In the 1990s, when the legend Michael Jordan was asked why he didn’t endorse a black Democrat in North Carolina, he replied: “Republicans buy shoes, too.” If he made that statement today, social media would explode, and the left would tweet until their fingers swelled, demanding a boycott of his iconic sneakers. CNN would report that Republicans don’t really buy shoes, Fox News would claim Jordan is a hero, and MSNBC would question if Jordan is black. An apology would be delivered and, like a petulant child finally getting his candy, the left would cease crying.
This is essentially what’s unfolding now.
Last Month, Fox News host Laura Ingraham derided David Hogg, describing him as “whiny” regarding his college admissions. The tweet sparked outrage, requiring Ingraham to apologize on Twitter, which was later rejected by Hogg. The apology wasn’t enough. There has been an orchestrated effort to push companies to pull their advertisements from Ingraham’s show. So far, more than a dozen brands have caved to the demands of the perpetually offended, including Wayfair, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Office Depot, and Expedia. Ingraham is now taking a leave of absence to celebrate Easter with her family.
But there might be a backlash beginning to form.
A social media movement called #IStandwithLaura is brewing with hundreds, if not thousands, of conservatives rallying around Ingraham. Many are pledging to no longer spend their hard-earned dollars at brands that have surrendered to the ultimatums of the left.
Even CNN, potentially forecasting what could happen to its own revenues in this game of tit-for-tat, is wary about the entire boycott fiasco. Host Brian Stelter surprisingly stated over the weekend:
Are ad-boycotts the right answer here? I’m personally pretty wary of this. I think it’s dangerous to see these ad boycott attempts happening more and more often in this country. My view is let’s not shut down anyone’s right to speak. Let’s meet their comments with more speech. Let’s try to respond that way.
Remember, CNN has been a network actively advocating for gun control and attacking the Second Amendment. The media outlet has routinely enabled guests to utter falsehoods and spout egregious remarks about the NRA, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dana Loesch, and other 2A supporters. Stelter recently acknowledged that he has often allowed Parkland survivors to go uncorrected.
Also, if you want to adopt the same logic as those who were outraged by Ingraham’s comments, you need to look at Joan Walsh. As Kyle Kashuv alluded to on Twitter, the liberal pundit has Liked tweets that have been negatively directed at the teen. Has Walsh or CNN apologized? Nope.
So, why wouldn’t CNN be the next target of an ad boycott?
Ditching the Boycotts
First, it is important to get it out of the way: in a free society, anyone can voluntarily ignore a business or avoid a product – we do it all the time. Even if it is as something as trivial as an entrepreneur hanging a sign supporting Israel in the store window, you can demand one or you can inveigle to spur a giant protest. If there were ever a movement to outlaw boycotting, it should be opposed.
But should you boycott?
Let’s be honest: the number of boycotts over the last few years has been excessive. The reasons for them have been ridiculous because they have been primarily about an individual expressing an opinion – unpopular or otherwise. Since the left has been staging most of them in today’s hostile political environment, nostrum campaigns have commenced over views that diverge from groupthink.
In 2012, many Americans called for a nationwide boycott over Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation contributing to organizations that were supposedly hostile to the LGBT community. In 2014, there was a movement to dump Firefox because Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich donated to a 2008 campaign to ban same-sex marriage. In December, many leftists wanted to boycott AT&T because the company gave its employees a bonus from the GOP corporate tax cut. The entire BDS movement is about shunning Israel, one of the few civilized nations in the Middle East.
Were these justified? Is it worth it to destroy the livelihood of so many because you’re upset about politics?
To Boycott or Not to Boycott
Most companies are walking on eggshells out of fear that they may insult half the country.
When a business, thespian, or athlete does deliver an opinion, it is usually from a left-leaning persuasion. Does this mean the right should start a blacklisting crusade? Hardly.
Perhaps it’s arbitrary, but unless a store is banning black people from entering its establishment or the owner has been caught on camera kicking babies and puppies, most boycotts are unnecessary and petty. Today, they’re merely about obtaining political points.
Think of it this way: a Chinese dry cleaner down the street thinks Mao Zedong is the greatest leader of all-time, despite his communist policies killing tens of millions. However, he does an excellent job eliminating wine stains, offers superb customer service, and provides the cheapest cost in the nearest vicinity. Should you blacklist his small business because he adores a communist dictator? That’s up to you, but it wouldn’t be great for your clothes or your pocketbook.
Or, if you’re on the left, would you quit frequenting a coffee shop because the barista likes Ayn Rand?
If we had to scrutinize the political leanings of every employer and employee, commerce would come to a screeching halt. Quit the virtue-signalling, be tolerant of others’ views, and stop the whining.
Do you boycott brands? Let us know in the comments section!