Boycott this?

newspaperI’m not sure why people get so frothed about starting boycotts. Another one just popped up in my Facebook News Feed about getting advertisers to stop sponsoring Rush Limbaugh, and while I agree that Limbaugh is a waste of space, the boycott stuff seems a waste of time.

I get it, that Limbaugh is of no value to radio stations and networks if he can’t translate his millions of listeners into ad dollars, so strike at the heart of those ad dollars, and, poof!, he’s gone.

There have to be better ways to win the war of ideas. That’s all I’m saying.

Too much of what we argue about these days is, Well, one guy on your team said something stupid about this topic, and I don’t see you repudiating it, therefore we’re going to piss on everybody who doesn’t distance themselves from him, with the retort of, Oh, yeah, OK, how about this other guy who said something else even more vile, and I haven’t heard you say the first thing about how you want to throw him under the bus, so nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

Then come the calls for advertisers to pull their spots, the claims of victory when somebody does, and the cycle starts all over again tomorrow or next week.

There isn’t much difference here, honestly, between groups getting sponsors to pull dollars from Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, CNN, the New York Times, whoever, at the point of a toothless PR bayonet, and the North Korean hackers getting Sony to pull “The Interview” from theaters with the threat of a terrorist attack that we all know north korea to be completely unable to deliver upon.

These boycott campaigns, like those vague threats from the North Korean hackers, exist almost entirely in virtual reality. Companies that fall for the smoke-and-mirrors threats deserve to lose market share on their way out of business.

– Column by Chris Graham

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