The Problem With Boycotts

Boycotts are a peaceful means of protest. If enough people get involved, they are effective. But in order to be effective, the people encouraging them need to have a fairly good read on public opinion. Focus groups before boycotting would probably be a good idea. In recent years, we have seen a number of examples of boycotts that failed because the people behind the boycott were not in tune with popular opinion.

Recently boycotts of the sponsors of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham have been attempted. All have failed. Some sponsors left the shows, but generally speaking, new sponsors appeared. A few years ago there was a boycott of Chick-fil-A because its founder supported traditional marriage. That was a massive failure. I drove for an hour to go to a Chick-fil-A during that boycott, and I am sure other people went out of their way to show their support. Anyone is free to boycott anything for any reason. However, it is interesting to me that the boycotts of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Ingraham (and Chick-fil-A) were all attempts to stifle free speech. In a sense, the boycott of In-N-Out is an attempt to intimidate people making political contributions.

As much as I want to see transparency in the money in politics, the boycott of In-N-Out is one reason why releasing the names of donors to political causes might be a really bad idea in today’s political climate. Last week there was an attempted boycott of In-N-Out  because they donated money to the California GOP. So how did that go? The American Thinker posted an article today about that boycott.

The article reports:

Ashley Reese of The Slot writes that she’s “never been more insulted by a burger” in her life. 

She should have known, she says, that this revelation was coming.  After all, she knew that In-N-Out “hid Bible scriptures on their soda cups and burger wrappers,” and that “reeks of GOP.”  But what’s perhaps most telling is that her indignation continues even though she is quite aware that the chain also donates to Democrats, including $80K “this election cycle to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a committee focused on electing business-friendly Democrats to the State Legislature.”

In-N-Out quickly addressed the “controversy” in its having donated to Republicans with the following statement: “For years, In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates.”

To a reasonable observer, that statement suggests balance, not a partisan agenda.

But, Reese whines, “that doesn’t make me feel better, you guys!”

When did Bible verses become insulting? When did Bible verses become associated with one political party? What happened to the fact that our legal system in America is based on the Ten Commandments in the Bible?

The article concludes:

This boycott will be no more successful than the Chick-fil-A boycott, I predict, likely for the same basic reason.  As Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles describes, “[t]he stomach overrules the mind … a cheap, good-tasting burger is hard to dismiss politically.” 

But the premise of left-wing activists for this boycott is even more radical than the boycott of Chick-fil-A, given that In-N-Out’s only crime is that it is beholden to the non-ideological goal of “providing strong pay and great benefits” for its employees and appears to seek bipartisan solutions to attain such progress legislatively.  That is, in fact, what many Americans in the political center want.   

It’s as if the universe is providing us with yet another metaphor for just how radical and intolerant the left is rapidly becoming, and how leftists would rather scream more loudly into their ideological echo chamber than appeal to anyone outside it.

I don’t want to give the Democrats any worthwhile ideas, but I think they are in need of a good focus group.

I’m Sure This Is Just An Incredible Coincidence

On Tuesday, Twitchy reported that during the Michael Cohen hearing (Judge Kimba Wood presiding–look her up), the lawyers that argued for the disclosure of a relationship between Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity were the attorneys for CNN and The New York Times. You don’t suppose they might have had a conflict of interest.

The article reports:

According to reports from inside the courtroom, Judge Kimba Wood was ready to allow Michael Cohen to submit the name of his 3rd client — who we now know is Sean Hannity — under seal, but an attorney for CNN and the New York Times convinced her otherwise.

Also posted in the article:

Smile, you are being manipulated by hair-on-fire reporters and partisan judges.

This Is The Way To End Free Speech

If you believe that political debate is wrong and that only one side of a story should be told, you are probably in agreement with the actions of some of the sponsors of the Sean Hannity show. The American Thinker posted an article today about the actions of some recent sponsors of the show.

The article reports:

On Friday, Sean Hannity reignited efforts by enemies of his on the left to take him off the air via putting pressure on his advertisers to dump his show. His telephone interview with Senate nominee Roy Moore, broadcast live on his radio show and replayed later on his nightly Fox News Channel program, actually won more praise than might have been expected from a variety of analysts. 

