Sunday, March 04, 2012

Choosing your friends wisely

 Here's yet another letter I've written lately, this one to Carbonite CEO David Friend, re: Limbaugh's ridiculous show (how is that still on the air?) 

Mr Friend -

  You don't know me, but I am glad to find your contact information here on your website - it is a good sign when the president of the company encourages his consumers to contact him.  I hope that this e-mail, although serious in tone, will be a welcome one.  I am a loyal Carbonite customer for nearly three years now, and I love your product & services.  I have enjoyed the simplicity of your product (the not having to remember whether I backed things up already, especially) and the quality of support I have received from your employees during my time as a Carbonite consumer.  I also am quite glad to be able to support a local company.*  I know that because, as much as I am able, I aim to be a conscientious consumer, which means supporting the local economy when it's possible, as well as shopping around for value, doing research into business practices, etc.  By that means, and my own experiences, I have learned a number of positive things regarding your company and your services.  However, I have quite recently become aware of an issue that has lead me to seriously consider ending my relationship with your company - the fact that you are listed as a major sponsor of the Rush Limbaugh show. 

 Your company certainly has the right to place ads with whomever they choose, and I'm sure (for reasons that are baffling to me as a human being) that there are benefits to being associated with the Limbaugh show that I, since I am totally unconcerned with media relations, am completely unaware of - Someone must listen to that show, because it is still on the air.  What I am concerned with, however is the fact that the show you sponsor is a show in which the host has repeatedly made comments that are misogynistic, racist, homophobic, ableist, and destructive to our country - and to specific individuals as well.  I believe that his speech, while perfectly legal and protected under the 1st Amendment, is often amoral - his latest debacle of calling a woman who dared to speak about her own reproductive & health care needs a "slut", for example -, hateful, hypocritical, and ignorant.  There is nothing to support about a man, a show, a program, who sees nothing wrong with calling the first lady "uppity" or thinks that using the term "feminazi" is appropriate in any context (let alone repeatedly and with glee).  There is no way I want my money to go a company who thinks it worth their time & money to support a man who thinks it's ok to tell an African-American caller to "take the bone out of your nose and call me back," or to encourage the use of slurs like 'retard', because "Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards. I mean these people, these liberal activists are kooks. They are looney tunes. And I’m not going to apologize for it."  Are those the words of a man you want representing your company?

I really hope not.

I honestly hope that your company chose this sponsorship based on some random financial calculations - that some math wizard in your advertising department said: 'Hey, look: this is where the money could be.' and you followed along, not knowing that cost would be a real sense of integrity for your company.  I hope that is the truth of it, and that you do not, in fact, agree with Mr. Limbaugh on any of this subjects (or the millions of other insulting and derogatory remarks he makes on a daily basis against women, people of color, people of religions that are foreign to him, people with physical limitations, etc. 

I understand sometimes that business decisions get made with out all of the facts - like you choosing to sponsor this show, or me choosing to use Carbonite's product.  But we both know the facts now - I know you sponsor a show that contributes only hatred and lies to the national discussion, and now, so do you.  One of us will be making be making a new decision very shortly - either you will end your sponsorship of Mr. Limbaugh's show, or I will end my association with your company.  I will be sorry to do it, for it will make my life more complicated & I think you have a high quality product, but I believe very strongly in the power of words, and I won't use the services of a company who allows such hatred to be spewed in its name.



*Carbonite is, at least in part, Massachusetts-based.

Update: I had this post scheduled to go up today, and late yesterday on Twitter saw that Carbonite had removed their ads from Rush's show due to "the greatest outcry" they've ever seen &  that Rush "overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency".  Win!

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