Friday, December 2, 2016

Breitbart vs. Kellogg's: Now, That's Sweet

I've been in and around the publishing business for more than five decades and I've never before seen a response to advertisers pulling ads like Breitbart News's "War on Kellogg's" going on now. Kellogg's pulled its ads because Breitbard has been ... well, Breitbart, a kind of Rush Limbaugh on steroids, wants to get even--the same way Donald Trump would.

Breitbart claims Kellogg's goal is essentially the destruction of free thought and an effort "to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians, [which is] a disgraceful act of cowardice.” (Sound like Trump yet?)

'Course Breitbart is still headed by Trump's chief philosopher Steve Bannon (a Virginia Tech grad for all you Hoos looking for an additional reason to rant about Hokies present and past). This white nationalist site is proudly racist, homophobic, misogynist and just about any other "ist" or "ism" you can spell ... and some you can't.

CBS News tells us (here), "Breitbart’s campaign against Kellogg’s is unusual on a number of fronts, not in the least because news organizations traditionally maintain a separation between their business operations and their editors and reporters so that journalists can operate independently from business interests." That's not a consideration on internet sites (and I will point to HuffingtonPost and the horribly-written Daily Kos on the left) or talk radio, not to mention Fox "News."

“Most journalistic organizations have checks between the people who pay for your news work and the news work itself, so that you are as a journalist protected from those influences," says academic Lee Wilkins. But then, only the all-out, far right calls what Breitbart does "journalism" or "news."

A lot of web ads are placed by Google's automated placement and the advertisers often don't even know it until somebody complains. It would seem to me that people who own businesses would want to know where they are advertising. In fact the group #GrabYourWallet, which is organizing a boycott of Breitbart, says there is a grace period: "Because of the way digital advertising works, we’re not yet adding companies that advertise on Bretibart to the boycott list. We’re giving them time to work with their media buyers and ad networks to ensure their ads no longer appear there,” says a spokesman.

My response was swift and assertive: I bought a box of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes (with Clusters) as soon as I found out. They're grrrrrrrrrrrrrr-eat!

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