Hannity asked Moore tough questions and got the former judge to go on the record. The interview represented Moore’s first spoken comments on the controversy since the story was initially reported on Thursday in the Washington Post.

Almost immediately, his enemies, in particular Media Matters for America, struck. Earlier attempts of this kind, including last May after Hannity reported on the unsolved murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, did not succeed.

The actions of Media Matters are not acceptable. Roy Moore deserves a chance to clear his name. It is obvious that the mainstream media will not give him that chance.

This is the information on Media Matters from discoverthenetworks.org:

Established in May 2004, Media Matters for America describes itself as a “web-based, not-for-profit … progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation” in print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets across the United States. Such “misinformation” includes “news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda.” Moreover, Media Matters is a constituent member of the Shadow Party, which is a network of non-profit activist groups organized by George Soros and others to mobilize resources — money, get-out-the-vote drives, campaign advertising, and policy initatives — to advance Democratic Party agendas.

Using its website, MediaMatters.org, as its principal vehicle for disseminating information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytical reports “documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media.” In its earlier years, Media Matters highlighted such “misinformation” directly alongside what it depicted as examples of wild, angry rhetoric by conservatives. By so doing, it blurred the distinction between research and opinion. Eventually the organization recognized this error and began to list factual challenges in a designated Research section, while attacks on conservative rhetoric were relegated to the Media Matters Blog.

Influence on the Mainstream and Left-wing Media

In addition to its website postings, Media Matters “works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.” As the Capital Research Center reports, Media Matters “works in conjunction with liberal blogs, using sympathetic reporters and pundits to promote far-left messages to the mainstream media and to attempt to force right-leaning media figures out of the public debate.”

In February 2012 Media Matters was the subject of a damning exposé by Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, which revealed the extent to which the organization had become successful in dictating the content of left-liberal media reports. As documented by the Caller, newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times all took their editorial cues from Media Matters’ talking points.

Any time a news outlet gets too close to a truth the left does not want revealed, they can expect to be attacked by Media Matters. This is an attempt by the political left to silence their political opposition. Rather than engage in a battle of ideas and principles, the political left would like to simply shut down free speech. We saw that with the IRS during the Obama Administration. It is nothing new.

The article at The American Thinker concludes:

The stakes in this emerging fight couldn’t be higher. Sean Hannity, and a handful of other high profile conservative hosts on Fox News, represent the last thin line in the mainstream media that is left standing against the almost universal fake news onslaught by the MSM aimed at taking down President Donald Trump. Last April, advertisers who deserted Fox News’ #1 program at the time, The O’Reilly Factor, after allegations of sexual harassment by host Bill O’Reilly resurfaced in the media, got the host of that program summarily fired in less than three weeks.

Obviously it is easier to silence the opposition than to defeat them with sound ideas.

Using False Accusations To Silence Opposing Speech

Bill O’Reilly has departed from Fox News amid charges of sexual harassment and payoffs for past charges of sexual harassment. The departure of Bill O’Reilly was the result of an orchestrated attack to convince advertisers to withdraw their advertising from the show. It had much more to do with politics than it did with sexual harassment (story here). Now that Bill O’Reilly is gone, the attack has moved to Sean Hannity, another very popular host on Fox News.

Yesterday The Blaze reported the latest events.

The article reports on the accuser:

The radio segment started with Campbell (Pat Campbell, an Oklahoma radio talk show host) asking Schlussel (attorney/blogger Debbie Schlussel) if she experienced or witnessed any inappropriate behavior during her time at Fox News. “Only by Sean Hannity, not by Bill O’Reilly,” Schlussel replied.

Campbell jumped on that statement and asked Schlussel to explain. The lawyer proceeded to launch into a rambling, nearly eight-minute monologue with a laundry list of charges against Hannity, Fox News executive Bill Shine, Hannity’s replacement hosts and several women working at Fox News who Schlussel called “fixers for Roger Ailes.”

At the core of Schlussel’s charges is her claim  that Hannity attempted to get her to come to his hotel room before and after his appearance in Detroit. Schlussel alleges her refusal to accept Hannity’s invitation doomed her from future appearances on the popular program.

Sean Hannity was very clear in his response to those accusations:

“LET ME BE CLEAR – THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual are 100% false and a complete fabrication.

This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation.

The individual has not just slandered me over the years but many people who this individual disagrees with.

This individual desperately seeks attention by any means necessary, including making unfounded personal attacks and using indefensible and outrageous political rhetoric.

My patience with this individual is over. I have retained a team of some of the finest and toughest lawyers in the country who are now in the process of laying out the legal course of action we will be taking against this individual.

In this fiercely divided & vindictive political climate, I will no longer allow slander and lies about me to go unchallenged, as I see a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views. I will fight every single lie about me by all legal means available to me as an American.”

The article at The Blaze also notes that this woman had previously made false accusations against Hannity for his activities with the Freedom Alliance.

There is an attempt by the political left to shut down any conservative media that is having an impact. In this world of political correctness and lawfare, it is relatively easy to make accusations that will tie a person up for years with legal actions that will be very expensive. The best way to handle this behavior is to expose it whenever it appears. Hopefully the lawyers that Sean Hannity has hired will be able to teach an object lesson about false accusations and using lawsuits to stop opposing speech.

UPDATE (from Western Journalism):

Schlussel clarified her accusation in a Monday interview with LawNewz. She now insists that Hannity’s actions did not constitute “sexual harassment,” but they were still “creepy” nonetheless.

“I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that,” Schlussel said.

“I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” she added.

Simply amazing. A good lawyer is worth his weight in gold!

The Nightmare The Opponents Of The Patriot Act Saw Coming

It would be nice to believe that we are a nation led by honorable men. In the past that has occasionally been true and I am sure that it will occasionally be true in the future. I am hoping it is true in the present. However, our Founding Fathers understood that we would not always be led by honorable men and set up the U.S. Constitution accordingly. The power was supposed to rest with the people–not with the government. The government was supposed to be responsive to the wishes of the people and accountable to the people. The framework was beautiful. Had we paid closer attention to following it, we would be in a very different place. I am particularly concerned about recent violations of the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Patriot Act allowed for the collection of electronic data unprecedented in American history. The idea behind it was to prevent terrorist attacks. Some Congressmen warned that the act could be used to violate the rights of average Americans. Evidently they were right.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted a story about electronic surveillance under the Obama Administration. Evidently that surveillance went far beyond what was necessary or legitimate.

The article reports:

Barack Obama‘s CIA Director John O. Brennan targeted Trump supporters for enhanced surveillance, intelligence sources confirm to GotNews’ Charles C. Johnson.

The surveillance took place between Trump’s election on November 8 and the inauguration in January, according to White House and House intelligence sources.

The focus was on General Mike Flynn, billionaire Erik Prince, and Fox News host Sean Hannity — all of whom had close ties to Trump before and after the November election and had helped the future president with managing his new diplomatic responsibilities.

Hannity was targeted because of his perceived ties to Julian Assange, say our intelligence sources. Hannity was reportedly unmasked by Susan Rice at Brennan’s behest thanks to his close relationship with Trump and Julian Assange.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a former CIA covert asset, has long criticized the CIA’s bloat and incompetence, including the Brennan-run CIA drone program’s failure to properly target terrorists rather than Afghan civilians. Prince has repeatedly called for restructuring the CIA and argued against Brennan’s tenure.

This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of these citizens. At the very least, lawsuits are in order. More appropriately, people who authorized or participated in this need to lose their jobs and possible go to prison. In the Watergate Scandal, which is peanuts compared to this, people went to prison. That would also be appropriate here.

 

 

Only One Person Has Been Fired In The Healthcare Rollout

The roll-out of ObamaCare has been a disaster. So far more people have lost their insurance plans under ObamaCare than have signed up. The website is not secure, is not always available, and is a nightmare to navigate. So who got fired? The navigator who talked to Sean Hannity on the telephone this week.

Yesterday Real Clear Politics reported that Earline Davis, the person who received the phone call from Sean Hannity on his radio show and answered his questions, was fired. Sean Hannity has offered to pay her a year’s salary and help her find a new job.

Ms. Davis explained that her training had not included instructions not to talk to the media and that she was just trying to do her job–answering questions honestly and helping Sean Hannity understand ObamaCare.

It is very interesting to me that the only person who has been fired in the ObamaCare debacle is Earline Davis.

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