A group of conservative activists, tired of what they see as a persistent and little remarked liberal bias in the news media, are set to begin a series of boycotts aimed at advertisers who sponsor what they see as left-wing networks, outlets, and journalists.
On Sunday they announced their first target, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil-rights leader turned MSNBC talk-show host whose PoliticsNation has grown in influence and audience since making its debut two years ago.
“Sharpton is a racial extortionist who has instigated racial animosities, violence, and division in America for the last forty years,” write the boycott’s organizers. “In better times, Sharpton would be stigmatized and condemned for the damage he has done. But today he is a primetime host on MSNBC—the charter cable news network for NBC News, and a favored outlet for the Obama administration’s spin doctors.”
The boycott is part of Truth Revolt, a new project by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a right-wing foundation that has focused on what it calls liberal bias in Hollywood and on college campuses. Truth Revolt, which says its purpose is to “unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases,” is led by Ben Shapiro, an editor-at-large for the conservative website Breitbart News and the author, most recently, of Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.
The first Sharpton sponsor the group is targeting is Ritz Crackers, owned by Chicago-based Mondelez International. Shapiro said Truth Revolt chose Mondelez because it bills itself as a “family-friendly company” and because it was one of the few advertisers to respond to the group’s inquiries about why it supports the Sharpton show.
As part of its response, Mondelez International said in a statement to Truth Revolt: “At Mondelez International we demonstrate our commitment to responsible corporate citizenship by participating in programs that best serve a wide range of local communities and their interests and needs. We extend our responsibility to the sponsorship of tasteful, believable television programming and we avoid sponsorship of programs that would be unacceptable in terms of generally accepted social or community standards.”
Asked if it was fair for to target the company with a boycott after it responded to the group’s inquiries, Shapiro said, “Is it fair that in the political media we only quote people who give us a quote?”
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