You are browsing the archive for petition. in Chicago: Justice for the Cook County Ten

5:17 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

This week, I joined Chicago-area members to deliver more than 66,000 petition signatures to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. The petition demands that State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez immediately acknowledge the innocence of 10 falsely accused Black men (known as the Cook County 10) and agree to vacate the convictions of nine who were convicted for crimes they didn’t commit.

Terrill Swift, one of the men who was coerced into falsely confessing to a crime, and his family joined us for the delivery. Please check out video from the day’s events:

Swift was paroled last year after spending 15 years in an Illinois prison for rape and murder. DNA testing performed during the original investigation indicated his innocence. Earlier this month, he told Chicago Tribune reporter Steve Mills, “If I was guilty, I would have done my time and tried to proceed with my life. But I can’t continue to walk around like a convicted felon when I didn’t do nothing. So I’m fighting it.” Read the rest of this entry →

Accountability: Who Else Will Go the Way of Congressman Bobby Rush?

12:44 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

No member of Congress is beyond reproach. Every member of Congress should be open scrutiny of their record, and every member should be judged by his or her record. It’s critical to an effective democracy.

Last week, Congressman Bobby Rush’s record of carrying water for big telecom corporations — at the expense of the communities he represents — came back to haunt him when he lost his bid to become Ranking Member of the subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Rep. Rush had been almost certain to get the position until more than 16,000 members opposed his candidacy because of his record of advocating against net neutrality.

Now, Congressman Rush is trying to change the subject. But it won’t work — not now, at a time when a politician’s statements and voting record are readily available for the public to see and evaluate.

Corporate money has a huge influence over politicians and the policy they make — and it’s a major problem for our democracy. Black politicians are no exception. For years, corporate interests have carefully sought support and loyalty from Black leaders with carefully targeted donations to campaign committees and non-profit organizations. The blessing of Black politicians and organizations can — and too often does — give corporate America the cover they need to ruthlessly pursue their interests at the expense of ours.

We started to make government more accountable to the interests of African-Americans. But we will only get so far if we have a double standard for that accountability — one for Black politicians and another for everyone else. The truth is that on certain key issues, there are a significant number of Black leaders and organizations that are beholden to corporate interests, and act against their constituents’ interests because of it. To give anyone a pass on those issues, even if they have been great on many others, would only weaken our efforts.

Earlier this week, Rep. Rush attacked with a circular argument that said we are undermining Black interests by challenging him. But he has never addressed the substance of our opposition to his now-failed candidacy to be the Ranking Member of the subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet: his vocal opposition to net neutrality.

Instead, in his blog post on Monday, Rep. Rush tried to make this story about Bobby Rush vs. James Rucker — ignoring the 16,000 members who questioned Rep. Rush’s fitness for a particular job. He repeated his accusation that is “beholden to Silicon Valley” without presenting a shred of evidence, ignoring our campaign against Google for their actions against net neutrality. He continued to dismiss net neutrality as unimportant (without once mentioning it) by saying that he will remain focused on addressing “real issues of concern to African American online users.”

But net neutrality is an issue of vital concern to African-Americans. Our ability to compete on a level playing field and have our voices heard on the Internet is unmatched in any other media platform — and it is under dire threat if the big telecom companies get their way and do away with net neutrality. Rep. Rush wants a pass on this issue, but we can’t give it to him, even if he has been a strong advocate for Black people on many other issues. With their new majority, Republicans will do everything they can to destroy net neutrality, and we can’t afford to give a powerful position with authority over this issue to someone who will help them do it.

It bears repeating why our members were so vocal in their opposition to Rush leading Democrats on the subcommittee which represents the first line of defense against Republican attacks on net neutrality. Rush has repeatedly taken donations from large telecom companies — and his record on net neutrality seems to reflect that relationship. From my blog post last week (to which Rush responded this week):

  • In 2006, Rush voted against Rep. Edward Markey’s amendment to the COPE Act, which would have enshrined the FCC’s net neutrality principles into law. In stating his opposition, Rush infamously described net neutrality as “a solution in search of a problem.” [a statement that he and his staff have repeated]

  • In 2010 the congressman signed a letter circulated by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) that assailed net neutrality, focusing on the FCC’s efforts to reclassify broadband Internet. Green’s effort, which netted the support of 74 Democrats, helped discourage the FCC from pursuing more stringent net neutrality rules.

This week’s blog post marks the second time Rush has attacked in response to our criticism of his record on net neutrality, while each time failing to address the substance of what we’ve said. And he continues to tout support for his candidacy for leadership on the Internet subcommittee from a list of Black organizations, while failing to note that the most prominent, if not all of those organizations have also received financial support from big telecom companies.

Rep. Rush did begin to change his tune late last year (under pressure from our campaign against his candidacy) saying that he’d defend the FCC’s recent rules to protect net neutrality (which are too weak to do the job properly). If this represents a shift in Rep. Rush’s position on net neutrality — after hearing from thousands of people — we welcome it. Based on his record, however, all indications are that Rep. Rush would have used a leadership position on the Internet subcommittee to help undermine net neutrality — and it’s a good thing that Democrats on the subcommittee listened to members’ voices and chose to elect Anna Eshoo, a strong advocate for net neutrality, as their leader. Eshoo is already demonstrating that she will use her post on the subcommittee to push for strong open Internet protections — shortly after winning the position, she called out the FCC for failing to adequately protect net neutrality.

The fact that our members’ voices prevailed in this campaign should serve as a strong warning to any politician or organization, of any race, who is beholden to corporate interests on any issue, and acts against the interests of their constituents on that issue: It won’t work to run from your record, to attempt to shield yourself with your political allies and your reputation, or even to hide behind a genuinely strong record on other issues. The people you serve will know what you are doing, they will join together to hold you accountable, and they can win.

Tell President Obama to reinstate Shirley Sherrod

12:46 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

This morning, we launched a petition calling President Obama to reinstate Shirley Sherrod at the USDA, and to stop caving to right-wing smear campaigns.

More than 20,000 members have signed it in just a few hours. You can join us by clicking here.

It’s recently been reported that the White House and Tom Vilsack are reviewing the situation and reconsidering the decision to fire Sherrod. If enough of us speak out, we may be able to convince the Obama administration to correct this injustice.


Robert Gibbs has apologized to Sherrod on behalf of the Obama administration, and it sounds like they may offer to reinstate her. This is great news, and we hope the administration follows through and puts Sherrod back in her position at the USDA. We encourage you to keep signing our petition until it becomes clear that Shirley Sherrod has been offered her job back.

Here’s the email we sent to ColorOfChange members this morning:

Dear member,

The Obama administration just caved in to the right-wing smear machine, firing a Black USDA official after she was smeared by far-right blogger Andrew Breitbart and his friends at Fox News Channel.[1]

Sherrod’s dismissal was based on a selectively edited video that made it appear she was confessing to discriminating against a White farming couple. In reality she was telling the story of how working with that family to save their farm helped her to lose her racial preconceptions.[2]

It took less than 24 hours for the lies to be debunked. But by that time, it was too late — Sherrod was forced to quit. And even now that the truth is known, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is refusing to reinstate her.[3] Worse, Vilsack has President Obama’s support.[4] This kind of political cowardice is beyond shameful.

Please join us in calling on the White House to immediately give Shirley Sherrod her job back, and to stop bowing to the will of right-wing propaganda artists. And please ask your friends and family to do the same — it takes just a moment:

The smear

On Monday, Andrew Breitbart (a blogger who works closely with FOX News and has a long history of launching deceptive, racially charged smear campaigns) posted a deceptively edited video of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP function. The video shows Sherrod telling a story about how she once was asked for help from a White farmer, and how she didn’t "give him the full force of what I could do" to help him, because of his race.[5]

Breitbart touted the video as evidence that the NAACP and the Obama administration tolerated racial discrimination against White people, saying that it showed Sherrod’s "federal duties are managed through the prism of race and class distinctions." Breitbart’s doctored video and false storyline moved quickly to FOX News, where on-air personalities called for Sherrod’s firing.[6]

The truth is that Sherrod was telling a 24-year old story about her work for a non-profit organization whose mission was to help Black farmers. Discrimination against Black farmers was rampant, and she described how she was first reluctant when approached by a White farmer named Roger Spooner for help (Sherrod also says that her father was killed by a White farmer 45 years ago). But after seeing that no one wanted to help Spooner, she worked to save his farm, and eventually became good friends with his family. [7]

Yesterday, Roger Spooner said that Sherrod saved their farm and kept them out of bankruptcy. He told CNN, "I don’t know what brought up the racist mess. They just want to stir up some trouble, it sounds to me in my opinion."[8]

A disturbing pattern

Sadly, the truth didn’t matter at all. Soon after Breitbart’s fake video surfaced, Sherrod says she was pressured by the White House to resign. Sherrod was never given a chance to tell her side of the story and says that the Obama administration was "not interested in hearing the truth."[9]

Once the truth became known, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement saying that whether or not the smear campaign against Sherrod was based in lies, it was necessary to fire her because the "controversy" would make it hard for her to do her job.[10]The Obama administration is essentially saying that they will always back down in the face of dishonest, race-baiting smear campaigns launched by right-wing propagandists. They’ve ended the career of someone who did nothing wrong, and by handing a victory to the people who launched this deception, the administration is encouraging them to launch even more smears. All to avoid "controversy." It’s pathetic, it’s shameful, and it has to stop.

It’s not the first time this has happened. Several members of the Obama administration have lost their jobs or been demoted, and nominees to cabinet positions have either stepped down or withdrawn their nominations after becoming the target of smear campaigns launched by FOX News and Breitbart.

It’s bad enough that we have to fight the constant smear campaigns and appeals to racial paranoia from FOX and the right-wing media. But it’s completely shameful and outrageous for the Obama administration to throw innocent public servants under the bus just to avoid having to fight back against the lies.

If enough of us call out the White House and tell them to stop running scared from FOX News, they might listen. Please join us in standing up for Shirley Sherrod, and demanding that the White House do the right thing now:

Thanks and Peace,

– James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Milton and the rest of the team
   July 21, 2010

Help support our work. is powered by YOU — your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:


1. "Fox smears Sherrod as racist, Sherrod cancels Fox interview," Media Matters for America, 7-20-2010

2. "NAACP ‘snookered’ over video of former USDA employee," CNN, 7-20-2010

3. "Official: No WH pressure on Sherrod," Politico, 7-20-2010

4. "Obama briefed after Sherrod incident," CNN Politics, 7-20-2010

5. See Reference 2

6. See Reference 1

7. See Reference 2

8. See Reference 2

9. See Reference 2

10. See Reference 3

Demand the GOP stop inciting and supporting hate

3:02 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

The hateful acts that occurred at the tea party rally in Washington this weekend were not isolated incidents — they are part of a growing pattern of violent rhetoric, racially charged imagery, and paranoid conspiracy theories emerging from the Republican party’s grassroots supporters.

Republicans officials have contributed to this atmosphere with fear-mongering and coded racism, and they have actively courted this element of their party. It’s time that Republican leadership is forced to address what it’s helped to create.

Please join us in confronting Republican leaders and demanding that they take responsibility for tamping down the bigotry and hate among their supporters, and that they disavow the fear-mongering that leads to it. And please ask your friends and family to do the same — unless we take a strong stand against this kind of hate, it will continue. We need as many people as possible — of every race — demanding that it stop.

Our members are calling on Michael Steele, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell to do two things:

  1. Unequivocally condemn bigotry and hate among your supporters, and make clear that those who embrace it have no place in your party and that you reject their support.
  2. Make clear that you will not tolerate fear-mongering and coded appeals to racism from officials in the Republican party, at any level.

Here’s the message we sent to our members today:

Dear member,

It’s time to hold the Republican Party accountable.

You’ve probably heard about Tea Party members shouting "Nigger!" at Black Congressmen during a protest in Washington, D.C. last weekend. One of the protesters spat on Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, while another called openly gay Representative Barney Frank a "faggot" as the laughing crowd imitated his lisp.1

But Saturday was just the most recent example of the intolerance and hate coming from right-wing extremists this past year. At times it’s been instigated by Republican leaders. When not, it’s usually condoned and seen as part of a strategy to score politically. Either way, it’s completely unacceptable and has to stop.

It’s time to confront Republican leadership and force them to take responsibility for the atmosphere they’ve helped create. Join us in drawing a line in the sand, and ask your friends and family to do the same:

We’re calling on RNC Chair Michael Steele, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to publicly do two simple things:

  1. Unequivocally condemn bigotry and hate among their supporters, and make clear that those who embrace it have no place in their party.
  2. Make clear that they will not tolerate fear-mongering and coded appeals to racism from officials in the Republican party, at any level.

Republican leaders publicly denounced Saturday’s ugly scene, but they failed to acknowledge that this is only the latest incident in a pattern of violent rhetoric, racially charged imagery, and paranoid conspiracy theories at Tea Party rallies.2 Many Tea Partiers aren’t simply about dissent — they use fear and hatred to assault the very legitimacy of our elected leaders. It’s the worst America has to offer.

Despite this, Republican leaders court the Tea Party movement while methodically supporting, exacerbating and exploiting their fear and anger for cynical political ends.3 This is nothing less than a betrayal of American values, and it’s up to us to force the Republicans to stop aiding and abetting this enterprise:

The Tea Party movement has been marked by racially inflammatory and violent outbursts since its inception a year ago. GOP leaders are trying to pass off this weekend’s assaults on Congressmen Lewis, Cleaver, Clyburn and Frank as isolated incidents. But when so-called "isolated incidents" crop up again and again, a pattern starts to emerge. The examples are numerous.

At rallies held to protest tax day last year, Tea Partiers carried signs that announced "Obama’s Plan: White Slavery," "The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s Oven," and "Guns Tomorrow!"4 The Republican National Committee had endorsed the rallies, and RNC Chairman Michael Steele encouraged Tea Partiers to send a "virtual tea bag" to President Obama and Democratic Congressional leadership.5 After reports of the fear-mongering signs surfaced, Steele did nothing to distance his party from the lunatic fringe. He has even gone so far as to say that if he didn’t have his current position, he’d be "out there with the tea partiers."6 Some Republican governors even planned a "Tea Party 2.0" for the following month in an effort to build on the rallies’ momentum.7

The Tea Party’s venomous rhetoric picked up steam over the summer, when angry mobs flooded town hall meetings legislators had organized as sites for rational, civil debate on health care reform. After one meeting in Atlanta, a swastika was painted on the office of Congressman David Scott (D-GA), who had also received a flier addressed to "nigga David Scott." 8 Some protesters showed up at town hall meetings carrying guns, including at least one man who was armed at an event where the President was speaking 9. Again, Republicans responded to these tactics with silence, doing nothing to denounce them.

Similarly, there was no public outcry from Republican leadership when Mark Williams, a leader of the Tea Party movement, was exposed for having described the President as "an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief" on his blog.10 Instead, members of the GOP continued to show up to and endorse Tea Party rallies. And as recently as Sunday — the day that the historic health care bill passed the House — Republican members of the House riled up the same Tea Party crowd that had earlier harassed their fellow members with hate and bigotry.

Our country deserves better than this. No matter what party one supports, we should all take strong action to support civil, honest, and respectful public debate. Can you take a moment to call on Michael Steele, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell to denounce the racist rhetoric and fear-mongering that have been ongoing, significant characteristics of the Tea Party movement, and tell those who embrace these divisive and un-American beiefs that they have no place in their party, as members or leaders? And when you do, please ask your family and friends to do the same:

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Milton and the rest of the team
   March 23rd, 2010

1. "Tea Party Protests: ‘Ni**er,’ ‘Fa**ot’ Shouted At Members Of Congress," Huffington Post, 3-20-2010

2. "10 Most Offensive Tea Party Signs And Extensive Photo Coverage From Tax Day Protests," Huffington Post, 4-16-09

3. "Memo Reveals GOP Plan to Exploit Fear of Obama," AOL News, 3-4-2010

4. See Reference 2

5. "Tax Day Tea Parties Officially Endorsed By Republican Party," Huffington Post, 5-15-2009

6. "Steele: I’d join the tea parties," Politico, 1-15-10

7. "GOP govs plan Tea Party sequel," Politico, 5-12-2009

8. "Rep. David Scott’s (D-Ga) office spray-painted with Swastika," Daily Kos, 8-11-2009

9. "Armed and Dangerous?" Talking Points Memo, 8-11-2009

10. "Tea party leader calls Obama a welfare thug," The Loop, 9-15-09

19 more advertisers ditch Glenn Beck

11:30 am in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

Great news today in our campaign against Glenn Beck. We’re announcing that nineteen more of Beck’s advertisers have stopped supporting his show. That number includes two British companies who just announced that they’ve pulled their ads from the UK broadcast of Beck’s show after hearing from customers.

Two companies–Waitrose (the British supermarket chain) and Metropolitan Talent Management–pulled their ads not only from Beck’s show, but from Fox News in general.

Over 280,000 of us have now called on advertisers to stop supporting Beck’s show. We are keeping Beck isolated and making sure that he continues to be a financial liability for Fox. Eventually, Fox will have to explain why they are continuing to give Beck’s race-baiting and fear-mongering a platform even as it hurts their bottom line.

Here’s the full list of new companies ditching Beck: AmMed Direct, Citrix Online, Concord Music Group, Diageo, Eggland’s Best, Equifax, Eulactol USA (producer of Flexitol),, Hoffman La Roche (maker of BONIVA), Metropolitan Talent Management, ooVoo, Overture Films, Scarguard, Schiff Nutrition (maker of Tiger’s Milk and Fi-Bar), Seoul Metropolitan Government, Subaru, Toyota-Lexus, Waitrose and Woodland Power Products, Inc.

Read the rest of this entry →

Glenn Beck has lost over 50% of his ad dollars

8:00 am in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

Our campaign to hold Glenn Beck accountable for his race-baiting and fear-mongering has been a great success, with 62 advertisers making it clear that they don’t want their brands linked to Beck’s vile rhetoric. Up until now, however, there’s been a question of what the real consequences are for Beck and for Fox, especially as Beck’s ratings have soared. It’s starting to become clear.

Today, we’re announcing that Glenn Beck’s show has lost over 50% of its advertising dollars since just before our campaign started. From our press release about the news:

The advertising boycott of Glenn Beck has cost the controversial host over half of his estimated advertising revenue since it was launched by a month ago. This according to data analyzed from industry sources.

Estimated advertising revenue [the total amount of advertising money being spent during a block of commercial time for a program] was collected on a week-by-week basis for a period of two months. According to the data collected, the amount of money spent by national advertisers on Beck’s program per week was at its highest at approximately $1,060,000, for the week ending August 2, 2009. launched their campaign at the end of that week and since then, 62 advertisers have distanced themselves from Beck. Data collected for the week ending September 6, 2009 shows Beck’s estimated ad revenue at $492,000, equal to a loss of $568,000.

"Fox News Channel has consistently claimed they haven’t lost revenue as advertisers abandon Glenn Beck, but the numbers prove otherwise," said James Rucker, Executive Director of "Fox News Channel has a limited amount of ad positions. If 62 companies refuse to run ads on two of their 24 hours of programming, they are losing inventory. No matter how high Beck’s ratings have been lately, advertisers still see Beck as toxic and don’t want him associated with their brands. There is no way that Fox News Channel is making the money they should be making with Glenn Beck."

Our campaign is working. Respectable companies don’t want to be associated with Beck or support his show with their dollars. It’s resulting in a major loss of funding for his show, and at the same time making it clear that Beck’s race-baiting and fear-mongering are far outside the mainstream.

The longer Beck stays isolated, the more of a problem he’ll be for Fox, and the less he’ll be able to spread his lies and distortions. If we can keep the pressure on, Fox will have to make a choice: 1) drop Beck because it doesn’t make business sense to keep him; or 2) communicate to the world that they’re so intent on providing a platform for race-baiting and fear-mongering that they don’t care if they lose money (a serious problem for a public company like News Corporation, the owner of Fox).

Thanks for everything you’ve done to make this effort a success — none of it could have happened without the more than 200,000 of you who have stepped up to be a part of this campaign. More than ever, it’s time to keep the pressure on. You can help by joining us in thanking the advertisers that have stopped supporting Glenn Beck, and calling on those whose ads are still running on his show to follow suit.

A Line in the Sand Against Beck

12:00 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

Watching the Glenn Beck show this past month, one might have assumed that Van Jones had assaulted Beck, insulted his wife, and stolen his kids’ lunch money. Beck devoted time on a whopping 16 shows to crafting a distorted, despicable portrait of Van that few who know him would recognize. As political smears go, it was as serious as it gets.

But make no mistake: this attack was not about Van Jones. Beck, in league with big business groups, is seeking to derail the President’s progressive agenda, and taking out Van became the vehicle for undermining clean energy and green jobs.

There was another, more personal motivation too. Beck was trying to change the subject from the previous week, when headlines were dominated by dozens of major advertisers dropping his show. Beck had no choice but to up the ante, and at the same time indirectly take on the group responsible for his shrinking ad roster. His distortions not surprisingly found purchase on other Fox News shows, spread to the mainstream media, and rather than let this circus distract from the relaunch of health care and the rest of the President’s agenda, Van chose to fall on his sword.

In the fallout, one thing is certain: wherever Van decides to go from here he will be a force. But now that he has left the White House, it’s time to change the subject back to Beck.

Why the boycott matters

There is no doubt that Glenn Beck has a big platform. But what supports his platform is advertising dollars, and that support is crumbling. To date, 62 companies have pulled their ads from Beck’s show, including six new companies announced yesterday — Aegon, Ashley Furniture, Humana, Luxottica Retail (parent of LensCrafters and Pearle Vision), United States Postal Service and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. These aren’t liberal activists wringing their hands over Beck’s distortions. These are the bastions of American capitalism saying they don’t want their brands associated with Glenn Beck’s extremism. The only companies left are direct marketers (think Egg Genie and gold coins) and a handful of private companies headed by right-wingers.

The exodus of major advertisers makes a powerful statement about how far Beck lies from the mainstream. Which is why it’s so important to keep the heat on. Advertisers walking away for a week or two is one thing. But as weeks turn to months, and Beck becomes increasingly isolated, it renders his rants permanently fringe. Why would anyone (the White House or otherwise) respond to someone whose views are too toxic for any respectable corporation?

A word on the boycott’s origins

After ColorOfChange launched our campaign, some bloggers and reporters tried to discredit the effort by claiming that we launched the campaign to protect Van. It’s an absurd accusation. Van hasn’t worked with ColorOfChange in years, and our concern about Beck was far bigger than sleights against a former colleague. We began our campaign for the same reason 180,000 people have joined us: Glenn Beck called the president of the United States a "racist" who "has a deep seated hatred for White people," which was just the latest example of his virulent race-baiting and fear-mongering.

A line in the sand

In the wake of Van’s resignation, some have wondered whether kicking the Beck hornet’s nest makes sense. I’ve got two thoughts in response. First, Beck and Fox trying to change the topic and counter-attacking with such force is probably a good indicator that we’re getting to them; if anything, now would be the time to go harder. Second, I believe we have no choice. Beck has promised to take his witch-hunt to others in the administration, and has set his sights on Cass Sunstein as his next target. He has no plans to stop, and neither should we.

But it’s not just "czar"-hunting that’s at stake here. The right wing media machine, of which Beck is now one of the leading members, is the single greatest force standing in the way of change. They have already helped derail the conversation on health care, elevating accusations of Obama’s alliance with the Third Reich to some semblance of credibility. And they will do the same to the upcoming debates over clean energy, immigration, and every progressive policy priority. We simply don’t have the luxury of ignoring them. We must challenge them head on, expose their distortions, take away their advertisers, and position their views where they belong: far outside the bounds of any rational political discourse.

That is why ColorOfChange is redoubling our efforts to starve Beck of advertising dollars, and why we hope you will join us. The time has come to draw a line in the sand, not because of what Glenn Beck did to Van Jones, but because of what he could do to our democracy if left unchecked.

Eleven more advertisers ditch Glenn Beck

12:30 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

Great news today — 11 more sponsors have distanced themselves from Glenn Beck’s television program, bringing the total to 57.

Eleven new companies whose ads were recently seen during Beck’s program—Binder & Binder, Capital One, The Dannon Company, Discover, HSBC, ICAN Benefit Group Insurance, Infiniti, Jelmar (manufacturer of CLR All-Purpose Cleaner), Jordan McKenna Debt Counseling Network, Mercedes-Benz and Simplex Healthcare (creator of the Diabetes Care Club) —have pledged to to take steps to ensure that their ads don’t run on Beck’s show. Fifty-seven companies have now committed not to support Beck’s show since launched its campaign four weeks ago after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people" during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

"We applaud those companies that have recently pulled their support from Beck," said James Rucker, executive director of "There are at least 57 companies who will not tolerate Beck’s race-baiting comments and we will continue to reach out to those who are still supporting him."

Over 173,000 members of have signed a petition asking sponsors to stop advertising during Beck’s show, and their efforts are paying off.

Here are statements from the advertisers recently distancing themselves from Beck:

In a phone conversation with on Wednesday, Kathy Adkins, a Capital One spokesperson, confirmed that Capital One had instructed Fox News not to run the company’s ads during Beck’s program. "We don’t plan on running any more ads on the Glenn Beck Show," said Adkins.

"We have checked with our advertising area and have confirmed that a few ads ran on the Glen [sic] Beck Show as part of a FOX TV buy at the beginning of August," said Tommy Shi, Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Mercedes-Benz USA, in an email to, "but no ads have run since on that show, nor are there plans to do so moving forward."

"Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) considers its commitment to Diversity and Inclusion [sic] an integral part of its corporate culture and business strategy," Shi added. "We believe that MBUSA’s success is dependent on embracing the various cultures, nationalities and convictions of our associates and market that translate into meeting consumer needs and expectations for relevant products and services."

"Discover is committed to supporting a wide variety of programming that features a diversity of talent, topics and opinions," said Mai Lee Ua, Project Manager for Public Relations at Discover, in an email to "Our current TV buys do not include any future airings on the Glenn Beck Show." Ua later added, "Our ads will not run during the show".

