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Danny Glover targeted for political views
May 19, 2003 3:46 PM   Subscribe

Danny Glover is a no good communist according to MSNBC's right-wing pundit Joe Scarborough. Scarborough is taking credit for forcing MCI to drop Glover as a spokesman because Glvoer's views are "too far to the left." Add this to the Bull Durham fiasco, and Sean Penn's claims of a new blacklist start to look pretty real. Do we only have freedom of speech if we agree with the neo-conservatives?
posted by hipnerd (78 comments total)

 
[Insert obligatory comment about how emergence of a politicized cultural monolith is only a problem when the government is behind it all]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:55 PM on May 19, 2003


and the new FCC ruling granting greater concentration of media ownership would help whom?
posted by specialk420 at 4:08 PM on May 19, 2003


As an aside, you do realize that the term "neo-conservatives," strictly speaking, refers to misguided or otherwise insane liberal turn-coats, don't you?
posted by crunchland at 4:18 PM on May 19, 2003


Welcome to the state of 21st century political punditry, where getting a guy fired because you disagree with his views is a victory worth crowing over.

In terms of affecting real change, it's an empty gesture, but it gets eyeballs. That's all that matters.
posted by turaho at 4:20 PM on May 19, 2003


It has everything to do with an American citizen being held responsible for his words and actions

The man brings shame upon the great American ideals of "Thomas Jefferson's free marketplace of ideas", reneging on the principle by effectively shouting the man down.

What's he so scared of? - surely, Danny Glover's history of making divisive political comments and extreme political views deserve protest, ridicule and exposure, as well as condemnation? He'll lose the debate, right?

When's there gonna be any good news from that side of the pond (politically speaking)?

Crunchland: spot-on! There's nowt so zealous as the converted.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:22 PM on May 19, 2003


I cheered when Dr. Laura was taken off the air because enough people (including me) wrote to asking them to pull their advertising.

Is this so very different? Other than, of course, that Danny Glover isn't puking hatred into people's minds.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:29 PM on May 19, 2003


er...YH, that is the difference, FFF.

Here we go....
posted by dash_slot- at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2003


When's there gonna be any good news from that side of the pond (politically speaking)?

Don't know, but those of us who want to retch when we read this kind of crap are thinking of pulling a reverse Mayflower if things don't get better!
posted by evilcupcakes at 4:37 PM on May 19, 2003


What a self-rightous prick.
Someone in MEFI the other day said that "Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences" and that is true. As much as I disagree with Mr. Glover being fired, there are a lot of people out there who really disagree with him and he has to know there are consequences to his actions. Same with Dr. laura. Unfortunately, it always appears that the conservatives have more time on their hands and money available to organize and move masses of people towards a result like this than the liberals do...
Oh I do wish there was some good news from my side...Oh please oh please.
I'm getting more depressed by the state of our nation every single day.
posted by aacheson at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2003


Danny Glover wasn't espousing his views during the MCI commercials. For that matter, if not for the noise this pundit made, I would have no idea that Danny Glover had any political views at all.

Should a man be fired from a job because he was exercising his right to free speech when he was off duty? Glover isn't exactly saying, "Buy MCI and to blazes with Bush!" Dr. Laura, on the other hand, espoused her views as part of her television show. I would say they are quite different things.

It seems that there is a tendency for some conservatives (and liberals, for that matter) to believe that freedom of speech is something you should only exercise if what you say isn't being heard by anybody. So, United States celebrities, you have the freedom to say whatever you want, just not to another person.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:42 PM on May 19, 2003


at what point do "consequences" become thought control?
posted by mcsweetie at 4:48 PM on May 19, 2003


As much as I disagree with Mr. Glover being fired, there are a lot of people out there who really disagree with him and he has to know there are consequences to his actions.

You know, I almost want to agree with this sentiment, but then I think, what would I feel like if someone got me fired for the thoughtful commentary inflammatory crap I write in my blog? What if you got fired for something you posted on MeFi?

On preview, what mcsweetie said.
posted by RylandDotNet at 4:50 PM on May 19, 2003


I don't have a problem with Glover, I liked the lethal weapon movies. I didn't even know he had some wako political views until this article.

What I have a problem is this neo-blacklist stuff that certain 'news' outlets are pushing. It's one thing for a reporter to say "Danny Glover has xxx political views and does some commercials," than say "Danny Glover has xxx political views, and does some commercials. Go get him fired."

It's just plain wrong.
posted by klaruz at 4:51 PM on May 19, 2003


Which self-rightous prick? i take it you mean Joe Scarborough... but I read some ambiguity in your post, aacheson. What consequences, other than that future jobs could be fewer, should there be - lose his current job? For exercising the true, freedom loving right to speak his mind?

What are you thinking of?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:54 PM on May 19, 2003


Hmm. I was going to write a longer post but here's my 'six degrees of Danny Glover'... Danny Glover - environmentalist/liberal, fired for expressing his opinion, Glover's wife - works at Nike. Me - fired from said company for expressing his opinion, which rather unfortunately made ESPN. spooky.
posted by efalk at 5:10 PM on May 19, 2003


ok not spooky but still true...
posted by efalk at 5:11 PM on May 19, 2003


I want to support Danny Glover. On the other hand, I make no bones about refusing to see any Mel Gibson movie because he's an unrepentant and rather despicable homophobe.

I'm not sure I can argue this one from the heart.
posted by Epenthesis at 5:28 PM on May 19, 2003


It's not free speech if using it means loosing your job.
posted by spazzm at 5:35 PM on May 19, 2003


liberals who sneer at bushco, rightist fundy's and conservative bush supporters are underestimating their committment to rock your world. from thier point of view, things have been going downhill since elvis first swiveled his pelvis in public. in the meantime they've seen the advent of birth control and sexual "revolution", the 1960's mass nosethumbing at authority and institutions, legalized abortion, open homosexuality (and those parades! what a slap in the face!), the ACLU and pals running their beloved man in the sky out of school and government, porn at 7-11, and on and on. if you find yourself doubting they really want to clamp down on the constitution and remake this nation in their image, just remember what it looks like to the most rabid of them. those of you born since then may have an erroneous sense of things having 'always been this way', but only 50 years ago this nation's people were a far more repressed bunch than today. and a lot of powerful people want to put it back that way.
posted by quonsar at 5:39 PM on May 19, 2003


The only political view of Danny Glover that I was aware of was his stance against apartheid in South Africa. So, I read this article with interest in finding out what other social injustices Mr. Glover was talking about. Let's take a look at the charges made in the article:

He called the president of the United States a racist.
After the 2000 election debacle in Florida where an estimated 25,000 African-Americans (and that's a compassionately conservative estimate) were barred from voting due to the scheming of Kathryn Harris and Jeb Bush I'd tend to agree with Glover. Of course, being married to a minority I've learned that the least qualified person to judge racism is a whate man. Especially a white man from "Scarborough Country…"

He blamed American policy for the murderous acts of September 11th.
When I kick the snot out of an ant pile in my yard, I expect to get bitten by a few pissed off ants. US foreign policy has been kicking the ant piles of too many Arab countries for too long. Why didn't our gov't think that the Arabs would not raise up in anger against us?

He signed a petition comparing American soldiers in the Gulf War to 9/11 terrorists.
Gosh, I'd have liked to see the text of the petition. I'm as sure it is online as I am sure that the statement above was taken out of context.

He called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”
It's nice to see that MSNBC is hiring people with no knowledge of history. It doesn't take a lot to see that the US is, in fact, the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.

And most recently Mr. Glover signed a letter of support for Fidel Castro.
Again, a link or at least a quote from this letter would have been a great way to provide some journalistic integrity to this screed. Now, I don't know about you, but my journalism teacher in college would have failed this article had I spent the night binge drinking and scribbled this out fifteen minutes before class.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch Thomas Jefferson spin in his grave due to that last paragraph.
posted by DragonBoy at 5:40 PM on May 19, 2003


Mel Gibson is an unrepentant and rather despicable homophobe!?

But, he's so cute!
posted by DragonBoy at 5:42 PM on May 19, 2003


Everybody has a right to free speech in America. Nobody has the right to force anyone else (individual or corporation) to endorse, support, or pay for their speech.

If Glover were smart and/or prudent, and his political convictions were not rock-solid, he would have realized something along the lines of, "Hmmm...liberal points of view aren't exactly well liked in America...or at least that part of America that I largely depend on to employ me. If I keep my opinion to myself, or only to close family & friends, then perhaps I can continue to get good acting jobs and perhaps commercial endorsements."

Instead, he appears to have strong political views and has no compunction about sharing them with others. No harm there, IMO. Fine - he has the conviction of his beliefs. But MCI has a responsibility to shareholders and customers, and when the heat got too hot, they let him go. And, IIRC, MCI has agreed to honor his contract ($$$-wise) through January 2004.

Lastly...and somewhat O/T...I believe that any employer has the right to fire an employee if they bring negative publicity, shame, etc, upon the company. If I work for XYZ company, and I have a public blog in which I rail against the company and moan & whine about how evil XYZ Co. is, it wouldn't surprise me one bit to find a pink slip waiting for me the next day. Conversely, if I am the CEO of XYZ, I would likely fire such an employee -- but not before asking the employee to remove such derogatory comments and please refrain from such in the future.
posted by davidmsc at 5:43 PM on May 19, 2003


Danny should have known better to flack for dishonest scumbags like MCI - they have this nasty habit of bumping people into their "services" unasked for and it took me months to straighten out the resulting mess on my phone bill.

A true "no good communist" doesn't pimp himself to corporations.
posted by pyramid termite at 5:44 PM on May 19, 2003


I think the thing that confuses most people about neo-conservatives is the fact that the most powerful one - Dubya - is _also_ a social conservative. Most neo-cons, contra quonsar, have no problem with Elvis or homosexuality (Andrew Sullivan and the whole Gay Republican thing debated elsewhere on mefi) or even smoking pot. Look to the National Review for the "pure" neo-con viewpoint, and you'll find that it's much less nefarious than most think.

Now, when you combine that with social conservatism though, things get a bit hairy and you end up with Bush. Being a hardliner polarises the rest of the country, so you end up pushing everyone to either oppose or support you rather than evaluating one on the strength of one's policies.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 6:03 PM on May 19, 2003


Conversely, if I am the CEO of XYZ, I would likely fire such an employee

why?
posted by mcsweetie at 6:05 PM on May 19, 2003


You all make a good point, he wasn't saying what he was saying while espousing MCI at the same time. I hadn't thought of it that way. Very interesting.

I have to say that it isn't suprising, though. People don't want OJ Simpson to be their spokesperson anymore. Why? He didn't even, legally, "do" anything. What about Jerry Lewis-when he married his 13 year old cousin and everyone stopped buying his records? Yes, these are a little more extreme examples-but are all consequences of things done OUTSIDE of their "jobs" that have nothing to do with their jobs. But people found their actions abhorrant and decided that they didn't like them anymore.

BTW-the prick is Joe Scarborough, not Danny Glover.
posted by aacheson at 6:08 PM on May 19, 2003


So... wait. Neo-conservatives aren't libertarians?

And here I've been called that after calling myself libertarian... and had agreement that they mean the same thing!

Wacky! Perhaps what we really need is a new term... hmmm... fascist comes to mind! Or how about just plain old "conservative"? Seems to fit the bill.
posted by shepd at 6:09 PM on May 19, 2003


In response to my email to MCI, Amber sez:

Dear ,

Thank you for contacting MCI ® e-Customer Service.

I have received your e-mail regarding Danny Glover.

We sincerely value your opinion about our advertising.

Our contract with Danny Glover runs through January 2004 and we intend to honor our contract. With the campaign having run its course, we are moving to new creative which is more closely tied toour new MCI corporate branding campaign in terms of its look and feel.

At MCI, we pride ourselves on delivering calling convenience, quality service, and low rates. If you have additional questions or concerns, please visit us at www.mci.com/service.

Sincerely,

Amber
e-Customer Service

posted by chino at 6:20 PM on May 19, 2003


The MoveOn Media Corps is on this, too.


PROBLEM:
"Lethal Weapon" actor Danny Glover is a spokesperson for long distance phone company MCI. Glover was an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, and as a result right-wing groups have targeted MCI, threatening a boycott unless the company dumps Glover. As Newsday reports, "Free speech experts say this latest round of attacks does not rise to the level of McCarthyism or celebrity blacklisting, but could lead to that if left unchecked -- particularly now that the United States is embarking on new foreign policy doctrines such as pre-emptive military action in the name of fighting terrorism."

ACTION:
Contact MCI. Tell them that you support Glover's right to free speech, and you hope they do too. You might want to remind them that they could be setting a terrible precedent -- a de facto blacklist for public figures who speak out. If you're an MCI customer, you may want to mention that as well. Many folks are telling MCI that they will cancel their service if MCI fires Glover.

CONTACT:
Anyone can call the PR office to comment:
(800) 644-NEWS or (202) 736-6700

MCI Customers can call Customer Service at:
(800) 444-3333

You can send email via the form at:
http://consumer.mci.com/customer_service/ContactUs.jsp

REPORT YOUR CALLS AND EMAILS:
Once you've emailed or called, please let us know at:
http://moveon.org/mediacorps/

MORE INFO:
Newsday covered this story on its website today.
posted by muckster at 6:24 PM on May 19, 2003


davidmsc said it. It's bad publicity for MCI. It was their choice to drop Glover.
posted by hama7 at 6:27 PM on May 19, 2003


I don't think Danny Glover said anything negative about MCI, davidmsc. He expressed views outside of the venue that MCI provided him that are counter to the mainstream. So Danny Glover isn't guilty of shitting where he eats.

But you're right, MCI can come up with any reason to fire him that they want. If he's viewed as a "extremist" and MCI doesn't want to associate with him, that's their prerogative.

That doesn't mean it isn't a cowardly act, on both MCI and Joe Scarborough's part. In the former case, it shows a lack of integrity and a eye closer to the bottom line than to the freedom of dissent. I can't blame them--MCI wasn't formed to protect inalienable human rights, it was formed to increase the wealth of its shareholders. That's why boycotts are so successful--profits are the only language most corporations speak.

The really despicable move was Scarborough's. He decided to punish a man for his views. If Danny Glover came on your TV and started spouting offensive views, I could understand the desire to boycott his actions. But Scarborough has taken upon himself to ruin the man's livelihood. Should we as Americans fear for our jobs because we don't toe the party line? Is this what politics has become? Would we rather destroy an opponent than respond to their arguments?

I'm not saying that Danny Glover should be given a free pass--I agree that "Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences." But is getting him fired the right way of doing it? Do Joe Scarborough and his minions think they've won an ideological victory here?
posted by turaho at 6:28 PM on May 19, 2003


Didn't Worldcom change its name to MCI? Didn't Worldcom just get a wrist slap for inflating profits?

Is Danny Glover really MCI's biggest image problem? I wonder how many people who wrote/called new MCI=Worldcom.
posted by infowar at 6:36 PM on May 19, 2003


Is this so very different? Other than, of course, that Danny Glover isn't puking hatred into people's minds.

While I agree about the Dr-Laura-puking-hatred thing (I might've phrased it a little differently) and am glad to be no longer subject to her idiocy on the public radio, you have to realize that some of Glover's comments in fact do perpetuate a certain hatred-puking in many people's minds (to wit: He called the president of the United States a racist, he blamed American policy for the murderous acts of September 11th, and he signed a petition comparing American soldiers in the Gulf War to 9/11 terrorists), and it's unsurprising MCI wished to disassociate itself.

Schlessinger and Glover are political opposites, yet they were both reprimanded for their actions. It's not just "communists" (please stop with the ridiculous Communism/McCarthyism invocations) that draw criticism for their big mouths these days, 'kay?
posted by dhoyt at 6:45 PM on May 19, 2003


it's just typical mean corpofuck republican-think. it's cutthroat, pillage and plunder unrestrained free-market-competitiveness-cloaked-in-the-love-of-jesus-but-only-on-sunday-thank-you-very-muchism in action. most of these pricks actually believe that if you espouse liberal thought then you DESERVE to be deprived of your livelihood. it's the ultimate proof that liberals never have to seek the high moral ground. liberals literally ARE the high moral ground.
posted by quonsar at 6:51 PM on May 19, 2003


The easiest way to compensate is, of course, to get Joe Scarborough's ass kicked off MSNBC.

I believe that MCI fired Danny Glover because, after all, you hire a celebrity for the image that celebrity portrays to the public. MCI has some severe financial and legal difficulties - I'm sure that with a right-wing administration, trying to plead your case with a popular left-wing activist as your "selling face" isn't doing them any favors.

However, this is a free country; Joe Scarborough is, too, just a "selling face" for MSNBC (after all, they did hire friggin' Savage...) to get the eyes and ears of the right-wing audience. I'm sure boycotting him for similar reasons would get MSNBC's attention...
posted by FormlessOne at 7:31 PM on May 19, 2003


This, I am sure, is just coincidence, but MCI was just awarded a contract by the Pentagon to (re?)build Iraq's cellular infrastructure.
posted by chino at 7:33 PM on May 19, 2003


"most of these pricks actually believe that if you espouse liberal thought then you DESERVE to be deprived of your livelihood. "

I'm sure we'll be seeing the newly impoverished Danny Glover digging through garbage cans for aluminum cans any day now.

Danny Glover has the absolute right to express his political views (no matter how repugnant they may be) but he does not have the right to be the spokesman for MCI or any other company.
posted by MikeMc at 7:35 PM on May 19, 2003


it's the ultimate proof that liberals never have to seek the high moral ground. liberals literally ARE the high moral ground.

Well, liberals do tend to perceive themselves that way. Of course, so do those on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, in both cases that "high ground" is really just made up of hubris and egotism, not morality.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:36 PM on May 19, 2003


I'm so angry about this I could just...
posted by larry_darrell at 7:49 PM on May 19, 2003


Over on Fark there's a thread about this with about a million comments in it. Buried among the usual namecalling is a discussion of whether or not Danny Glover has grounds for a libel / slander suit against Scarborough. It seems that he has a pretty good case, satisfying 1) that a false and defamatory statement was made, 2) that he lost income due to the statements 3) that the statement was a non-privileged communication.

I doubt Glover would want to roll in the mud with this particular swine, but it would be so refreshing to show some of these asshat commentators that though they have free speech, there are also consequences.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:34 PM on May 19, 2003


davidmsc....

MCI didn't terminate his campaign because of his beliefs. He had said all of these things when they hired him. They terminated the campaign because a lot of people told them to and threatened a boycott if they didn't. That's far different from me saying X about the President on my blog and then getting fired for it.

Lastly...and somewhat O/T...I believe that any employer has the right to fire an employee if they bring negative publicity, shame, etc, upon the company. If I work for XYZ company, and I have a public blog in which I rail against the company and moan & whine about how evil XYZ Co. is, it wouldn't surprise me one bit to find a pink slip waiting for me the next day.

