Last week, Media Matters reported on companies and organizations that have run ads in recent weeks on the hate- and conspiracy theory-filled programs of Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Rush Limbaugh despite appearing on a 2006 list of advertisers that reportedly didn't want their ads broadcast during Air America programs.
One of these companies is the Home Depot. As we reported, Home Depot has recently advertised on Limbaugh's show.
Media Matters has now received multiple emails from readers who say that they contacted Home Depot and received a reply asserting that Home Depot doesn't "support the Rush Limbaugh radio show." Here's the text of one such email:
Thank you for contacting The Home Depot Customer Care.
We appreciate you taking the time to forward your concerns.
In reference to your e-mail, we would like to inform you that the Home Depot do not support the Rush Limbaugh radio show.
We look forward to your continued patronage and assisting you with all of your home improvement needs.
Customer Care Research Team
Media Matters has the audio of a Home Depot ad that aired on New York's WABC-AM during the July 3 Rush Limbaugh Show at 12:49 p.m. ET.
Reader tips contributed to this post. Thanks, and keep them coming!
Washington Times editor John Solomon got some attention the other day by complaining that The New York Times, in an article explaining the origin of the false "death panel" claim, described his newspaper as "decidedly opposed" to President Obama. Solomon insisted in response that "Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news."
Solomon's whining paid off in the form of not just a correction stating that the article was "referring to its opinion pages, not to its news pages" but an apology from New York Times Washington editor Dean Baquet stating, "We did not mean to imply the Washington Times newsroom is biased or partisan."
Below are of Media Matters items on Obama-related news articles published by The Washington Times. Judge for yourself:
From an August 17 ColorofChange.org press release:
Eight more Glenn Beck advertisers, including Wal-Mart – the world's largest retailer – have confirmed to ColorOfChange.org that they pulled their ads from the controversial Fox News Channel broadcaster's eponymous show. Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security, CVS, Re-Bath, Travelocity and Wal-Mart join the dozen other companies who previously distanced themselves from Beck.
Twenty companies have pulled their ads from Beck's show in just the last two weeks. The moves come after the Fox News host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people" during an appearance on Fox & Friends. Previous companies who pulled their ads include ConAgra, GEICO, Lawyers.com, Men's Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, and State Farm Insurance.
"We are heartened to see so many corporate citizens step up in support of our campaign against Glenn Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "Their action sends a clear a message to Glenn Beck: Broadcasters shouldn't abuse the privilege they enjoy by spewing dangerous and racially charged hate language over the air. No matter their political affiliation, hate language doesn't belong in our national dialogue."
Reporting on the town hall forum hosted by Rep. David Wu (D., Ore.), the Journal includes this passing "death panel" reference in the second paragraph:
I think they're going to say to U.S. seniors, 'Sorry, it's the end of life and you don't get medical care,'" Dawn Robbins, a 69-year-old retired day-care provider, said at a Wu event in St. Helens on Friday.
Note that the Journal nowhere in the article points out that the idea that the federal government would soon be in the business of selecting killing old people has been completely debunked. Instead, the Journal sees its job as simply repeating whatever outlandish claims members of the anti-health care reform mini-mob are making.
Right-wing organizers hoped 15,000 people would attend a Centennial Olympic Park rally this weekend to yell and scream about health care reform. In the end, just one-fifth of that showed up.
From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Atlanta police estimated the crowd in Centennial Park at about 3,000 -- far short of organizers' goal to draw a crowd of 15,000
Yet in its write-up of the event, the Journal forgot to mention how the crowd was disappointingly thin. The Journal drew no inference from the fact that organizers failed so badly in bringing out a larger crowd. Instead, the Journal pretended the modest event was significant and, of course, newsworthy; that it was important to document how a relatively small crowd of Obama critics showed up in a park to wave signs.
It's funny, but back in 2003, I don't remember the Wall Street Journal's news team devoting stand-along articles when anti-war protesters gathered in small numbers (let alone large numbers) in cities across the country. Instead, I think the Journal's current coverage highlights a longtime newsroom edict: angry conservatives are newsworthy, angry liberals are annoying.
That's the word this morning from spokesperson Sue Mallino, who confirmed to Media Matters that the company recently pulled its ads off the Fox News program. Mallino would not comment on whether the move was made in response to Beck's claim that President Obama is a "racist," an allegation that sparked a grassroots campaign by ColorofChange.org to get advertisers to stop supporting Beck's program.
Mallino said only that the company has final say over which programs are "not appropriate" to advertise on, and that GMAC Financial Services will continue to advertise on Fox News. But she reiterated the company "has ceased advertising on the Glenn Beck program."
GMAC Financial Services joins a growing list of advertisers who have recently abandoned Beck's television show, including ConAgra, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, RadioShack, Men's Wearhouse, State Farm Sargento, LexisNexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, and Progressive Insurance.
Behold your liberal media at work.
AP headline for its FNC valentine:
With Obama in office, Fox News finds its stride
This passage made me chuckle [emphasis added]:
Some critics worry about overheated rhetoric — Beck has called Obama a racist and joked about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and suggest Fox has helped lead, instead of just follow, the president's opponents
-Number of Fox News "critics" interviewed and quoted for the article? Zero.
-Number of former Fox News employees interviewed and quoted who love FNC? One. (Eric Burns, former host of Fox's "News Watch")
-Number of longtime Fox News guests interviewed and quoted who love FNC? One. (Bernie Goldberg, regular guest on The O'Reilly Factor)
-Number of conservative political activists interviewed and quoted who love FNC? One. (Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity)
Yep, AP is fair and balanced.
It's quite amazing to watch. But more than a week after every sane person agreed Sarah Palin's claim about "death panels" killing off old people under Obama's proposed health care reform, was pure sci-fi trash, some news orgs still won't call it what it is: a lie.
From ABC's Kristina Wong [emphasis added]:
The House bill, H.R. 3200, also includes controversial "end of life care" consultations, which would reimburse doctors for discussing end-of-life arrangements with patients, but which some critics have characterized as "death panels."
That's it. No explanation that "some critics," such as Palin, manufactured the scare claim out of whole cloth.
UPDATED: In a separate online article, an ABC News headline announces:
White House Confronts False Claims About Health Care Reform
Hmm. What kind of "false claims?"
With the continued chatter regarding former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's discerning claims on her Facebook page that Obama's health care reform proposals would promote "death panels" for end-of-life counseling, the fallout this week has proved the health care debate has gotten out of control.
I wonder if news outlets such as ABC, which periodically fail to debunk "death panels," bear any responsibility for the fact the "health care debate has gotten out of control."
From the August 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
From the Fox Nation, accessed on August 17: