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Friday, July 20, 2007


posted by on July 20 at 13:40 PM

jetBlue donated a few tickets to YearlyKos. Bill O’Reilly had a stroke. And now, well, so much for jetBlue.

FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly and right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin complained that jetBlue was a corporate sponsor of the YearlyKos blogger conference and had offered a few free tickets for conference attendees (not exactly a huge commitment, and something companies do for conferences of all political stripes). O’Reilly and Malkin claimed that this was akin to jetBlue supporting people who endorse murder and assassination and ripping the heads off little bunnies.

jetBlue, mind you, advertises on FOX (according to Markos), shows FOX News on its flights, and its CEO has given $2100 to far-right GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But please just ignore all of that. Because jetBlue has now, finally, shown some attention to the left as well, O’Reilly and Malkin decided that jetBlue must be destroyed.

So what did jetBlue do in response? Did they say “hey, what do you mean we’re catering to the left, we’ve been showing FOX News on our flights forever?” Did they say “would you like our CEO to stop donating to right-wing politicians in order to show that he doesn’t take sides in politics?” Did they say “if we pull our sponsorship of YearlyKos should we then pull our sponsorship of FOX News shows too?

No, jetBlue responded by pulling their logo from the YearlyKos Web site sponsor list, sending the clear to signal to every company in America that you, we, are pariahs that no company should dare touch. That we are, in fact, just as O’Reilly and Malkin have claimed, akin to murderers and assassins.

Now jetBlue is calling DailyKos a “hateful” website. Says Kos

I’m cancelling my JetBlue American Express card and will be looking at alternative options for my future travel. Too bad. Unfortunately, JetBlue just told me (and the rest of us) that they accept O’Reilly’s bullshit smears.

What’s really interesting about this whole affair is that the most aggressive pushback is coming from Hillary Clinton’s camp. JetBlue may have just exacerbated their PR problem, but at least we’re seeing that the days when Democrats would’ve followed suit are behind us.

RSS icon Comments


"Bill O’Reilly and right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin complained..."

That's all I needed - to stop reading.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 20, 2007 1:50 PM

After shit was flowing down their ailses last year I decided not to fly them ever.....

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 20, 2007 1:52 PM

That opening sentence is misleading, I got so hopefull when I read, "Bill O’Reilly had a stroke. "

Posted by Prof. Technician | July 20, 2007 2:02 PM

Just canceled my JetBlue Amex, too--and lemme tell you, this was actually a big sacrifice for me. But once you know what the score is with a corporation, it's hard to continue giving them your business.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | July 20, 2007 2:11 PM

Wow, I think the last thing a business wants to do is piss off an everyone attending the national grassroots blog convention.

Posted by Touring | July 20, 2007 2:11 PM

@4 You need a Virgin American card instead anyway.

Posted by Touring | July 20, 2007 2:14 PM

This is good. If corporations are going to sponser assholes they should have to wear it like a ball and chain.

Posted by monkey | July 20, 2007 2:20 PM

Who wants to fly in the middle of the night anyway?

Posted by Trey | July 20, 2007 2:21 PM

I'd already stopped flying JetBlue. I liked the comfy-ish seats and the gourmet snacks and the in-seat TVs and the lack of stinky disgusting airline food... but man did their employees have serious attitude problems. They were always so sassy, borderline hostile. If you're any good at rolling your eyes or exasperated sighing, you should definitely work for them.

Posted by Explorer | July 20, 2007 2:50 PM

I still can never fully understand why corporate America backs down from shit like this. Corporate boycott's never work, and the people that create bad press are going to be pissed no matter how you, as the corporation, resolve this issue.

Why not just issue a typical bullshit "We here at [JetBlue] value blah blah blah and will continue to strive for blah blah blah in the future will be more blah blah blah"... in other words, do nothing, and sound sorry for offending anyone? At least that's what

I'm going to do when my megacorporation starts pissing people off.

Posted by Dougsf | July 20, 2007 2:56 PM

So they caved in to Bill O? Thanks, JetBlue. Way to empower the already ridiculously over-empowered. You can almost feel that gas bag's head inflating.

Yet another slam dunk for truthiness!

Posted by brandon | July 20, 2007 2:56 PM

Thanks for the heads up, Dan. Never going to fly that airline ever.

Posted by east coaster | July 20, 2007 4:30 PM

How pathetic. They could have come across as looking like strong, stalwart patrons of political discourse, since they buy ads on Fox News, but instead, they just seem like pussies, total fucking spineless pussies. The right will be digusted with them for their initial sponsorship, and the left for pulling out.

I'm really glad I fly Southwest.

Posted by Gitai | July 20, 2007 5:24 PM

Corporate America didn't USED to back down like this. An excellent example:

When Eugene Debs (founder of the Communist Party in America 80 or 90 years ago) tried to get his book published, he went to all the liberal publishers he could find. Some were interested, but quickly lost interest when agents of the OSS (that's the FBI's predecessor org, I think) went into the liberal publishers' offices and threatened retaliation if they published Deb's book.

In desperation, Debs finally went to a "right wing" publisher who threw Debs out of his office.

When the OSS agents showed up after Debs left, the RIGHT WING PUBLISHER said something to the effect of, "this is America - who the hell are you to tell what I can and cannot publish?"

He then threw the AGENTS out of his office, got Debs back and published the book as a matter of principle.

I guess CEOs don't have principles anymore - beyond party politics and the bottom line.

Sad, ain't it?

Posted by richbh | July 21, 2007 10:38 AM

The owner of JetBlue is a Mormon. All of his reservations staff work from home - in Utah. While I will not fly them since I learned that, give it up for them at least being a consistent pack hate-mongering loonies.

Posted by Kimberly | July 21, 2007 4:11 PM

Hillary: she's my man.

Posted by Big Sven | July 21, 2007 8:55 PM

In response to Kimberly:

My grandfather once claimed he went on a flight where one of the attendants was the owner/CEO or somesuch of JetBlue. To hear the old man tell it, that guy was as gay as springtime.

Not that my grandfather, bless him, is the ultimate authority on what any random person's sexuality is, or that my account on this matter is at all clear, but what with all the Republican gay-haters who turn out to be ugly hypocrites... ah, what I wouldn't give for some poetic justice right about now.

Posted by iflurry | July 22, 2007 3:21 AM

I'm a huge Malkin fan and enjoy watching Bill. It was good to see JetBlue cave after they were exposed sponsoring the nutroots. Sometimes the system works.

Posted by Infidel | July 22, 2007 10:00 PM

One correction, #14. Debs was not the founder of the Communist Party of the USA. Debs was a socialist candidate for president (five times, if memory serves) but he was not part of the CPUSA. Debs was part of the Socialist Party of America.

Debs was, however, a founder of the Industrial Workers of the World, a labor union.

Eugene V. Debs was a great man, largely forgotten by Americans today. Would that we had someone like him today to shake up the Democrats and give the GOP something (else) to scream about.

Posted by Jonathon | July 23, 2007 8:59 AM

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