This is good and fine, and I agree with you on this (with the exceptions denoted by the whistle-blower act). But Glover's comments had nothing to do with MCI or any of their employees. That's not the same as what you outlined.

Pardonyou? and larry_d both make great points.

On Preview: Space Coyote, what was the flase and defamatory statement?
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:39 PM on May 19, 2003


Interesting that he never says Glover's views are wrong, just that they are extreme. Maybe he has a little journalistic integrity after all.
posted by Hildago at 8:44 PM on May 19, 2003


A late thought:

aacheson said:Unfortunately, it always appears that the conservatives have more time on their hands and money available to organize and move masses of people towards a result like this than the liberals do...

Sort of, but what about this thought: It's easy for people (from either side) to rail against an individual or couple of people and lead great crusades against their movies, shows, albums, etc. because there are so many other options out there. If I'm in an area where MCI has a monopoly, there's very little I can do short of writing an e-mail or letter if I want to continue to have phone service. With corporations (which people on the left side of things are going to have these feelings towards more often) it can often take a pretty significant lifestyle change in order to cease using said company's products (especially when it comes to utilities), much less get others that maybe aren't so passionate about it to follow suit. It's a much steeper hill to climb.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:44 PM on May 19, 2003


Tom Tomorrow reckons Scarborough is probably full of shit.
posted by sennoma at 8:46 PM on May 19, 2003


Ufez: that he signed a letter supporting Fidel Castro. Here is the text of the letter:
TO THE CONSCIENCE OF THE WORLD

The international order has been violated as a consequence of the invasion against Iraq. A single power is inflicting grave damage to the norms of understanding, debate and mediation amongst countries. This power has invoked a series of unverified reasons in order to justify its invasion. Unilateral action has led to massive loss of civilian life an devastation of one of the cultural patrimonies of humanity.

We only possess our moral authority, with which we appeal to world conscience in order to avoid a new violation of the principles, which inform and guide the global community of nations. At this very moment, a strong campaign of destabilization against a Latin American nation has been unleashed. The harassment against Cuba could serve as a pretext for an invasion. Therefore, we call upon citizens and policy makers to uphold the universal principles of national sovereignity, respect of territorial integrity and self-determination, essential to just and peaceful co-existence among nations.

Mexico, April 2003
Nowhere is Castro mentioned.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:49 PM on May 19, 2003


Let's grant the point that MCI can hire and fire who it wants as its spokespersons. Let's go further and grant that it might even have a rational financial incentive at stake here -- that the spotlight on Glover's (heretofore not-widely-known) politics might have had some effect on his MCI-spokesperson abilities.

So, we leave aside any question as to whether MCI might have bigger image problems to deal with. But this leaves us with these questions: can anything in Glover's conduct or speech justify Scarborough's use of his MSNBC pulpit to hound the man out of a job? Is there any good reason to believe that Scarborough truly and honestly feels Glover and his views to be a danger to the republic (as opposed to a ripe target of opportunity for some sensationalist fear-mongering?)

The distinctions made in several posts above are vital: turaho's post is a good example -- Scarborough (and, at least in terms of responsibility, if not intent, his powerful employer, who published his article and who own the rights to the words published under Scarborough's name, I'll wager) deliberately targeted an American for his political views (which are sufficiently marginal, I might add, to make it obvious to any thoughtful person that Glover's speech is not likely to undermine the "war on terror") and called for a mass action, based on very little evidence, to kick him out of a job.

This is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT than calling for the dismissal of a high-ranking public servant who speaks favorably of a racist point of view (Lott), or pointing out how the content of a widely-disseminated radio program takes a certain ideological slant (Dr. Laura) and condemning it.

I don't dismiss a conservative's right to be pissed off at Glover, or even to write MCI if so moved. But if you can't see that it's dangerous to a free society is to have its news organizations and journalists targeting individuals for mob-driven economic sanctions in general...conservatives would do well to remember that if you want a society to be run largely be corporate interests in the marketplace, you're going to have to make them play nice. There's nothing in the nature of a multimillion-dollar publicly held company that "makes" it respect individual liberties.
posted by BT at 8:59 PM on May 19, 2003


Re tom tommorow's note (thanks sennoma) -- while that makes my rant above seem just a touch over-the-top (why don't these things ever seem clear on preview?), Scarborough's mini-witch-hunt, if more pathetic, is no less reprehensible. Moreover, so is the collusion of those above him at MSNBC.
posted by BT at 9:03 PM on May 19, 2003


Thanks, S_C. If that is the entirety of the letter, then that accusation is definitely debatable and likely an extreme-stretch if not outright libel.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:15 PM on May 19, 2003


Too bad somebody actually has to WATCH Scarborough's daily screed-show to find out what advertisers to boycott...

Maybe a volunteer could TiVo Scarborough and review the commericals (be original... use your TiVo to see the ads and skip the programming), post the list in an appropriate place (no Matt, I wouldn't do it here) and let the 'Scarred Earth' campaign begin...

The only problem with that is, with MSNBC's microscopic ratings, most of the ads running there are probably show-non-specific (I forget the actual 'biz' term for it), which means the same sponsors would be supporting Keith Olbermann, who I LIKE (even though the "Countdown" format jumped the shark eons ago)...

I wonder if a certain MSNBC-employee/MeFite/weblogger can comment publicly on this (Am I as fullofshit as usual?)...

Anyway, it's Glover's BEING an MCI spokscritter that damaged MY respect for him (especially considering his political views - do the words 'Big Time Sell Out" mean anything?
posted by wendell at 9:38 PM on May 19, 2003


First off, let me say that this is a completely spontaneous non-article-reading response, and it is the first time I've done this here.

But... What the fuck is wrong with that guy?

Danny Glover helps charities. I don't give a fuck how Communist he is, he is not hurting anyone.

Later, I will come back and say something based on factual information, but I do not think it will be any different.
posted by son_of_minya at 9:58 PM on May 19, 2003


This sucks and everything, but if I were Danny Glover and I needed cash, I'd turn around and march directly to the European ad market and see to it that they notice that interesting new spot on my resume. (Or, if I were a European ad agency, I'd consider a campaign where I get people who were drummed out of American spokesman jobs by snarly conservatives.) Ain't no reason accusations of anti-Americanism have to hurt celebrities what with all this free market you know.
posted by furiousthought at 10:17 PM on May 19, 2003


At least he didn't get evicted.
posted by homunculus at 10:45 PM on May 19, 2003


I feel badly for Danny Glover, and I think the tone of this article is smug and despicable, but you can't make a living as a product spokesperson and be outspokenly policitcal, regardless of your views. Do you think Charlton Heston could get a job shilling long-distance service? I'm sure Danny Glover made that call for himself a long time ago, and can live without the MCI checks. Let them hire Carrot Top.
posted by scarabic at 10:54 PM on May 19, 2003


50 years ago this nation's people were a far more repressed bunch than today. and a lot of powerful people want to put it back that way. by quonsar

Preach on, brother man...preach on...
posted by dejah420 at 11:42 PM on May 19, 2003


Hmmm...liberal points of view aren't exactly well liked in America

Ah, but you see, this is what is mistaken. People want health care. People want unemployment benefits. People want a strong economy.

There is a concentrated extreme right wing effort to speak with one voice. It has been happening since 1995. Now, what was sown is being reaped.

It is not about journalistic integrity. It is about strongarming. Go ahead, question their patriotism. They'll label you a "commie", which is empty rhetoric for people who have had the opportunity to attend a University.

But this isn't about education, or careful thought, or reasoned debate. It's about puppets crowing lines handed down by the RNC.

Create mass static, and see what the White House can do behind closed doors.

Do you still believe there was an "energy crisis" in 2001?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:07 AM on May 20, 2003


He called the president of the United States a racist, he blamed American policy for the murderous acts of September 11th, and he signed a petition comparing American soldiers in the Gulf War to 9/11 terrorists.
I have not seen this petition, but I see none of these supposed acts as questionable.

The mother fucker won't let Mexicans in the White House. Maybe for a reason, but the fact remains -- G.W. Bush will not let Mexicans in the White House, and no matter how well he pantomimes the movie Giant, I don't believe he speaks Spanish.

Let's get serious here: MCI is an American corporation. They can't afford to take flack from "Scarborough Country."

So he attacks Danny Glover, the star of the greatest American action film in history, for being "too liberal," and that company loses a valuable spokesperson, who is loved by many Americans and foreign savages, simply because said company wants to avoid the wrath of this current trend in former Republican "electives" who became "news" anchors.

When a national media spokesperson says anything, no matter how nonsensical, people listen.

So, while I do not blame them for backing away from these specific ads, I do blame the American media for being racist and ignoring the many important contributions Danny Glover has made, whether in political or humanitarian issues.

If anyone disagrees about Danny Glover's value as a human being, I ask them to research it for themselves, rather than to take someone else's word for it.
We have asked Glover to defend himself on this show at least 6 times, and he’s refused.
Maybe that's because he sees a stacked deck when he sees one?

This is the same bullshit O'Reilly has pushed. As if anyone wants to be abused.
posted by son_of_minya at 1:31 AM on May 20, 2003


scarabic: Do you think Charlton Heston could get a job shilling long-distance service?

I hope to Moses that you are being sarcastic.

Of course, Charlton Heston could get a job shilling long-distance service.

