November 15, 2011
Should Major League Baseball end its business relationship with ultra-divisive blabber Glenn Beck? A group of concerned citizens is taking action and working toward that end with a website (strikeoutbeck.com) and radio ads that will air in Wisconsin this week as baseball's general managers meet in Milwaukee.
Correctly labeling the loudmouth Beck as a "hate-mongering media personality," the Americans United For Change is requesting that MLB Advanced Media stop providing streaming services for the glennbeck.com. Though many people may not be aware of it, the league's media arm makes a lot of money by selling use of its servers to outlets like ESPN3 and NCAA March Madness and, yes, an ultra-conservative radio host who once invited Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols(notes) to one of his rallies. (They showed up.)
"When it comes to unhinged anti-government conspiracies, fear mongering for personal gain, sexist remarks, and race baiting, Glenn Beck is in the Major Leagues -- and certainly in a league of his own when it comes to disrespect for families of 9-11 victims. That's why it's so troubling and disheartening that the good folks behind Major League Baseball would agree to what even FOX News couldn't stomach to do any longer: providing Beck with a platform to peddle more fear and spew more hate."
The group's radio ad is embedded below and it remains to be seen if it will have any impact. I can't imagine too many GMs are listening to Milwaukee radio and hearing it.
Then again, there's a big question on whether Major League Baseball should even listen. Though I find Beck's stances and beliefs to be abhorrent, I'd argue that the league is no different from the company that sells Beck the microphones for his rallies or the social media company that gives him an avenue to reach more people in shorter fashion. In a perfect world, MLBAM would sell Beck the space and no one would be on the other side to listen. But it must be noted, that providing and charging for a medium is not the same as an inherent endorsement.
What do you think? (/runs for cover)