BuzzFeed Refuses to Run Trump Ads; Hillary Ads Still OK

 

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed announced today that they will not accept or run any ads for the Trump campaign. The popular news and entertainment website terminated a $1.3 million deal with the Republican National Committee due to the presumptive GOP nominee’s rhetoric and campaign positions.

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti informed employees of the decision in an email:

Since signing this advertising deal, Donald Trump, as you know, has become the presumptive nominee of his party. The tone and substance of his campaign are unique in the history of modern US politics. Trump advocates banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, he’s threatened to limit the free press, and made offensive statements toward women, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and foreign nationals.

Earlier today Buzzfeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them. The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.

We don’t need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers. And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations. This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign.

We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.

BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith insisted that the decision will not affect the news coverage whatsoever since it was a business decision, not an editorial one. But is there any way journalists can cover a campaign fairly when their publisher has declared one of the candidates (and not the one with a pending FBI investigation) “hazardous to our health?”

There are 37 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. livingthehighlife Inactive
    livingthehighlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Ricochet Editor's Desk: BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith insisted that the decision will not affect the news coverage whatsoever since it was a business decision, not an editorial one. But is there any way journalists can cover a campaign fairly when their publisher has declared one of the candidates (and not the one with a pending FBI investigation) “hazardous to our health?”

    I believe him.

    Most lefty journalists hate Republicans anyway, and even if Romney was the nominee they would cover him more critically than Hillary.  So I don’t expect this to change their view that Republicans, led by Trump, are bigoted, misogynistic homophobes.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Nobody ever expects Buzzfeed to cover any topic fairly. You might as well demand fair and balanced coverage from Vox, Huffpo, MSNBC, the Village Voice, Jezebel, Mother Jones, The Daily Show, Funny or Die, etc.

    • #2
  3. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    It calls to mind that time when the HuffPo rather pompously stated:

    After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow.

    Which as we all know effectively killed his campaign. No doubt BuzzFeed’s decision here will be equally devastating.

    • #3
  4. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    If I’ve been reading the arguments from the Pro-Trump people correctly: There is no problem with this. This is a private organization doing private things with their privately owned website.

    • #4
  5. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Its like they are trying to get trump elected.

    • #5
  6. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Jamie Lockett:

    If I’ve been reading the arguments from the Pro-Trump people correctly: There is no problem with this. This is a private organization doing private things with their privately owned website.

    Yes, exactly so.

    • #6
  7. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Jamie Lockett:If I’ve been reading the arguments from the Pro-Trump people correctly: There is no problem with this. This is a private organization doing private things with their privately owned website.

    Perhaps they are flush with cash and don’t need the ad $’s. That is between the editor and the shareholders in my opinion.

    • #7
  8. Sheila Inactive
    Sheila
    @Sheila

    Misthiocracy:Nobody ever expects Buzzfeed to cover any topic fairly. You might as well demand fair and balanced coverage from Vox, Huffpo, MSNBC, the Village Voice, Jezebel, Mother Jones, The Daily Show, Funny or Die, etc.

    And Fox News……

    • #8
  9. Richard Finlay Inactive
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    But bakers still have to make cakes for anyone, regardless of how they act, talk, etc.  Right?

    • #9
  10. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Sorry to say your headline is a non-point. If I have two diseases in my body, it is not unfair to get rid of only one of them, even if it is better to get rid of both. At any rate, as pointed by others, they can do what they want. They can give HRC free ads for all I care.

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I am really surprised that they can do this legally. My understanding is that if a media outlet accepts advertisements for one candidate, they have to accept advertisements for all candidates.

    Wouldn’t the Equal Time Rule apply?

    • #11
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Dear Reince,

    Heard you wanted to make a huge ad buy. Call us.

    Love,

    Rob L. & Peter R.

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Eds,

    The left is the political philosophy without shame as the democrats are the political party without shame. If HRC was indicted, convicted, and imprisoned, BuzzFeed would still run her ADs.

