The political marketplace: weaponizing business

Check out this foundation article included which seems a bit misleading – to be kind. It is about the Hannity advertising scheme going on. Let the dis-ingenuousness begin.

You know the routine: libs feign outrage over something in conservative media and turn it into a war on sponsors. Or war against them as the case may be. It is all too common. Even worse is the will of businesses to comply to demands. See full article:

(Marketwatch) – “E-Trade, TripAdvisor and Conagra are among the companies that say they will stop advertising on ‘Hannity’ in the wake of Roy Moore allegations.”

“Stop” being the operative word. Just keep that in mind and decide if that is misleading. Some companies make statements who were not currently advertising anyway. But it makes for good fodder for Media Matters extortionists. See what you notice in it.

Back to the M/O

But even the left’s outrage is disingenuous because the offense is not the real objective, the voice of the person is. Libs don’t want to watch the content regardless of the offense. They want the person or show canceled via their protest causing sponsors to abandon it, thereby hopefully getting it removed. The offending material is only an excuse to attack the show/host. The left has a pattern of these attack campaigns. And none other than Media Matters specializes in attacks on anyone or media that doesn’t cow-tow to their agenda.

It has had some success I won’t bother to list.

So it is all routine to the radical left but claiming it is about this or that issue is very deceptive. It is about silencing opposition, simple as that. We all know it but it is important. If they can only shut up their opposition they can railroad their agenda. Only one thing stands in their way, the 1st amendment — free speech and freedom of press. Actions of leftists don’t support either. Sure, they talk a good game when convenient.

Again, we know that. However, nothing stops them from pushing the envelope of their agenda further and further. As is the case when they go down their extensive ‘targets’ list to silence; or down their list of advertisers to the program.

First of all, when someone advertises, it does not mean they are endorsing all the opinions or content of the program. It is not a political endorsement either. It is, in fact, an advertisement to reach eyeballs or certain people. Their objective is sales or exposure to viewers. Again, it is not an endorsement of content or politics. Consumers know this.

You cannot hold the advertisers responsible for what the show does, and you cannot hold the network responsible for what the advertiser says. The network is not the customer service center for the company. And consumers shouldn’t be calling the company because they don’t like the programming. Each are independent with their own interests.

However, advertisers turn into political fodder when they are manipulated by activists like Media Matters and used in a silencing campaign against their targets. Companies are objects of extortion or intimidation in an effort to politicize, and then weaponize them.

Yes, they can go along willingly, but they can be threatened to go along as well. When they comply, they allow their brand and its recognition to be used for specious political motives. So political activists hijack and freely use brands toward their own political objectives.

Normally the problem or damage comes when companies do not give in to the threats. Then they are smeared just as the original target is. Some businesses take what they think is the “easy route” by complying to the demands. It is like the old mob protection racket, where they promise not to break your windows if you just pay the protection. In this case the payment of protection is dropping your ads from a certain target. So, in effect, they are asking the store owner to go break one of his own windows, with the promise they’ll help with the damage. The store owner then, consciously or not, enters into a cozy alliance with the villain racketeers. As long as you support their agenda with your own business practices, they will not cause you further injury.

Does enslavement enter your mind? What about the concept of private property? Something radicals do not have personally invested in it.

Just think about turning over your brand, or proprietary info, to activists for safekeeping? All the years of building your company and brand mean nothing to these extortionists. They only care about what you do with it, or more like how they can use your brand for their political objectives. The definition of Terrorism is threatening or harming people for political motives. Would you turn your car or house over to someone to use to further their own political agenda? I don’t think so.

Now we conservatives don’t sit around and say I don’t like this media or this person and take note of their sponsors to harass them into pulling their ads. It’s not something we do. We don’t hate watch them to track sponsors. And we know that those sponsors are not endorsing the content or opinions, only advertising to eyeballs or ears.

Fast forward to this latest attempt to weaponize Hannity’s sponsors over an interview he did with Roy Moore. The content was not the issue. The statements of Hannity was not the issue. Shutting Hannity down is the only issue. Another priority is the election in Alabama. (or elections is now a priority to Media Matters) And this plays to both ends, the election and silencing Hannity. In the left’s sponsor shakedown they solicit statements from advertisers to not advertise on the show. Keurig was one such company — whether sucked in naively or not.