If you insist on pushing the issue, someone will find a reference to his most recent ad deal, I assure you. They will also tell you that his voice is the most valuable voice an advertising firm could hope for, next to Gene Hackman's and Danny Glover's (until recently, apparently).
posted by son_of_minya at 1:40 AM on May 20, 2003


Back in the good ol' days, when dancing meant exploding, the fame garnered by television was perhaps available through talent, or worth. The trick of fame is now being used by operatives with a seething agenda. It seems people still want to believe someone on television got there through good ideas, talent, worth. This, unfortunately, is not the case. Like wearing a robe without the power, people still believe in the robe, and acquiesce power regardless.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:25 AM on May 20, 2003


Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences

Where does the free bit come in then? Social conformity is much better at repressing speech than the law.

If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.

Our old mate George Orwell
posted by Summer at 2:26 AM on May 20, 2003


Danny Glover responds
posted by Summer at 2:45 AM on May 20, 2003


the fact is ... he was representing MCI. it was brought to their attention that his political views were offensive. MCI felt that may damage (hahaha) their business, so they dumped him.

i don't see why anyone's so surprised by this. i mean, if you owned corporation A and had a spokesperson that made statements that would negatively impact your business, what would you do? allow his right to freedom of speech to damage your revenue? it's not like he's been arrested and flogged here, people -- he lost a gig. big fucking deal. i doubt he'll be in the soup line next week as a result.
posted by aenemated at 3:52 AM on May 20, 2003


Let me start by saying that as an American, this stuff scares the crap out of me. I seriously wonder if in 50 years we'll look back on this period of time and say (as we do now about McCarthy, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, etc.) and say, "holy shit, *what* were we thinking??" I really hope we do.

My main question, though, is what would a "good" liberal like Danny Glover be doing working for a company that perpetrated one of the biggest corporate scandals in history, laid off thousands of workers in the US as well as deevloping world nations (S. America), is now trying to fool consumers by changing its name from Worldcom back to MCI, etc. etc.? Could it be (shock and horror!) all about the money??? Nooo! Never. "Liberals" care about people, not money. I hate to say it, but even though I happen to agree with a few of the things that Danny Glover has publically signed and stated, I still think he and all these other Hollywood types are all alike -- out for the money and the ego stroke.

Come on, Danny, practice what you appear to preach.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 4:50 AM on May 20, 2003


so... I wonder who advertises on MSNBC? One could always fight fire with fire.
posted by crunchland at 4:55 AM on May 20, 2003


i mean, if you owned corporation A and had a spokesperson that made statements that would negatively impact your business, what would you do?

probably sack them. but you forgot to demonstrate how exactly Danny Glover negatively impacted MCI's business.

Hmmm...liberal points of view aren't exactly well liked in America...

who told you that? wait, don't tell me!

Do you think Charlton Heston could get a job shilling long-distance service?

you know he could. and his fans would trip over themselves to switch.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:09 AM on May 20, 2003


The mother fucker won't let Mexicans in the White House.

minya, OF COURSE he won't! talk around the country club is that mexicans are only good for gardening and lawn maintenance. for house slaves, nothing else will do but filipinos.
posted by quonsar at 6:21 AM on May 20, 2003


Not sure what to believe. This is the response I got from MCI when I wrote them:

Thank you for contacting MCI ® e-Customer Service.

We sincerely value your opinion about our advertising.

I have received your concern regarding Danny Glover. Our contract
with Danny Glover runs through January 2004 and we intend to honor
our contract. With the campaign having run its course, we are moving
to new creative which is more closely tied to our new MCI corporate
branding campaign in terms of its look and feel.

We are always available to discuss your concerns and help ensure
that you make the most of MCI's e-Customer Service. If you have any
additional questions or concerns, please visit our website at
www.mci.com.

Sincerely,

Trent
e-Customer Service


My guess is Scarborough is full of shit!
posted by bas67 at 6:23 AM on May 20, 2003


"moving to new creative which is more closely tied to our new MCI corporate branding campaign in terms of its look and feel."

ah. white guy waving a flag, no doubt.
posted by quonsar at 6:27 AM on May 20, 2003


Media coverage makes it sound like there's a lot of outrage, but so far he hasn't been dropped.

Tom Tomorrow posted this tidbit to his blog:

Joe Scarborough, whose show I--along with the vast majority of Americans for a change--have never watched, is claiming that his influence is so vast that MCI was forced to drop Danny Glover from its ad campaign.

Before this meme is spread too widely, I want to note that last winter, well before the war, well before Joe Scarborough even had a television show that no one was watching, I had dinner with a friend who is well-placed within the ad agency which produces those MCI commercials, and according to my friend, the scuttle even then was that MCI was trying to figure out a way to dump Danny Glover because they didn't want to be associated with his anti-war views.

