by WorldTribune Staff, May 31, 2017
A financial services firm with a huge active and retired military clientele has backtracked on its decision to pull its advertising from Fox News’s “Hannity” show.
San Antonio-based USAA said on May 30 it would resume advertising on the show “in response to the uproar that it had a policy against advertising on opinion shows,” Valerie Richardson reported for The Washington Times.
USAA pulled its ads last week from Hannity’s program after the liberal advocacy group Media Matters for America posted a list of 150 companies that advertise on his show, describing him as “a bigot, a sexist and a conspiracy theorist.”
Brent Bozell, Media Research Center president, said USAA received more than 1,600 phone calls in a 48-hour span objecting to the company’s withdrawal from Sean Hannity’s show.
“They did the right think in going back on that show,” Bozell said. “And so long as the other side isn’t participating in personal smears, they should participate on those shows, too.”
Hannity thanked USAA on Twitter after it reversed its decision, saying, “Please support them, they are returning to my show.”
USAA announced on May 26 that it would withdraw its commercials on all opinion outlets before backtracking on May 30.
“The decision to remove our ads had nothing to do with any specific topic on these programs,” USAA spokesman Roger Wildermuth said. “USAA recognizes the value of these programs and believes in free speech. Our policy sought to avoid any suggestion of bias or support for one set of views over another.”
Wildermuth said USAA would resume advertising on other shows where advertising had been suspended, including MSNBC shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, and CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
“We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs,” said Wildermuth in a statement to The Washington Times. “Our goal in advertising has always been to reach members of the military community who would benefit from USAA’s well-known commitment to service. Today, the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred.
“As such, we are reinstating all previously removed ads on programs representing a variety of perspectives while we review our policy to determine how best to apply it in today’s environment and in line with our mission,” he said.
Nine companies, including Cars.com and TD Ameritrade, have said they will no longer advertise on Hannity’s show, according to Media Matters.