    Makes sense.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    MarciN:I am really surprised that they can do this legally. My understanding is that if a media outlet accepts advertisements for one candidate, they have to accept advertisements for all candidates.

    Wouldn’t the Equal Time Rule apply?

    That rule only applies to broadcasters.

    • #14
  15. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    MarciN:I am really surprised that they can do this legally. My understanding is that if a media outlet accepts advertisements for one candidate, they have to accept advertisements for all candidates.

    Wouldn’t the Equal Time Rule apply?

    I don’t think it applies since BuzzFeed is not a radio or television station. Although I should point out I’m not in favor of such a law: we were better off when there were competing papers in cities that held strident viewpoints. Plus I’d love a newspaper that carried, say, Mark Steyn mocking the New York Times editorial desk. C’est la vie.

    I do sort of wonder if there’s some sort of penalty they’ll pay for rescinding on the ad buy, or if there’s a clause allowing them to refuse ads as long as the money is returned.

    • #15
  16. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    In other news today, water is still wet.  Film never.

    • #16
  17. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Austin Murrey:

    MarciN:I am really surprised that they can do this legally. My understanding is that if a media outlet accepts advertisements for one candidate, they have to accept advertisements for all candidates.

    Wouldn’t the Equal Time Rule apply?

    I don’t think it applies since BuzzFeed is not a radio or television station. Although I should point out I’m not in favor of such a law: we were better off when there were competing papers in cities that held strident viewpoints. Plus I’d love a newspaper that carried, say, Mark Steyn mocking the New York Times editorial desk. C’est la vie.

    The reasoning behind applying the rule to broadcasters and not to newspapers is that there are a limited number of tv channels and/or radio frequencies available. Since government licenses who gets to use a particular channel/frequency, government can make the equal time rule a condition of that license.

    Since the cost of printing a newspaper is so much less than the cost of operating a broadcaster, and since the government does not license the right to publish a newspaper, there is little need (and even less authority) to regulate political advertising in that industry.

    The cost of operating a website is even less than the cost of printing a newspaper, and again there is no license required to operate a web site, therefore it would be highly inappropriate to apply broadcasting regulations to Internet publishers.

    Q.E.D.

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Misthiocracy:The reasoning behind applying the rule to broadcasters and not to newspapers is that because there are a limited number of tv channels and/or radio frequencies available. Since government assigns/licenses who gets to use a particular channel/frequency, it can make the equal time rule a condition of that license.

    Since the cost of printing a newspaper is so much less than the cost of operating a broadcaster, and since the government does not license the right to publish a newspaper, there is little need (and even less authority) to regulate political advertising in that industry.

    The cost of operating a website is even less than the cost of printing a newspaper, and again there is no license required to operate a web site, therefore it would be highly inappropriate to apply broadcasting regulations on Internet publishers.

    Got it. Okay. Thank you.

    • #18
  19. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    EJHill:Dear Reince,

    Heard you wanted to make a huge ad buy. Call us.

    Love,

    Rob L. & Peter R.

    Trump ads on Ricochet?

    Love the sense of humor.

    • #19
  20. BD Member
    BD
    @

    The staff at National Review has a friendly relationship with Buzzfeed, while they disdain Breitbart.  The disdain for Breitbart is not unjustified,  but favoring Buzfeed over them is.

    • #20
  21. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Richard Finlay:But bakers still have to make cakes for anyone, regardless of how they act, talk, etc. Right?

    Exactly my question…so why does anyone have to participate in a wedding between two or more people when they disagree with each others beliefs?

    • #21
  22. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Misthiocracy:

    Austin Murrey:

    MarciN:I am really surprised that they can do this legally. My understanding is that if a media outlet accepts advertisements for one candidate, they have to accept advertisements for all candidates.

    Wouldn’t the Equal Time Rule apply?

