Steve Jobs disavows Fox News

A few weeks ago, when the Washington Post ran a story on Fox News’ Glenn Beck, the Fox News personality’s inflammatory remarks about the President and progressivism in general made the rounds.

From the article:

By calling President Obama a racist and branding progressivism a “cancer,” Beck has achieved a lightning-rod status that is unusual even for the network owned by Rupert Murdoch. And that, in turn, has complicated the channel’s efforts to neutralize White House criticism that Fox is not really a news organization. Beck has become a constant topic of conversation among Fox journalists, some of whom say they believe he uses distorted or inflammatory rhetoric that undermines their credibility.

Journalists weren’t the only ones who were peeved. Apple boycotted, not just Beck’s program, but all of Fox News. So if you’re a fan, don’t expect to see any bitten fruit commercials on the network — despite the fact that the show in question is one of the most popular ones on a channel ranked #1 in cable news viewership.

In the past, there have been times we’ve all wondered whether Steve Jobs would base business decisions on personal feelings. The DroidDoes, iDon’t ads sparked arguments across the webs, as many of us debated whether Apple would ever get into bed with a carrier (Verizon) who took such potshots at it. And yet those iPhone-Verizon rumors persist, and neither side has definitively put them to rest. (UPDATE: The WSJ thinks a Verizon iPhone actually could be in the works.) Jobs has also been overheard attacking Google behind closed doors, yet was recently spotted amiably chatting up CEO Eric Schmidt at a coffee spot. Further, the Apple chief’s dim view of eReaders, as noted in previous comments that people “don’t read anymore,” gave way to the hype of the eBooks and iBookstore component of his upcoming iPad.

It may not always seem like it, but in the end, Jobs generally seems open to things that could benefit his company’s long-term interests (no matter how much grousing he does in the meanwhile). He is a business man, after all. But in this case, it’s not just about business. This powerful tech CEO found Beck so offensive, he disavowed any relationship with the whole entire network. This decision definitely seems personal.

And to be honest, I’m glad. All too often, companies take little interest in matters that don’t directly impact their bottom lines. And so they make deals with the devil for advertisements and cross-promotions, with little regard to the value or validity of the content their ads appear with. Anyone who laments the decaying state of journalism (or even entertainment) today need only look at ratings to understand why: Ratings determine ad revenue, so sensationalist content always seems to be king. Why provide something of value if you can just throw a reality show up there, with people backstabbing and fist-fighting with each other, and get a bigger viewership? Or in this case, why shouldn’t networks spotlight a controversial figure making radical statements, if advertisers continue to support that?

For once, however, it seems that this may not actually be the case here. Despite the popularity of Beck’s show, ad revenue hasn’t exactly been easy to come by:

More than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck’s program, making it difficult for Fox to sell ads. The time has instead been sold to smaller firms offering such products as Kaopectate, Carbonite, 1-800-PetMeds and Goldline International. A handful of advertisers, such as Apple, have abandoned Fox altogether. Network executives say they believe they could charge higher rates if the host were more widely acceptable to advertisers.

Despite giving up a promotional opportunity to reach masses of the mainstream population, I believe Apple did the right thing. I’m often gobsmacked by some of Cupertino’s decisions, so it’s heartening to see one I can really get behind.

Side note: I imagine that a Fox News iPad app won’t be in the works. Or if it is, what’s the likelihood of it getting approved? I’m guessing not very.

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Via: PhoneDog, The Hollywood Reporter, TUAW, Washington Post

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  • Wayne

    Not sure why Steve Jobs would support a radical, socialist regime by using his corporate muscle to silence the open, honest speaking Fox News’ Glenn Beck? There is a reason why the show in question is one of the most popular ones on a channel ranked #1 in cable news viewership… Glen speaks for the silent majority!

  • fuzzy

    @Wayne

    It’s incredibly sad und alarming how almost half the population of an entire country (USA) can be stupid enough to call Obama “radical” or a “socialist”. This man is by far the best, most intelligent and most ambitious President you have had in decades!

    For example: Why won’t you Rednecks realize that a health care insurance for everyone is essential in a modern society.

    “There is a reason why the show in question is one of the most popular ones on a channel ranked #1 in cable news viewership… Glen speaks for the silent majority!”

    What you do here is mixing up majority and truth. THOSE ARE NOT THE SAME!

    If the majority thinks as the bitching slanderer Becker does, then you should also worry about your educational system.

    Greetings from Europe

    • rhomaion

      @fuzzy

      Glad your in Europe because we don’t need more of you “thinkers” over here.

      First off, Obama is a fail. He is pushing a healthcare agenda on a country that is already ailing. If every individual that could work was working then it would be a different story, but it’s NOT! That is truth.

      Secondly, he is honestly not the best President we have had in decades. Since you have to be kidding me I will kid too. The best President had to be Bill Clinton. He had so many dealings with middle eastern countries I’m surprised that Iran hasn’t nuked Israel and the United States. Now that’s a good ol’ Democrat for ya!

      P.S. There’s a reason their political symbol is a jack ass.

  • Solange82200

    Yeah, that reason Wayne is that he is entertaining. Doesn’t necessarily mean he is right, or sane for that matter. Thank you Steve Jobs, it’s about time more companies start disavowing Faux “News”

  • azguy

    Steve Jobs is missing a whole demographic to market too which would help revenues for them. He needs to look out for shareholders, not his personal belief. But don’t worry, if Mr. Socialist President has his way, all those shareholders won’t be able to keep their money anyway so I guess it really doesn’t matter what happens.

    @fuzzy
    And if you don’t believe Obama is a Socialist, take a look at who he surrounds himself with. Take a look at what he has written. Take a look at what he has said. Then, take a look at what socialism is. Take a look at what a progressive stands for.

    So here is to our next president, one who believes in the constitution as it was written and will uphold it, one who believes in the freedom our founding fathers stood for and died for, one who believes that the men and women who have died for this country didn’t die in vain.

  • AdamZ

    AZGUY: I couldn’t have said it any better…

    How many times must a man look you directly in the eye and lie before you stop trusting him…?

  • Phil F.

    I had never watched Glenn Beck until I noticed all of the hooplah in the media and comments sections like these that seem to take issue with him. I’ve watched his show off and on for the past 6 months and what I’ve found is that he tends to quote political figures and activists from past interviews, video clips, books, etc and present them to his audience. When possible he uses video to present the person speaking for all to see. Beck never states that people should believe him, in fact he implores viewers to “not take [his] word for it, do your own homework…and listen to them in their own words.”
    What I think is remarkable is that Steve Jobs has never taken this stance against Keith Olbermann and MSNBC for his continual rants when Bush was in office. This has nothing to do with with anything other than political ideology. Jobs is clearly a Democrat, if not a liberal Democrat. That being the case if you see someone like Beck present arguments against someone (Obama) who is in line with your political ideology you’re going to think that Beck is being divisive and that someone like Olbermann is just “speaking the truth”. PERIOD.