Only this time the viewers, conservatives and free speech advocates intervened. They promptly told Keurig it had earned a boycott for their trouble. It wasn’t for Hannity but the principle. Over a few days, Keurig realized they tripped over people’s wrath by complying with the fascist left, Media Matters. A boycott was off to a bang but was criticized by MM as dumb for Sean to do.(it wasn’t him) The CEO then apologized to its employees — not the public — that it did not intend to take sides. Ha, too late. They were now involved and had their company held hostage to the left’s demands. Apologizing to the employees does not help that.

Videos popped up of former customers ejecting their coffee makers. This time was different. They may have been threatened with a boycott by Media Matters’ goons, but now they got an actual protest….anyway. See what you get playing games, trying to appease the left? Then came the oops to employees. A funny thing happened on the way to appeasing the fascists: they realized they will get a protest even if they appease the left, and very possibly a boycott too.

Then Libs didn’t realize we we were 6 weeks from Christmas and this puts their season at some risk. Well, that is the cost of getting into bed with the left. Do they care about your business? Do they care about your bottom line? Do they care about your employees? No, and they don’t care about your name or brand either since they are putting that at risk with their political campaigns. Does that mean anything to them? Not a cent, they are only using, abusing, politicizing, and weaponizing these companies.

By Wednesday, NYT had this piece saying advertisers were walking back tweets.

But by Tuesday, those companies were clarifying — or even deleting — statements they had made on the platform that indicated they had pulled ads from Mr. Hannity’s show because of comments he made about Roy S. Moore, the embattled Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama. Those moves followed a backlash against Keurig that included fans of Mr. Hannity posting videos of themselves destroying the company’s coffee makers.

“It’s pretty unusual to see companies like this handling an issue so poorly,” said Kara Alaimo, an assistant professor of public relations at Hofstra University. She said it was especially surprising to see companies like Realtor.com and Volvo delete widely circulated tweets.

The problem is that in the case of Hannity, he has a following including free speech advocates. In Media Matters’ corner, you have radical political hacks and their trolls attacking anything it disagrees with. An actual product or show has a consumer base, where MM does not — it operates on opposition. So fans and advocates or speech spoke up. I guess MM did not anticipate that. Then advertisers realized they could incur as much wrath from taking a stand against Hannity. (which shouldn’t be a compan’s role) They may have figured it is better to appeal to someone’s loyal base, rather than just oppose it. See the dynamics? Interesting that the left has always operated with free reign, where the default position was usually to side with it. But all you need is that big crack in the wall.

From the company point of view, who would want to be brow beaten into doing something or told by others how to spend their ad dollars? Then who wants their company dragged through the mud of politics? Their business model is the bottom line not politics. To add even more damage, MM hacks have also taken the liberty to start speaking for companies, if they are with them or if they are against them. And they usurp a certain power (liberty) over companies in the process. Then they have the nerve to act or even say they represent the best interests of the businesses. No they don’t. Remember the protection racket?

That stand and attitude should bother anyone in business. The idea that a company you built or run is suddenly turned over to whims of a political agenda should be concerning. That a brand you have a proprietary value in is being toyed with by political activists, is equivalent to squatting on your corporate name. It should be seen as an infringement. I think it is time someone send a cease and desist letter to the Media Matters protestors to stop using their name as part of political campaigns. That might send some chills into the corporate extortionists.

Until that happens, when companies and their ad money stand up on their own, independent of political hijackers and extortionists, they can be sucked into a whole lot of bad karma for appeasement policies. It can be a bigger liability than dealing with the protection racketeers.

My opinion is that when companies participate in these campaigns they become tools, weaponized by organizers, little more. I know some may think they are taking a stand but any short-term gains might not be worth the long-term damage and pain it can cause. Not to mention sort of losing control of your business. The issue is bigger than this though. This is a market model.(I don’t believe in it but it is) When companies are activated like this it has an effect on the economy. It turns them into cheap political interests like every other political organ. But actually they become more; they are radicalized and expended as mere political tools. Why would corporations allow themselves to be reduced to that?

I know some companies still take a stand on their special political issues, but they don’t have to morph into special interests or lobbyists. Using a company that way is careless.

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