    I don’t think it applies since BuzzFeed is not a radio or television station. Although I should point out I’m not in favor of such a law: we were better off when there were competing papers in cities that held strident viewpoints. Plus I’d love a newspaper that carried, say, Mark Steyn mocking the New York Times editorial desk. C’est la vie.

    The reasoning behind applying the rule to broadcasters and not to newspapers is that there are a limited number of tv channels and/or radio frequencies available. Since government licenses who gets to use a particular channel/frequency, government can make the equal time rule a condition of that license.

    Since the cost of printing a newspaper is so much less than the cost of operating a broadcaster, and since the government does not license the right to publish a newspaper, there is little need (and even less authority) to regulate political advertising in that industry.

    The cost of operating a website is even less than the cost of printing a newspaper, and again there is no license required to operate a web site, therefore it would be highly inappropriate to apply broadcasting regulations on Internet publishers.

    Q.E.D.

    Makes sense, although I’m not entirely fond of the government regulating radio and television licenses either. Based on living in Dallas, where an illegally overpowered radio station in Mexico used to cause chaos with a local AM station (it may still, I just stopped listening) I will acknowledge there would have been some broadcast chaos in total unregulated environment.

    • #22
  23. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    EJHill:Dear Reince,

    Heard you wanted to make a huge ad buy. Call us.

    Love,

    Rob L. & Peter R.

    Only problem is Reince probably wants people to see his ads.

    • #23
  24. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    cdor:

    EJHill:Dear Reince,

    Heard you wanted to make a huge ad buy. Call us.

    Love,

    Rob L. & Peter R.

    Only problem is Reince probably wants people to see his ads.

    Don’t be churlish.  The readership at Ricochet is yuuuge.

    • #24
  25. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    cdor:

    EJHill:Dear Reince,

    Heard you wanted to make a huge ad buy. Call us.

    Love,

    Rob L. & Peter R.

    Only problem is Reince probably wants people to see his ads.

    Don’t be churlish. The readership at Ricochet is yuuuge.

    If I can’t be churlish…well why bother being anything at all?

    • #25
  26. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    EJHill:Dear Reince,

    Heard you wanted to make a huge ad buy. Call us.

    Love,

    Rob L. & Peter R.

    However ads must not include any of the following words or phrases:

    • Mexican, Hispanic, Muslim.
    • China, Mexico.
    • Fence, wall, enclosure, gate, rampart, fortress, turret, dungeon, moat etc.
    • I love ____, I really really love ____ (women, or minority or ethnic or nationality group).
    • The system is rigged, folks, it is completely rigged.
    • absolute disaster.
    • I am really smart, ok? I went to Wharton.
    • They are laughing at us.
    • Crooked.
    • I am really rich.
    • I had experts looking into and it is so bad you wouldn’t believe it.
    • #26
  27. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Austin Murrey: I don’t think it applies since BuzzFeed is not a radio or television station.

    Just wait.  The FCC likes to redefine its own jurisdiction.

    • #27
  28. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Basil Fawlty:

    Austin Murrey: I don’t think it applies since BuzzFeed is not a radio or television station.

    Just wait. The FCC likes to redefine its own jurisdiction.

    And would be doing so already were Buzzfeed banning Hillary ads instead of Trump’s.

    • #28
  29. livingthehighlife Inactive
    livingthehighlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Basil Fawlty:

    Austin Murrey: I don’t think it applies since BuzzFeed is not a radio or television station.

    Just wait. The FCC likes to redefine expand its own jurisdiction.

    FIFY

    • #29
  30. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    And so it begins.  This is how the left will diminish Trump.  They will just shutdown all avenues of free speech for him.  Stop taking his ads.  Stop reporting anything good.  Attack his rallies, tear up his signs, destroy the property that the signs or bumper stickers are on.

    The Left wants the POTUS position badly.  They do not care what they have to do or who they have to hurt to get it.

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.