Really. It’s true. For as many times as naysayers believe boycotts don’t work, they actually do.
If you’re interested in what really led to Beck having to say ta-ta to his show, you should read this entry by The Atlanta Post. They get it right.
The reason why naysayers believe boycotts don’t work is because 1) results from those in power are expected almost immediately and when it doesn’t happen the next day, it’s considered questionable, and 2) they’ve seen boycotts that DON’T work and don’t learn lessons.
Remember when the AFA was going to boycott Disney because Disney World dared to host an annual “gay day?” Well, if you remember it at all, you know how that turned out, because it was a big fat failure. Most Americans, even then, didn’t give a shit, but the right wing Christians did enough to let this turd of an idea linger for nine years.
The boycott of Beck was going to work not just because most people saw him as loony, but you just knew he was going to get worse. From calling reverse racism to going after George Soros to confusing fascism and communism, eventually he was going to blame just about everybody for America’s being less than great–and that’s what was grating on most peoples’ nerves.
His only advertisers remaining, after over 300 left his show, were the pathetic infomercial types that would normally air at 2am when most people were asleep or, at the very least, really not paying attention. The show was hemorrhaging money, so in effect Fox had to subsidize this turkey, making the “liberal” move of throwing money at the problem.
When you are sure you have the public on your side, boycotts can work. Even the threat of a boycott can work as evidenced by the about-faces by Ford Corporation and Microsoft when they both made anti-gay moves. But the blanket statement that boycotts don’t work is bullshit. They’ve worked plenty of times in the past. They just don’t work for those who don’t have the public behind them.