Yesterday I wrote about why Fox News is going after Jetblue, and I went onto the Thom Hartman Show to discuss it. In the short term, it's just revenge for the cancellation of the Fox News Democratic Presidential debate. In the long term, Fox News is trying to prevent alliances between the corporate sector and the progressive movement. I think it's pretty clear, with this campaign, that Fox is not a news channel but a clear advocacy organization. This changes the equation for Fox News's advertisers, and they should know that they are supporting Fox News's agenda.
And just what is that agenda? As Robert Greenwald and the Sierra Club have shown, one piece of it is to deny global warming. That's why they are asking newly environmentally friendly Home Depot to stop adverising on Fox News.
A grassroots coalition of environmental, religious, and activist groups launched a campaign today to expose the Fox News network's consistent pattern of spreading misinformation about global warming. As part of the campaign, the coalition is urging Home Depot -- a company that says it cares about the environment -- to stop advertising on Fox.
I wrote this last week.
The coalition is attacking Home Depot for trying to portray itself as ecofriendly while advertising on Fox News. To provide some context, there's a lot of 'greenwashing' going on in corporate America, with companies contributing to global warming but making money by pretending not to. This is bad, and there need to be campaigns to change the incentive model to lie about being green. Any greenwashing going on is amplified by Home Depot's political work. Home Depot gave 73% of its cash to Republicans in 2006, and 87% in 2004. As a percentage, that's more money to the GOP than Walmart.
It gets worse. Home Depot recently had a huge CEO pay scandal, paying poorly performing ex-CEO Bob Nardinelli $200M for running the country into the group (Nardinelli is a massive GOP donor). The AFL-CIO has the most galling piece, from their blog.
Nardelli in particular received massive September 11 option grants, grants that were issued in the wake of the September 11 attacks when prices were at record lows.
Home Depot's board used 9/11 to rip off shareholders, and is now using the label of green to mask its political agenda.
There are a lot of companies that advertise on Fox News aside from Home Depot. I don't like the argument that your sponsors are responsible for your content, but apparently Fox News does. And as a newly minted official advocacy organization, I would hope that they are treated as one. That means no press credentials not given to advocacy organizations, no membership in organizations designed solely for the press, and regulations that apply to advocacy organizations.
Right now, Home Depot has a target on its back. The progressive movement has limited bandwidth, so it's not clear where the counterstrike is going to come from. But it's going to come.