In short, Scarborough's victory is as nonexistent as his triumphalism is pathetic.

posted by O9scar at 7:59 AM on May 20, 2003


yep, that would be why sennoma posted it above. :-)
posted by quonsar at 9:37 AM on May 20, 2003


son_of_minya and mc sweetie: you may be right, but my instinct says that coporations choose safe spokespeople who appeal to a broad audience.

I'd welcome evidence of any ad campaign for a mass-marketed product (eg: for bar soap, not for NRA or ACLU membership) that featured Charlton Heston, Rush Limbaugh, Susan Sarandon or any other politically controversial figure.

Bob Dole for Viagra doesn't count. He's merely conservative, not controversial.
posted by scarabic at 9:43 AM on May 20, 2003


but you forgot to demonstrate how exactly Danny Glover negatively impacted MCI's business.

The point is not that he did but that he was dumped because he might -- and regardless of where that impression is coming from (public sentiment or a blowhard editorialist) it is in a company's best interest to disentangle themselves from any association which might cause them to lose customers.

This thread leads me to wonder, who is allowed to call for a charge to boycott (or threaten a boycott) a company because of some business decision it has made?
posted by Dreama at 10:50 AM on May 20, 2003


Do you think Charlton Heston could get a job shilling long-distance service?

Without a doubt, I think that if he were in full control of his faculties he'd be brimming with offers. From what I understand, though, his dementia is so advanced that he can make long-distance calls without the use of a telephone.

Some on the right are arguing that MCI's decision - and that of Cumulus Media, to ban the Dixie Chicks - is not tantamount to McCarthyism because the government isn't involved. The point is, the government does not have to get involved to crack down on those who might criticize the administration - they've got corporations that stand to gain from administration decisions more than willing to do it for them.

After all, MCI's has had some interesting luck this week, haven't they? And Cumulus Media has much to gain if the FCC, as anticipated, further relaxes restrictions on media ownership.

MCI is fully within its rights to can Glover, but unfortunately, given their position, such a move cannot help but be seen as taken for purely political reasons.
posted by kgasmart at 12:16 PM on May 20, 2003


son_of_minya and mc sweetie: you may be right, but my instinct says that coporations choose safe spokespeople who appeal to a broad audience.

Glover did appeal to a broad audience. The ads were extremely popular. Nobody was complaining except a small group of very vocal people.

What is scary is that that small group of vocal people has been given a large measure of control, and that the current political climate in this country has made this possible. Whether or not Glover's espoused political philosophies are or are not offensive, we have seen that it is possible to hurt someone's career by implying that they might be. We have seen that there is a huge amount of fear in this country, and that certain groups have learned how to harness that fear for their own political purposes. I do not see how this could be a sign of a healthy society.
posted by Hildago at 3:22 PM on May 20, 2003


Papa Smurf seems to be more of a communist to be honest.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:28 PM on May 20, 2003


scarabic: I highly recommend reading Free Speech or Propaganda: How the Media Distorts the Truth by Marlin Maddoux. He was one of the first Rush Limbaughs, and he outlines the right-wing "grass roots" conspiracy really well in that book. He even claims to be the inventor of the letter campaign.

This "Scarborough Country-led campaign" is no different than O'Reilly's vendetta against Ludacris. It's just the latest trend in the media.

Marlin Maddoux said that the media has a liberal bias because they perceive their views simply as being "correct" or "educated" views, and many people have said the same thing. So, I think what we're seeing now is a shift in what is "correct" or "educated" -- basically a shift in the establishment view on all levels.

Can I name a controversial celebrity who has endorsed a product? A more appropriate question would be: Can I name a celebrity who is not controversial? Brittany Spears, Michael Jackson, Pepsi...just to ring a few bells. That's without even considering extremely offensive celebrities who were not at the time recognized as being offensive, like O.J. "Double Trouble" Simpson.
posted by son_of_minya at 5:10 PM on May 20, 2003


Let's get right to the point: Scarborough works for MSNBC, MCI are (potential) advertisers on MSNBC, and MSNBC doesn't want advertisers that present a personality (Glover) with different viewpoints than the ones the network wants to present — so MSNBC has Scarborough lead a campaign to make MCI drop Glover.

It makes perfect sense: They don't want to lose ad revenue, so it'd be in MSNBC's best interest to have MCI drop their spokesman rather then the network to stop any business with MCI.

That's the bottom line.
posted by Down10 at 2:25 AM on May 21, 2003


No offense, but isn't that essentially Chomsky's line? That despite the fact that there are no explicit controls on what can be published, the dominant media toe a party line in the interests of what he calls (I believe) the Ruling Elite. Glover (or anyone else with media connections) can technically say whatever he wants but in effect if he says anything politically incorrect he will be punished by being denied work. I'm sure it's in Manufacturing Consent somewhere. It's such a long time since I read it and the statistics made my head spin rather.
posted by Grangousier at 3:55 AM on May 21, 2003


Down10 nails it.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:11 PM on May 23, 2003


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