A Blue Startup Company Takes a Stand
by Master Jack, Mon Jan 15, 2007 at 04:20:57 PM EST
A friend of mine, a local (Frederick, MD) entrepreneur and Democratic
activist, runs a startup company called In Pictures. They just launched
their new website, which provides free online computer how-to tutorials.
They sent out a press release to promote it; blogger response, he said, was
really good, but the print media have pretty much ignored it.
Except for one case. And this is where it gets interesting.
My friend's PR firm was contacted by a relatively new publication called
the Baltimore Examiner that wanted to interview him. I've been marginally
aware of it, though I've never actually perused a copy. Given its auspicious
billboard presence in neighboring beet-red Carroll County, I surmised it was
likely to be a right-wing rag, though I didn't really know for sure. But now
Upon being contacted by the Examiner, my friend, not much more familiar
with the paper than I was, decided to do a little research into it. He found
out that it's bankrolled by a right-wing nutcase named Philip Anschutz who
helped fund Amendment 2, a ballot initiative to overturn a Colorado state
law protecting gay rights. Anschutz also helps fund the Discovery Institute,
which foists "intelligent design" and other such fact-free wingnuttery
(earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs lived with men, etc.) upon the public.
Despite the fact that getting written up in the Examiner would have
generated some good publicity for his venture, my friend instructed his PR
firm to decline the interview. And to tell the Examiner why.
My friend might have lost out on some short-term dollars, but he figures
that in the long run his company's brand will benefit, just like, say,
Buy-Blue-friendly Costco does today, because he decided not to feed the
And if my friend, running a startup company that's not exactly wallowing
in wealth and resources, can take a principled stand like this, what's
keeping our leaders from doing likewise? After all, wouldn't Democrats benefit
from staying off FOX News, strengthening our brand with the 70% of TV
viewers who know FOX is a propaganda outlet, and have no use for it?