President Harry Truman once had a sign on his desk which read, “The Buck Stops Here!” In light of political divisions and rhetoric, the Left ought to look at itself and wonder, where does the buck stop when it has accomplished its twin goals of forcing companies to kowtow to its beliefs and fire non-liberal TV personalities such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity?
Sean Hannity, a vocal pro-Trump TV personality at the Fox News Channel, is no stranger to controversy or outrage stemming from the political Left in America. This time, the Left is trying to oust him from his role on primetime television as the host of Fox News’ “Hannity” at 10 p.m. on weekdays.
How is the Left putting pressure on Hannity and Fox News? By petitioning and contacting advertisers for his show and convince them to pull their ads (and therefore, advertising revenue) from Hannity’s Fox News show.
Who is the backer of the anti-Hannity advertisers’ campaign? The left-wing organization Media Matters for America (known as “Media Matters” or “MMFA”).
As the Daily Caller reported, this is Media Matters’ second anti-Hannity campaign, with their first attempt a wash. In May 2017, some advertisers such as USAA (a military insurance company) temporarily pulled their ads from his show. However, the campaign backfired because conservatives counter-protested and USAA also temporarily removed ads from MSNBC’s ‘Maddow’ show hosted by left-wing TV personality Rachel Maddow.
Media Matters’ petition, “Join the Fight to Stop Hannity,” claimed that any company that sponsors an advertisement on “Hannity” is “essentially supporting a Trump propaganda operation.” The petition continued:
“Sean Hannity has a long record of right-wing chicanery, lies and vitriol. But he has morphed into something more dangerous than just a partisan hack – he’s been exposed as a full-blown propagandist.”
The rest of the petition repeated the charge that Hannity is acting as a Trump propagandist and that “it’s past time for Hannity to go.” Media Matters claimed that advertisers will be hurt by continuing their relationship with Hannity because “[they] will get burned…plain and simple.”
Media Matters named some of the top advertisers for “Hannity,” ranging from DirecTV, Mercedes Benz and Mitsubishi and provided a link to the full list of advertisers.
The Left was emboldened by the resignation of Bill O’Reilly and have set their sights on Sean Hannity by going after his show’s advertising partners. However, this sets a dangerous precedent for the political Left and Right.
Does everything have to be politicized and worth getting someone fired over? Should companies and advertisers kowtow to a specific set of political beliefs out of fear of public reprisal and negative news?
The important question remains, where does the buck stop?
That is the question that Media Matters should ask itself: when and where does this politicized outrage mob mentality stop?