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Ford Flack: Bill O'Reilly Is 'Hopelessly Pig-Headed' [Boycotts]

Blogger Amanda Terkel exacted revenge on the O'Reilly Factor for stalking and ambushing her on a desolate Virginia street: She got UPS to stop advertising, and a Ford spokesman to trash the show.

Terkel and the lefty activist group she works for, Clintonite John Podesta's Center for American Progress, have been trying to get an advertising boycott of Factor going based on the ambush incident. It involves the usual annoying tactic of having total strangers forward some kind of redundant form letter, by email.

But this campaign is actually working. After promising "further investigation," shipping company UPS released this statement the next day, about as close as you get to "ya, he's an a-hole so we pulled our ads" as you get in the corporate world:

UPS Statement (3/27/09)
Thank you for sending an e-mail expressing concern about UPS advertising during the Bill O’Reilly show on FOX News. We do consider such comments as we review ad placement decisions which involve a variety of news, entertainment and sports programming. At this time, we have no plans to continue advertising during this show.

Actually, a Ford spokesman sent Terkel an even more blunt email about how terrible Factor host Bill O'Reilly is, but the struggling car company quickly and hilariously retracted this accidental disclosure of one flack's true feelings:

...while I agree with you about the rantings of the hopelessly pig-headed Mr. O’Reilly, recognize that I am just an innocent bystander in this email letter silliness... Frankly, as a mainstream company, we advertise everywhere there are good ratings. That is not an endorsement of the show — that is recognition that people are watching the show. Don’t know why they watch that mindless ranting....

I saw the tapes of O’Reilly ambushing Hertzberg of the New Yorker a few month back. It demonstrated how moronic O’Reilly really is. I still read Hertzberg weekly in the New Yorker. And I never, ever watch Bill O’Reilly. Don’t know when he is on. Don’t care...

If I had more time, I’d visit Too busy trying to get Ford back on its feet though. That is important. What Bill O’Reilly does or says is not important.

– spokesman Mark Schirmer, 3/25/09, speaking for himself and not on behalf of the Ford Motor Company

UPDATE: Mark Truby, Director of Corporate Communications at Ford Motor Company, tells ThinkProgress over the phone on 3/25/09, Shirmer’s “comments don’t represent the view of Ford Motor Company.”

One would think any media buyer worth his salt would be familiar with the O'Reilly Factor's long history of controversy, and expect these sorts of boycott efforts. But apparently actually physically following someone from her apartment into another state, without so much as a phone call first, is too much even for strong-stomached advertisers.


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