Brief of the Week August 24, 2009

THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE BECK FUROR: Nearly a month after Glenn Beck made some comments on the “Fox and Friends” television program that many thought highly controversial, several major advertisers pulled their commercials from Beck’s own program on Fox and demands for his firing were heard throughout the cable-talk universe. On July 28, Beck told viewers that President Obama has “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture” and added: “I’m not saying that he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying that he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” Although confirmation has been difficult to obtain, it has been widely reported that Geico has since pulled its commercials from “The Glenn Beck Program” and that, which is owned by LexisNexis, has promised not to advertise on Beck’s show any longer. Noting that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has repeatedly insisted that the President doesn’t watch cable television or keep up on it, HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi asked Gibbs whether anyone in the White House is monitoring the whole controversy surrounding Beck. Gibbs replied: “Which — I got to tell you, it’s not on my top ten list either. What’s the controversy?” When Gizzi explained to him that Beck had made remarks leading to sponsors’ backing away, Gibbs said: “I think to keep up with some of the comments would be more than a full-time job.” It was also widely reported last week that Color of Change, an on-line black advocacy group, has mobilized its 600,000-plus members nationwide to urge advertisers to drop Beck. Color of Change was co-founded in 2005 by Van Jones, who is President Obama’s “green jobs czar.”