As a shock jock radio DJ, Glenn Beck called his rival’s wife to make fun of her recent miscarriage on the air. It’s that humanistic spirit that suffuses Beck’s broadcasting career to this day–whether he’s ridiculing 11-year-old Malia Obama, stoking paranoia about “czars,” shilling for gold, diagramming bizarre conspiracy theories starring FEMA and George Soros, or blaming the Holocaust on the pursuit of the common good.
If you were a brand manager, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to associate your wholesome yogurt or your sleek luxury sedan with Glenn Beck’s dire warnings that the president is fomenting a socialist/Nazi takeover of America? If you advertised with Glenn Beck, you could reinforce that association nightly in 3.2 million viewers.
At Raw Story, Allen McDuffee profiles Angelo Carusone, the 28-year-old law student behind StopBeck.com. Carusone and his supporters help the market function efficiently by informing Glenn Beck’s sponsors about what he says on the air. That way, these capitalists can decide whether it’s smart business to link their carefully cultivated brands to Glenn Beck’s controversial output. So far 126 brands, including AT&T, Mercedes-Benz, and Walmart, have passed up the opportunity, according to Carusone’s count.
Surprisingly, Beck’s supporters say that Carusone and his allies are trying to interfere with Beck’s right to free speech. Beck can say whatever he wants, but his sponsors aren’t obligated to subsidize him. In fact, as amoral profit-seeking corporations, they are bound by fiduciary duty not to buy ads that hurt their brand. What do you think this is, socialism?