Once again, it had impact: Beck’s advertisers began dropping out. Fox stuck with him anyway, and Beck, being a terrific businessman, came up with alternative revenue strategies. But that didn’t stop the Obama Administration.
Next, they moved into a joint attack on Rush Limbaugh. The Sandra Fluke affair was entirely coordinated from the first. While Rush’s comments on Fluke weren’t expected, they also weren’t particularly controversial – leftists have routinely called conservative women sluts. And Rush quickly apologized for the comment. Nonetheless, the President and his allies in the 501(c)3 world went into full attack mode, with Media Matters leading the charge, working covertly with third party groups to lead astroturfed boycotts on Rush’s advertising base.
Now Obama is moving his strategy to the next level: he’s targeting major corporations for working with political groups of any stripe. This week, Democratic legislators began calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola over their funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which pushes for voter ID laws. The Democratic Party, which courts voter fraud, despises voter ID laws. Thus, Coke entered the crosshairs. Lo and behold, within five hours of the boycott announcement, Coke caved.
This is all fine and dandy under the First Amendment, of course. Private 501(c)3’s can lead boycotts. Government officials can speak on issues of public importance. But the Obama Administration’s secret dealings with such 501(c)3’s to impose non-governmental sanctions on companies that sponsor those with whom they disagree doesn’t pass the smell or sight test. The odor is rancid and the transparency nonexistent.
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