Public relations flap has liberal and conservative activists at loggerheads over conservative Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck
Bose Corp. has found itself involved in a mudslinging public relations flap that has liberal and conservative activists at loggerheads over statements of conservative Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck.
Beck drew criticism for insinuating last month that President Barack Obama is a racist with a "hatred for white people or the white culture."
Color of Change, a group that was founded by Van Jones, who now serves in the Obama administration as a green jobs adviser, has been pressuring numerous corporations, including the Framingham-based audio giant, to pull its ads from Fox airwaves, specifically during Beck’s 5 p.m. TV time slot.
Color of Change intends to "strengthen Black America’s political voice," according to its Web site.
But that motivation may be moot when it comes to Bose as it’s currently not advertising on Fox, according to sources.
While Fox News on Wednesday confirmed Bose is no longer a Beck advertiser, it also pointed out that Bose has not been advertising during his program since May, more than a month before Beck’s comment grabbed headlines.
Responding to rumors that Bose had pulled ads from Beck’s show because of his controversial statement, Color of Change executive director James Rucker said in an e-mail Wednesday that Bose stopped all Fox advertising on July 26, which would be two days before Beck called Obama a racist.
He said his group heard back from Bose after "we had escalated our campaign," and that Bose has not scheduled any more ads with Fox.
Multiple phone calls to Bose to inquire about its advertising status with Fox were not returned Wednesday.
Color of Change has come under fire from the conservative blogosphere for making misleading statements about companies pulling its ad revenue because of controversial statements from Beck.
Specifically, some blogs, like defendglenn.com, point to Best Buy, which issued a statement refuting a Color of Change press release that stated the company pulled its ads from Beck’s program.
Numerous companies, including Progressive Insurance, CVS, Geico and SC Johnson have reportedly pulled their advertising from Beck’s program.
Fox’s media relations office released a statement Wednesday that read, "The advertisers referenced have all moved their spots from Beck to other programs on the network, so there has been no revenue lost."
Beck’s popularity does not appear to be diminishing.
Just last week, Beck had his highest ratings ever with 2.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
In the midst of the hullabaloo, several Web sites have emerged defending Beck, including the aforementioned defendglenn.com and fightforglennbeck.blogspot.com.
Dan McDonald can be reached at 508-626-4416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.