While I normally do not like boycotts, I will no longer be enjoying an Admiral’s Feast or a Seaside Shrimp Trio from Red Lobster on my way home from work. It’s not because I don’t enjoy them — it’ s just that I enjoy freedom of speech far more.
It’s time for conservatives to start fighting corporate censorship boycotts with boycotts of our own. Let’s start with Red Lobster.
On Tuesday, the seafood giant announced that they will be joining the roughly 20 companies who have already pulled their ads from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight at the behest of political rage mobs.
For those who haven’t been following the development of the left’s favorite economic weapon for the last few years, Carlson has been the target of a sustained and well-coordinated censorship campaign by the left to chill his speech by boycotting his advertisers in an effort to strong-arm Fox News into dropping him.
It generally works like this: a conservative company executive or media personality (it’s always a conservative) says something the left doesn’t like, because whatever was said either represents an inconvenient truth that leftists prefer to keep out of public discourse, or else is a direct challenge to the established narrative; a few bitter partisan hacks on Twitter tattle-tale on that person to “activist” groups like Sleeping Giants, or to fellow bitter partisan hacks with larger Twitter followings; those accounts whip up their followers to contact any companies that do business with the target so they can bitch and moan about offended they are; and finally, weak-willed company executives with little appetite for even the most minimal controversy fold to the “outrage mob,” usually quickly, and issue boilerplate PR statements about how the individual or business is no longer “aligned with their values.”
“Red Lobster’s advertising buying guidelines reflect our core values and commitment to supporting programming that represents the highest standards of good taste, fair practice and objectivity,” the seafood chain said in its own boilerplate and utterly predictable statement. “We reserve the right to make changes to our purchases when the dialogue is no longer in line with our criteria.”
Of course, companies have every right to decide where they want to advertise. But these corporate boycotts present an acute danger to political discourse in the US, as networks are forced into an ever-narrower window of what is considered “acceptable speech” to stay afloat.
Ordinarily, I’d propose that “fighting fire with fire,” or boycotts with boycotts, would be a step down to the level of the corporate censors. But it appears that little is being done to combat this culture in any meaningful way. The left is never punished for controversial statements like those of us on the right are. Not a single advertiser pulled out of Joy Reid’s show after her history of anti-gay slurs came to light. Don Lemon trashes conservatives nightly on CNN without any hint of a problem with advertisers. The double standard is jaw-dropping.
It is for this reason that we must fight back. Red Lobster is an establishment enjoyed by Americans from all walks of life, including conservatives. It is time to show these companies that we can put our money where our mouths are and demand that nonpolitical companies keep their noses out of political discourse — or lose half their customers.
They may receive a temporary bump from the left over their virtue-signaling, but if they want to take sides in the culture war, it should have a long-term effect on their profits. If you want to hear different perspectives on your networks, join me in refusing to give Red Lobster any more business from the right.
Adam Weiss is the CEO of AMW PR, a New York political strategy and communications firm. His firm has represented Kimberly Guilfoyle, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci and more.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.