Lowe's Under Fire for Pulling Ads from TLC's All-American Muslim

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Lowe's Under Fire for Pulling Ads from TLC's All-American Muslim
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Tue, 12-13-2011 - 9:29am

It's shameful that a large US company caves in to this narrow minded, bigoted group the Florida Family Assn.

Are these the 'Family values' we so often hear about?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6r7MxzVOTE&feature=player_embedded

Lowe's faces backlash over pulling ads from 'All-American Muslim' Politicians and activists slam Lowe's choice to stop advertising on a reality TV show about Muslim Americans. The home improvement chain says it did so only after the show became a 'lightning rod.'

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lowes-muslim-20111213,0,5909694.story

Home improvement giant Lowe's Cos. continues to come under heavy criticism from activists, some politicians and customers after pulling its ads from a reality TV show featuring Muslim Americans.

The North Carolina company decided to stop advertising on the show "All-American Muslim," on Discovery Communications Inc.'s TLC channel, after complaints by the Florida Family Assn., a conservative Christian group that lobbies companies to promote "traditional, biblical values."

The association praised the move, but the decision sparked immediate backlash. State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) called the move "bigoted, shameful, and un-American." A petition on SignOn.org that calls on companies to keep advertising on the show has gathered more than 13,000 signatures. Activist and actress Mia Farrow joined the battle in a Twitter post and urged a boycott of Lowe's.

In its defense, Lowe's spokeswoman Karen Cobb said the company had a "long-standing commitment" to diversity and pulled the ads only after the show became "a lightning rod for people to voice complaints from a variety of perspectives." Other companies had also removed their ads from the show, she wrote in an email.

"All-American Muslim," which premiered last month, follows the day-to-day lives of five Muslim American families in Dearborn, Mich., a suburb of Detroit with a large Muslim population. Cast members talk about how their faith affects their actions and choices.

The conservative Christian group, based in Tampa, Fla., called the show "propaganda" that "hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." The organization began an email campaign urging companies to yank their advertising off the show. The group did not respond to an email Monday requesting comment on the reaction to its effort.

Laurie Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the Discovery Network and TLC Network, declined to comment on whether any companies besides Lowe's had pulled their ads. "We stand behind the show 'All-American Muslim,' and we're happy the show has strong advertising support," she wrote in an email.

In a letter, Lieu, the state senator, urged Lowe's to reverse its decision and apologize to Muslim Americans.

"The show is basically about Americans who happen to be Muslim," Lieu said in an interview. "For Lowe's to say that the show is dangerous, or agree that it's dangerous or somehow showing anything other than American Muslims as normal, is quite outrageous."

Lieu said he would consider urging a boycott and drafting a legislative resolution denouncing the company's actions. He said he would give Lowe's until Friday to respond.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim American elected to Congress, issued a statement condemning Lowe's for deciding to "uphold the beliefs of a fringe hate group and not the creed of the 1st Amendment."

At a Lowe's store in Burbank, some customers expressed opposition to the retailer's actions.

"It's pretty ridiculous," said Nate Childress, 28, of North Hollywood. "The show has a great concept, and it's showing a different view of Muslims than what's constantly blasted at us in the U.S."

Childress said that even if the company had a "knee-jerk reaction" to the conservative group, that doesn't excuse its actions. "That just frustrates me, that a company would actually be afraid to advertise on a show about Muslims that aren't terrorists," he said.

Bob Clendenin of Burbank echoed that sentiment. "It just sounds like bigotry," said the 47-year-old actor. "When a company takes a stand like that, that just makes me angry."

He said he would boycott the chain until Lowe's reinstated its ads and apologized.

The broader Muslim American community is also considering taking action, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Muslim community leaders and interfaith groups were meeting to discuss boycotts, petitions, rallies and other forms of protest against Lowe's, he said.

"Hate groups are entitled to their bigotry — that is the beauty of America, people have the right to their own opinions," Ayloush said. "However, when a large corporation takes their side or caves in to the requests of hate groups, that is of concern."

Ayloush wondered what the public reaction would have been if a company had yanked its ads from certain now-classic programs.

"Imagine if Lowe's had decided many years ago to pull out its ads from shows like 'The Cosby Show' or 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' or 'Seinfeld' because they were deemed to portray African Americans and Jews as normal people," he said. "The American public would have been outraged by any corporation who did that."

 


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nwtreehugger wrote:
@ohearto - Gee, when I worked at McD's, I averaged 50 hours a week! But they didn't offer insurance unless you were in management ... we were all high school & college students. I wasn't aware that they offered insurance now. I know that a local burger chain does - they even offer educational assistance! Anyway, getting off topic...yes, other companies do limit hours as well. However, that's only one reason I refuse to shop there. I'm fortunate, I have other options.

I was talking about a local Insurance Company that limits hours.

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"Hate groups are entitled to their bigotry — that is the beauty of America, people have the right to their own opinions," Ayloush said. "However, when a large corporation takes their side or caves in to the requests of hate groups, that is of concern."
Quoted from the article. The only concern I would have is if they forced the bankruptcy or closure of the TLC channel. Or they shut down TV stations because they broadcast shows the religious group doesn't approve of. Or make it impossible to read and acquire books, such as the Harry Potter series (which was a lightening rod to attempt censorship -- big fail, there, good to say! ;)), or the dvds for movies they don't approve of, forcing companies to curtail the TV shows they broadcast, or books or dvds they sell, so that *EVERYONE* is forced to abide by such censoring. Big wrong there! :|

So, this is just a tip of an iceberg of examples of possible dangers of censorship. In this case, I doubt the show will be cancelled or that TLC will be choosing their upcoming shows based on potential censorship efforts. At least, I certainly hope not! It is pitiful that Lowe's kowtowed but they now have crap on their face. Shrug. For being gutless wonders, they deserve it. Isn't it wonderful how the Net brings such bigoted maneuvers to light and it goes "viral?" So everybody knows -- and can make their own determinations and choices accordingly? Now, there is what our country is supposed to stand for -- individual freedoms and exercising them. That Lowe's bowed down to religious bigotry pressures is a disappointment, but in doing so, they are now teaching others about the dangers of censorship by all the controversy they created. A lot of discussion going on about the dangers of censorship or companies (or gov't) giving in to such censorship pressures. And that is a very good thing! Bring it out into the light of day so that freedoms aren't lost because no one knew until it was too late... :)


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



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http://news.yahoo.com/six-waltons-more-wealth-bottom-30-americans-182819449.html

Different people will take this different ways, but Jeffrey Goldberg tells us that six members of the Walton family (the original owners of WalMart) have more wealth than the bottom 30 % of Americans. Here's where he says it:

In 2007, according to the labor economist Sylvia Allegretto, the six Walton family members on the Forbes 400 had a net worth equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans.

And given that he quotes us here at Forbes on the point, he's almost certainly right.

The question is, what are we to make of this point? I think we all know what Mr. Goldberg wants us to make of it, it's a telling indictment of American wealth inequality, the world's going to the dogs and something must be done about rising inequality.

The Waltons are now collectively worth about $93 billion, according to Forbes.
Well, yes, but. Total US household wealth is in the $50 trillion (yes, trillion) to $70 trillion range. The range is depending on whether you want to take before the housing crash or in the middle of it. So the statement is that these Waltons have, between the family, 0.13% of US wealth. Which, for the people who inherited the world's largest (well, certainly the country's) and most successful retailer doesn't sound like a particularly terrible concentration of wealth. It's certainly less than John D Rockefeller had all by his lonesome when he was in his pomp.

But I think it's possible that the comment is more revealing about Mr. Goldberg really, for as Felix Salmon points out, Mr. Goldberg himself has more wealth than the bottom 25% of Americans.

This sounds outrageous, until you stop for a second and take note of the fact that Jeffrey Goldberg, individually, has a net worth greater than the bottom 25% of all Americans.

In fact, given that I have equity in my home and no other debt than mortgage, I have, as is highly likely do all readers of these pages, more wealth than the bottom 25% of Americans added together. For as Felix points us to:
In 2009, roughly 1 in 4 (24.8%) of American households had zero or negative net worth, up from 18.6% in 2007, and 37.1% of households had net worth of less than $12,000, up from 30.0% in 2007.

Wealth is always more unequally distributed than income. By the way, it isn't even true that all of those households with zero or negative wealth are what we would call poor either. It's entirely possible to have no net assets while having a good income, even a high income. All you need to have is debts higher than your assets: something that will almost certainly be true of anyone with student debt and fresh out of college for example. Fresh out of grad school you might well have $100,000, $200,000 of debt, hey, possibly even from medical school you might be carrying $500,000. None of us are actually going to weep all that hard for you though, not you with that associates job at a Wall Street law firm on $100,000 or more, not a newly qualified doctor on hundreds of thousands a year.

I certainly don't mean that all those with negative net household value are in that situation: there are an awful lot of people who are "properly" poor in the way that we all usually understand it.

But this comparison of wealth desn't show us quite what Mr. Goldberg thinks it does. If you've no debts and have $10 in your pocket you have more wealth than 25% of Americans. More than that 25% of Americans have collectively that is.

That a family who have inherited the majority of one of the leading global retailers have more wealth than the bottom 30% of Americans, when compared with how high up the tree a single ten dollar bill gets you, is pretty much worthy of a heartfelt "Meh".

Update 12/15. A Doctor writes to remind me that fresh out of medical school a doctor does not in fact earn good money. Indeed, the one who wrote to me earns $45,000 a year for after that graduation comes residency. It is only after residency that the money starts to flow. I was sloppy in the above: I knew that residency came first and that it was only after full qualification that high incomes are earned.

It wouldn't be unusual for a newly graduated doctor to be carrying $250,000 of debt (from medical school alone) and the interest on this could be another $100,000 through a three year residency (this accumulates but it is possible to defer it, payments do not have to be made during residency). Leading to that $500,000 or so total debt if, as with my correspondent, one was to become a neurosurgeon.
So I was at best sloppy and quite possibly wrong. Although, having looked it up, given that the starting salaries post residency for neurosurgeons seem to be around $400,000 I will admit to not being about to burst into tears over this.

It does raise two interesting points though. The first being that we can almost certainly put every single doctor in residency on our list of people with less than zero wealth. Those education debts are likely to swallow any assets they might have. But we don't normally think of doctors in training as being poor really, one of the points I was making.

The other is that, well, it takes 7 years to get an MD (3 years pre-med at college, four years medical school), then 3 to 7 years residency. So someone might be 32 or so before actually earning the big bucks: and have a perhaps 25 year career after that? How does that change income inequality? When some people only earn for 30 odd years, others for 40 odd?

 

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Registered: 03-18-2000
"I doubt the show will be cancelled or that TLC......."

I agree. I imagine the publicity, because of Lowes' actions, has been good. What's that saying... "There no such thing as bad publicity". ;)

 


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libraone wrote:(snip) What's that saying... "There no such thing as bad publicity". ;)
BWAHAHA! Exactly! :D


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



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Registered: 03-09-2001
"What should have happened is that those who oppose censorship, in all it's forms, should immediately have rallied around Lowes and supported them in keeping their advertising on the show...or even for removing it because, as they claimed, it turned out to be a completely different program than they were led to believe when they first started advertising.


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



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