It has long been a key part of the left’s playbook to smear conservative political opponents in broadcasting by creating a “controversy,” linking the opponent to the controversy and then asking advertisers why they associate with someone who is so “controversial.”
The result, all too often, has been predictable: Companies want to avoid offending any customers so they withdraw their advertising from those unfairly labeled.
But now it’s time for the “equalizer,” or in this case the MediaEqualizer.com, which is doing for liberals and progressives the same thing far-left operations like Media Matters claim to have been doing to conservatives for years: exposing them.
The newly launched website on Wednesday displayed headlines including “Why does Rachel Maddow so often embrace fringe conspiracy theories?” and “Rachel Maddow Show: Advertisers and contact information.”
The conservative pushback comes just as the attacks against Fox News’ Sean Hannity have reached their peak.
Hannity explained, in an interview with radio show host Mark Levin, that he’s always supported free speech for all, even those with whom he disagrees. But the left-wing’s campaign to silence conservatives now has gone too far, and the progressives’ own craziness soon will be out there for all to see.
“We’ve done a very deep dive,” he told Levin. “I don’t know when I’m going to release it, but I’m coming out with it. No. 1, where the money’s coming from. No. 2, you want to talk about outrageous, insane, incendiary, over-the-top, vicious, vile hatred … and the things that have been done and said.”
He’s targeting groups he blames on the machinations of twice- failed Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and far-left money manipulator George Soros.
“Hillary helped found this group, Soros funds it,” he said. “It’s a concerted effort to silence talk radio, destroy the Fox News channel. They sense blood in the water. They want to do it before 2018, 2020. It’s about whether we as a society are going to support freedom of speech.”
Hear Hannity’s interview with Levin:
“These [progressives] have never been hit back,” Hannity said. “I don’t know what the end result is going to be. … Somebody has got to say enough. We’re going to fight fire with fire.”
The new website explains it has been formed in response to “recent moves by leftist groups to silence opposition voices.”
Conservative radio hosts across the nation are joining the effort.
Longtime host Phil Valentine said: “Too many of us in broadcasting stand idly by while our colleagues are destroyed by people who claim to love diversity except when it comes to diversity of thought. We stand on the sidelines while colleges cancel speeches by speakers who a violent, vocal minority don’t want to hear. We climb back into the cozy confines of what’s acceptable speech instead of standing on the battlefield of free speech, shoulder-to-shoulder with our brethren who endure these withering attacks.”
The website cites the recent attack on Hannity by progressives who have posted a list of his show’s advertisers. They claim it’s not a boycott, but several companies dropped their sponsorship, only to find an uprising among their customers that led them to reverse course. Among them was USAA, which enraged customers when it adopted a “censor-Hannity” position.
Founded by talk hosts Brian Maloney and Melanie Morgan, the site goes straight after one of the top left-wing talkers, Maddow.
“When she can’t easily explain misbehavior by her own side, Maddow readily embraces baseless allegations. During the early days of his seemingly endless series of scandals, Maddow defended former Congressman Anthony Weiner and pushed a seemingly crazy Twitter hacking conspiracy.”
Maddow discussed theories that Weiner’s social media accounts were hacked and it wasn’t really him sending porn-level images. (It was, and he admitted it.)
“After the Boston Marathon bombings, Maddow promoted outlandish conspiracies, denying that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were Islamic jihadists, claiming they had books on ‘Zionism’ and were actually influenced by opposition to U.S. foreign policy,” the site says.
Struggling to defend Obamacare, she claimed that “opponents were planning actual ‘assassinations.’”
“Are we now operating in a political environment which is not just politics as usual, which is not just a rowdy debate. Has enough kerosene been poured on the flames that the possibility of violence, even assassination, is being posited as a real political tactic in the United States?” she asked at the time.
The site lists Maddow’s show sponsors, including AARP, Eli Lilly, Cisco Systems and Progressive Insurance.
The website doesn’t mention a boycott, but responses to the listing make it clear what customers think.
“It’s time for ALL conservatives to fight back. With our wallets!” wrote Maria Connie Reyes.
On his own show, Hannity pointed out the huge conspiracy theory advanced Democrats in recent months – the Trump campaign-Russia “connection.”
See he comments:
The claim is pursued by the left even though they, themselves, have admitted there’s no evidence, he pointed out. Meanwhile, cases such as the Washington, D.C., murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich are being covered up even though there are legitimate unanswered questions, such as why his murder was classified by police as a robbery when nothing was taken, critics contend.
There also are claims Rich may have been the source for the WikiLeaks release of thousands of Democrat emails during the 2016 presidential race.
His name came up after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the Russians were the source of the emails, as Democrats repeatedly have claimed.
Hannity announced on his show he would no longer talk about the Rich case, in deference to the family’s wishes. But he also said he would continue investigating.
He said the left is trying to deliver to him a “kill shot.”
“This has been a tactic that has been used against other conservatives in the past, with a certain degree of success,” he said.
Hannity said programs such as his are the “only opposition” to the left-wing and socialist agenda for America.
Former congressional candidate Joe Miller posted comments from Jordan Schachtel, who said the “devastating scoop and damning evidence” Hannity is assembling apparently is about Media Matters President Angelo Carusone, the organization’s finances, and “things said and done” by members.
MediaEqualizer.com says: “While we prefer not to be involved in this type of effort, we need to be on equal footing. We will continue to announce the advertisers that finance these efforts and support these hosts who allow lies and conspiracy theories to permeate the airwaves.
“If Media Matters ceases these type of assaults, we will do the same.”
“Fight fire with fire,” Hannity said. “This liberal fascism has to stop.”
WND reported earlier this week that USAA was reinstating its advertising on Hannity’s nightly show following “backlash from military members and veterans groups.”
At virtually the same time, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chief, John Podesta, was doubling down, claiming the Russians were “very active in propagating and distributing fake news” and blaming Hannity for helping them.
FoxNews.com removed a May 16 story about the Rich case, explaining it didn’t meet the broadcaster’s editorial standards. But Fox News said it would continue to investigate the case.
Hannity said he was not withdrawing or retracting any of his reporting on the case.
And Hannity has affirmed he plans to stay with Fox News.
In a separate campaign, Media Research Center is publicizing the advertisers that support 10 “leftist shows and on-air personalities who use their programs to spread vicious lies and hate.”
MRC President Brent Bozell said: “We are putting the radical left on notice that we are on to them. We know the inside-outside game that radical organizations are playing with their leftist allies in the ‘news’ media. The radical left’s effort to silence conservative media by targeting their advertisers with coordinated smear campaigns has gone unanswered, but today is the day the conservative movement fights back, but with a big difference: We’ll tell the truth. And we’ll take no prisoners.”
Identified are advertisers for shows such as “Politics Nation with Al Sharpton,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”