Friday, April 06, 2012

Fox Rushes To Defend ALEC After Coca-Cola Cuts Ties With Group

by Marcus Feldman/Media Matters


Coca-Cola, one of its corporate sponsors, has cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) after advocacy group Color of Change had called for a boycott of Coca-Cola due to its ties with ALEC. And Fox hasn't wasted much time coming to ALEC's defense.
As the Huffington Post reported:
The soft-drink company has severed its tieswith the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a conservative lobbying group that drafts legislation and sends it out to lawmakers. ALEC's fingerprints have been found on bills and laws in a number of states, and the group's opponents have grown resistant to what they call ALEC's efforts to shape the legislative agenda in a way that harms minority and low-income voters.
[...]
On Wednesday, the advocacy group Color of Change called for a boycott of Coca-Cola, one of the companies that sits on ALEC's elite Private Enterprise Board, citing ALEC's efforts to get voter ID laws passed.
In response, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed ALEC communications director Kaityln Buss to discuss Coca-Cola's departure. Did Kelly ask about funding ALEC receives from the controversial Koch brothers? Did Kelly ask why ALEC was pushing for voter ID laws in the absence of evidence of voter fraud? Did Kelly ask about ALEC pushing the "Stand Your Ground" laws that have become infamous in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case?
No. She just provided a platform for ALEC to paint itself as innocuous.




Here's a list of Kelly's questions during the segment:
KELLY: So Coke has bailed, in response to the pressure from these groups. Walmart not so much, not yet anyway. What do you make of the threats that these groups are facing, the threat of boycott?
KELLY: Your point is it's not a partisan organization, but to get the things that you want enacted, you have to have money, and you have to get the word out, and you get that from donor like Coca-Cola, like Walmart. But now, no longer Coca-Cola, because some groups on the left have organized to put pressure on that group to not fund you, in particular because they don't like your push for voter ID laws, and my question to you is what do you think of that?
KELLY: That's what Walmart came out and said. They said look, we don't necessarily agree with every single position, you know, the entities that we give money to support, but we're not going to bail on this particular group. But the group that is going after you and your supporters has come out and said that "many leading organizations have left your organization," and I quote, "as it moves to the extreme right," your response?
KELLY: I know. They came out and said that by funding ALEC, Coca-Cola and others are supporting an effort to disenfranchise African Americans, Latinos, students, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor. That's how they stand. And I want to ask you, a couple weeks ago a guy named Mark Stevens, who was pressured to boycott Rush Limbaugh as an advertiser, but refused came on the program and said this about the pressure he was facing from some groups on the left. Stand by:
MARK STEVENS (video clip): They have called my people in my company, they have called the women in my company and told them they're women haters, the most horrible terms, they've told me -- these are tens of thousands of emails by the way, most of them positive, but the small group, they told us that we're under surveillance. The email subject lines say citizen of the internet, police of the internet, Mark you're in danger, your house is going to be shown up by buses, your businesses are going to be destroyed, your people are in trouble. This is terrorism, why don't we start calling it what it is. You don't have to commit an act of bloodshed for there to be terrorism, you have to invoke a sense of fear.   
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