Keith Yazmir on FOX and Friends
Keith Yazmir, partner at maslansky luntz + partners, and Scott Blakeman, comedian and columist, sit down with FOX Business Network anchor and working mom Melissa Francis to debate the appropriateness of calls for boycotts and firings at media institutions in response to controversial behavior. The focus of the conversation focuses on the current contention surrounding Rush Limbaugh’s branding of female law student Sandra Fluke as “a slut” when she spoke for health insurance coverage of birth control. The incident has resulted in sponsors pulling their ads from his show and the calling on Clear Channel to fire Rush.
Bill O’Reilly of The O’Reilly Factor believes this reaction to be unAmerican, citing the media’s protection under the first amendment right to free speech. Scott Blakeman agrees with O’Reilly. He makes the case that boycotts affect a broadcaster’s livelihood and cites an example of Bill Maher, a left leaning political commentator and talk show host, calling Sarah Palin a “cunt”. Keith Yazmir counters by reasoning that though the power of a boycott can be chilling, the first amendment guarantees any Americans the right to say whatever they want. It does not guarantee the right to a television or radio show.