boycotting Laura Ingraham’s show, those who advertise on it, anyone associated with it, is the morally necessary thing to do if you are indeed outraged over her comments concerning David Hogg of the Parkland shooting. Of course, if like most you don’t give the proverbial flying about any of them or it then you’ve not got to raise yourself into boycott mode either.
The point being that you do indeed have a moral duty to try to shape the world to your desires. The market is where each dollar and decision is a vote where you get to do so. Thus a boycott of someone, something, you don’t like, upon whatever grounds – moral, taste, interest or any other damn notion that crosses what passes for synapses – is exactly what you should be doing. For that’s how you train the providers into that market to supply your desires. Of course, it’s also true that everyone else gets to do the same and we end up with varied supply of varied things and pretty much all of those things which can be marketed at above their production cost do get made available. We’re all as well off as we can be that is.
So, yes, boycott away:
A number of advertisers have abandoned Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s weeknight show after she alleged that Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor David Hogg was bitter over being rejected for admission by multiple universities.
Those companies pulling their ads include TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hulu, Johnson & Johnson, Wayfair, Nestlé and Nutrish. A spokesman for TripAdvisor said the company doesn’t “condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency. “
That spokesperson is spouting great big hairy ones of course. This is about dollars not sense. That’s also how it should be. The corporation has no interest at all in what is moral nor decent. It does care, deeply so, about what its potential market think is moral and or decent. And it’ll run a mile from anything which might make them not buy the products as a result of an association the punters don’t like. Which is exactly that training method. Our custom is the doggie chocco drop turning corporations into Rover willing to beg for treats. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing too – if not training Rover at least teaching the corporations.
Ingraham had obviously seen this story played out before, almost one year ago, via her friend and former co-worker Bill O’Reilly, a cable-news icon who eventually saw too many advertisers flee his program, forcing the network to dispose of the popular primetime figure who had been with it for decades as the industry’s top-rated host.
It works, it really works, and it’s supposed to as well. The restaurant turning out terrible food goes bust. The media show turning out unappetizing fare goes bust. Great, excellent.
Hogg responded by listing 12 prominent advertisers of “The Ingraham Angle” in calling on a boycott. He proceeded to expand the list to 100 by sharing a list by Media Matters, which has ample experience in this arena from targeting Fox News hosts before. Notably, Hogg chose to accelerate his boycott effort after Ingraham’s apology.
The old point was that you don’t insult those who buy ink by the barrel. But now we all do, Facebook and Twitter mean that we do – if the wind’s behind us at least – have that media power. Which, again I insist, we should be using.
So what is this boycott about exactly? Ingraham immaturely mocking a public figure in the form of Hogg around some schools that rejected him? Or is it about Ingraham’s career as a conservative talk radio and television opinion host overall?
Either way, we’ve entered some dangerous territory here, if boycotts like this one succeed.
Nope, it’s not dangerous, it’s what should be happening.
Now, I should note that I’m generally much more on Ingraham’s side in the culture wars here. I’ve even been a guest on a show she was doing (radio, I think she was sitting in for someone on some show or other). I’ve actually no idea what’s getting people irate here either, nor do I care. But I am insistent that boycotts are just great:
Midday Thursday, we asked readers to weigh in on the proposed advertising boycott of Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg called for that boycott after host Laura Ingraham mocked him on Twitter for not getting into a few of the colleges of his choice.
Just a few hours later, at least three — maybe four — companies have pulled their ads, Ingraham has offered an apology to Hogg, Hogg has refused to accept it, and readers seem fairly split on whether advertising boycotts are an effective means of protest.
Ingraham’s apology came after two advertisers, the Nutrish pet-food company and travel site Trip Advisor, announced they were pulling ads.
The thing to understand here is that the media is a business. Fox wasn’t set up so that Rupert Murdoch could change the views of rural rubes. Rather, media plays to extant prejudices and Rupe noted that extant American media didn’t play to conservative Americans. So, he went out to make money by pandering to those prejudices. Just as much as all the other American media channels pander to rather more leftist prejudices. Super, that’s just what the system is. And what it does mean is that if you don’t like what people are doing or saying then not only can you but you should be boycotting the advertisers who fund them. Because that’s your vote, your cash, by circuitous routes certainly, that funds those salaries. You should make your desires known by diverting your money, using your votes. That’s how markets work.
Compare this to the alternative. That people who say what you don’t like aren’t allowed to say it by law. How then do we deal with the fact that other people are just fine with what is being said even as you aren’t? Well, quite, that market solution is vastly better, isn’t it?
Do note that your boycott will only work if everyone does agree with you which is why it’s such a great system this market thing. The very test of whether all do agree is the thing which brings about the end desired by all. Which is pretty good for a socio-economic system really.