« Fair Weather Feminists and the Stolen Concept | Main | Taking Back the People's Airwaves »

March 13, 2012

Secondary Boycotts

Michael Kinsley on secondary boycotts:

Consumers who are avoiding products by Limbaugh’s advertisers are engaged in what’s known in labor law as a secondary boycott. This means boycotting a company you have no grievance with, except that it does business with someone you do have a grievance with.

Secondary boycotts are generally frowned upon, or in some cases (not this one) actually illegal, on the grounds that enough is enough. There’s sense to that outside the labor context, too. Do we want conservatives organizing boycotts of advertisers on MSNBC, or either side boycotting companies that do business with other companies who advertise on Limbaugh’s show, or Rachel Maddow’s?

As we all know, Limbaugh’s First Amendment rights aren’t involved here — freedom of speech means freedom from interference by the government. But the spirit of the First Amendment, which is that suppressing speech is bad, still applies. If you don’t care for something Rush Limbaugh has said, say why and say it better. If you’re on the side of truth, you have a natural advantage.

Ay, there's the rub: what do you do when you doubt your ability to "say why and say it better"? Well, there's always intimidation:

The Hill reports that unions and other liberal groups are vowing to make life miserable for any companies that contribute to Republican campaigns this year:
Liberal interest groups, watchdogs and unions on Monday threatened to boycott, protest and publicly embarrass corporations that spend money trying to sway the outcome of the November election.

Gathered Monday at the Washington headquarters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the groups issued a call to arms for the 2012 campaign, vowing to aggressively challenge companies that contribute to super-PACs and 501(c) nonprofit groups.

“If you secretly contribute and scheme to buy our elections, we’re going to come knocking on your door,” said Aaron Black of the Occupy Wall Street movement. “And it’s not just going to be a couple of us. It’s going to be thousands of us. Everywhere you turn your head.”

Or distraction:

This chart from Open Secrets shows the top 25 donors to political campaigns from 1989 through 2012. You will note a remarkably consistent pattern...

...you have to get all the way to number nineteen to find a donor that gives primarily to Republicans. Not only that, of the top 20 donors, 12 are unions...

Wasn't I just saying that arguments that call attention to your own hypocrisy are stu...

Oh, nevermind.

Posted by Cassandra at March 13, 2012 08:08 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: