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Published:August 18th, 2009 20:50 EST
My Response To Critics Of My "Advertisers Ditch Glenn Beck" Article

My Response To Critics Of My "Advertisers Ditch Glenn Beck" Article

By Robert Paul Reyes

My article "Advertisers pulling their ads from Fox News` Glenn Beck" elicited an avalanche of comments and emails. Quite a few of them were ad hominem attacks, and they don`t deserve any reply. I`ve been called every name in the book, and I`ve developed quite a thick skin.

A lot of the comments accused me of attempting to stifle free speech, nothing could be more off the mark. As a controversial newspaper columnist and blogger, I`m the last person in the world who would try to censor free speech.

In my much-commented on editorial I wrote:

"Companies have a right, and indeed a responsibility to their stockholders, to pull their advertisements from controversial TV programs that damage their brand.

I commend Geico, Proctor & Gamble and Progressive Insurance for pulling their ads, had they not done so it would have been a tacit approval of Glenn`s hateful and divisive rhetoric."

This is not a call for censorship, it`s a plea to responsible corporations to stop subsidizing hate speech. I respect Geico, Proctor & Gamble and Progressive for having the courage to do the right thing. If they lose a few right-wing customers, it will be more than made up by the legions of ordinary American consumers who will reward them for just saying "NO" to inflammatory rhetoric.

I`m not demanding that Big Brother shut down the Glenn Beck show, I am appealing to advertisers to pull their ads from Beck`s program. Conservatives should agree with my approach of letting the marketplace decide what goes on the air.

A few critics attacked me for recommending the fine news-oriented programs on MSNBC. How can you not respect and watch a cable news outlet with a sterling lineup that includes Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, David Shuster, Andrea Mitchell, and Ed Schultz?