"Infiniti has not placed any advertisements on this program for several weeks, and have no current plans to advertise on it in the future," said Kyle W. Bazemore, Senior Manager of Product Communications at Infiniti, in an email to Bazemore later confirmed, "We have indeed instructed Fox not to place our ads on this program at this time."

"We ceased advertising on the program and have no future plans for advertising on it," said Cindy Savio, Vice-President of Public Affairs for HSBC-North America, in an email to

"We have requested that they [Fox News] re-schedule the spots," said Dick Summer, Communications Director for Binder and Binder, in an email to

"Dannon doesn’t plan to run any more ads on the program and we have informed the network of this," said Michael J. Neuwirth, Senior Director of Public Relations for The Dannon Company & Danone Waters of America, in an email to

"We have contacted FOX News and demanded that our commercial not be run during the Glenn Beck show," said Keith J. Waring, a spokesperson for the Jordan McKenna Debt Counseling Network, in an email to

"Please be advised that as of 8/28 we have fully removed ourselves from advertising within the Glenn Beck Show," said Robyn Warren, a spokesperson for Koeppel Direct, the agency of record for Simplex Healthcare, in an email to "Due to remnant buying that was in place, the lead time on pulling our advertising took longer but has been resolved."

In a phone conversation with on Monday, Dee Halloran, a spokesperson for ICAN Benefit Group, confirmed their request that Fox News not allow the company’s ads to air during Glenn Beck’s show.

"Jelmar typically cannot target specific shows or programming, and did not have a media buy specifically in place for Glenn Beck," said Adrienne Gibbons, Marketing Director for Jelmar, in an email to "We have chosen at this time to ask that FOX News keep our advertising from this program."

We will continue to monitor Beck’s show, contacting companies that advertise there and making sure that no companies resume their sponsorship of his show.

Thank you for all your support — we couldn’t do it without you.

Ten more companies say ‘no’ to Glenn Beck; UPDATE: Fox tries to deny, fails

5:15 pm in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

Today we’re announcing that ten more companies have made sure their ads won’t run on Glenn Beck’s program:

Adding to an increasing list of companies distancing themselves from Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck, ten new companies whose ads were recently seen during Beck’s program–Applebee’s, Bank of America, Bell & Howell, DirecTv, General Mills, Kraft, Regions Financial Corporation, SAM (Store and Move), Travelers Insurance and Vonage–have pledged to take steps to ensure that their ads don’t run on Beck’s show. Forty-six companies have now committed not to support Beck’s show since launched its campaign three weeks ago after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred for white people" during an appearance on Fox & Friends.

Three of the latest defections–Travelers Insurance, Bell & Howell and DirecTv–join the list of advertisers who claim to have already placed Glenn Beck’s program on a "do not air" list, but whose ads have been seen on Beck’s program, apparently against their wishes.

"We could not be happier with the results of our campaign so far," said James Rucker, Executive Director of "All 46 companies that have distanced themselves from Glenn Beck should be applauded for their stance."

"We are still reaching out to companies whose ads we see during Beck’s nightly program," Rucker continued. "Based on the fact that many of the recent ads on Beck’s program are for gold coins and News Corp properties, it looks like Fox News Channel is struggling to place advertisements on Beck’s show."

Over 170,000 people have now signed our petition to Glenn Beck’s advertisers, and it’s working.

Here are statements from the new companies distancing themselves from Beck:

"As mentioned before, Applebee’s regularly evaluates where our advertising appears," said Miles McMillin, a spokesperson for Applebee’s Services, Inc., in an email to "We strive to reach our diverse group of consumers in many different advertising venues. We do advertise in programming where various opinions are debated as we believe discussion about issues important to our country is very valuable. We expect this discussion to be respectful. As also pointed out earlier, we have not purchased advertising time on the Glenn Beck show specifically. However, at this time, we have asked that our advertising that appears on FOX News not be included on the Glenn Beck program."

In an email conversation with, Joseph L. Goode, Senior Vice-President of Global Media Relations for Bank of America, confirmed that a statement posted on [] was authentic and that any advertisement placed on the Glenn Beck Program was an error and they would take steps to correct it.

"We don’t advertise on Glenn Beck’s show anymore," said Charlie Sahner, a spokesperson for Vonage, in an email to

"I can confirm the authenticity of the statement published on", said Valérie Moens, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs for Kraft Foods Inc., in an email to "Kraft Foods has made the decision to stop advertising on the more politically extreme programs on all networks. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of shows with extreme content, including on the political front. These shows often are controversial and do not align with our company or brand values. That’s why we have made the decision to stop advertising on the more politically extreme programs on all networks."

"We’re not an advertiser, that I can tell you," said Tom Forsythe, Vice-President of Corporate Communications for General Mills, in a phone conversation with "It’s not necessarily in response to your campaign. The action has much more to do with the content of the program…Upon hearing your request, I made sure that that was true. But it should have already been true because of the nature of the show."

In an email to, Jon Gieselman, Senior Vice-President of Advertising and Public Relations for DirecTV, Inc., confirmed that their ads should not be running on Glenn Beck’s program. "We have actually not purchased national advertising from Fox News during his show since August 3rd, and right now we don’t have plans to purchase media in the future," Gieselman said. "We have already clarified our position with Fox News."

"To be clear, the Glenn Beck program has never been part of our advertising effort," said Frank Colangelo, Director of Advertising Research for Travelers Insurance, in an email to "Any Travelers advertisements that ran during that program in the past were due to commercial placement mistakes by Fox News. In fact we have a standing "no buy" policy with regard to the program and we have confirmed that fact with Fox News."

"We’ve discontinued our advertising on this program and don’t plan to resume," said Scott M. Peters, Chief Marketing Officer for Regions Financial Corporation, in an email to

"Our company, SAM (Store and Move) has complied with your request and "The Glenn beck" show has been put on the "do not air" list for SAM," said Nicole Henkel, a spokesperson for SAM (Store and Move), in an email to

"While our distributor controls advertising, we have no plans for ads on this [Glenn Beck's] program," said Hank D’Ambrosio, Vice-President of Administration for Bell & Howell, in an email to "As I said to you in our conversation and reiterated in my conversation with our distributor, in our 102 year history, Bell and Howell has never been involved in politics or in anything that could be construed as discriminatory in any way and never will."

We’re going to continue monitoring ads on Glenn Beck’s show, reaching out to his remaining sponsors, and making sure that none of those that dropped Beck resume advertising on his show.

Thanks again for being a part of this campaign — we couldn’t do it without you.

UPDATE: Fox tries to deny, fails

In response to our announcement today, Fox tried to push back on the story, telling the L.A. Times that some of the companies announced in our press release never in fact ran ads on Beck’s show:

[Updated at 2:15 p.m .: According to a Fox News spokeswoman, the network has not run Bank of America ads during Beck's show, so any spot for the bank that aired during his program would have been a local cable purchase. In addition, the network said that Bell & Howell was and SAM (Store and Move) were never Fox News advertisers.]

Media Matters posted video of a Bank of America ad running on Beck’s show. As for Store and Move, a Fox News spokeswoman had to backtrack, telling the L.A. Times that SAM did in fact run ads on Fox:

[Updated at 3 p.m.: SAM (Store and Move) is indeed a Fox News advertiser, a network spokeswoman clarifies. The company buys ads under the name Unigroup.]


Finally, we know that Bell & Howell ran ads for Silver Sonic XL on Beck’s show — here’s the video of an ad running on his show July 24th:

Verizon, Lowe’s, Johnson & Johnson, 13 More Drop Glenn Beck

11:25 am in Uncategorized by Rashad Robinson

Our campaign calling on Glenn Beck’s advertisers to stop supporting his show continues to pick up steam. Today we’re announcing that sixteen more companies have pledged not to run their ads on Beck’s show:

The new companies distancing themselves from Beck include Airware Inc. (makers of Brez anti-snoring aids),, AT&T, Blaine Labs Inc., Campbell Soup Company, Clorox, Ditech, The Elations Company, Experian (creator of, Farmers Insurance Group, Johnson & Johnson (makers of Tylenol), Lowe’s, NutriSystem, Sprint, The UPS Store and Verizon Wireless.

That brings the total to 36 companies that have pulled their support from Beck or given explicit instructions that their ads are not to run on the show. It’s all because more than 160,000 ColorOfChange members connected the dots for Glenn Beck’s advertisers and called on them to stop supporting his show. We want to say thank you to everyone who’s participated in this campaign.

We could also use your help. We brought on additional staff for the campaign in order to drive as many advertisers away as possible. We need to keep them in order to maximize the number of advertisers that drop Beck and to make sure none come back. Anything you can provide will help us get there–whether $10, $20, $50, or more. You can make a contribution to help move the campaign forward, here.

More on how the campaign has been going, and statements from the new companies distancing themselves from Beck, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →