Over the weekend, CNBC reported on five companies that halted all advertisements of their products on Fox News’ Sean Hannity show. These companies included:
- 23 and Me
- Nature’s Bounty
The story began last Thursday, with the sexual allegations against Roy Moore, the Alabama senate candidate who, The WaPo reported that day, made sexual advances towards four teenagers when he was in his early 30s. As of today, there is even a fifth women accusing Moore of sexual misconduct.
After the story broke on Thursday, Fox host Sean Hannity came out and asked his audience to give Moore the benefit of the doubt. According to NYTimes,
Mr. Hannity, describing those actions on his radio show while speaking with a co-host, Lynda McLaughlin, seemed to justify Mr. Moore’s reported conduct by calling one of the encounters “consensual.”
Hours later "On his television show, Mr. Hannity said that the statement “was absolutely wrong” and that he “misspoke.” He then brought up the possibility of accusers lying for money, or for political purposes."
The following day, Angelo Carusone, President of Media Matters, a ‘politically progressive media watchdog’ that monitors “conservative misinformation in the U.S. media” said this to Keurig:
Good afternoon @Keurig. You are currently sponsoring Sean Hannity's show. He defends child molester Roy Moore and attacks women who speak out against sexual harassment. Please reconsider.— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) November 10, 2017
On Saturday, Keurig responded by saying “we worked with our media partner and FOX news to stop our ad from airing during the Sean Hannity Show”.
Angelo, thank you for your concern and for bringing this to our attention. We worked with our media partner and FOX news to stop our ad from airing during the Sean Hannity Show.— Keurig (@Keurig) November 11, 2017
What happened next was a firestorm on social media that swept across the United States late Saturday into Sunday. The bulk of the trend #BoycottKeurig exploded on Sunday, as many conservatives who have boycotted the NFL because of kneeling problems, decided they had to urgently get involved in the latest bitter debate splitting America. We start with ‘Snoop Baily’ who smashed the living hell out of Keurig with a driver.
To keep it short, this is what it looks like when a sizable chunk of the US decides to go "Office Space":
For a while, Hannity played along with the trend empowering it to grow through his enormous social media network as conservatives were called to action to smash Keurig machines. As the day closed, he then told his audience that he was buying 500 coffee makers to give away on Monday.
Deplorable friends, I am buying 500 coffee makers tomorrow to give away!! Details on radio and TV. Hint; best videos!!— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 13, 2017
On Monday, however, the Krush The Keurig fun ended when Hannity told his audience to stop smashing the Coffee machines, after Keurig CEO apologizes for ‘taking sides’…
Hannity asks supporters to stop smashing their Keurig machines, says he'll replace the ones already smashed pic.twitter.com/YVVpbXw6RU— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) November 13, 2017
Moore's sexual allegations aside, which have yet to be rejected or confirmed, what is more concerning is the blind willingness of substantial portions of the population to succumb to instant mobilization through social media and or a media figure(s), to collectively work as a unit in completing tasks, in this case the destruction of one's own property. Ironically, something tells us that for Keurig the news that its machines were being "Office Spaced" across the nation, was music to the CEO's ears (think replacement value), not to mention the unprecedented media exposure as virtually everyone spent the day talking about the incident (think unlimited advertising).
Keurig is getting more airtime than any other advertiser on Hannity's show— Pardes Seleh (@PardesSeleh) November 13, 2017
There's more: as The Atlantic writes, "in destroying Keurig machines also clearly aligns these people with a global environmentalist movement. In 2015, the “Kill the K-Cup” campaign took hold among those concerned about the net waste of so many pods. A Canadian advocate encouraged people to publicly abandon the machines."
Now America finds itself in the midst of hordes of angry people with clubs who will soon be going through caffeine withdrawal. They could go to Starbucks, though the chain has also been condemned and boycotted by some isolationist conservatives, since earlier this year it promised to hire 10,000 refugees in response to President Trump’s executive order barring them from the country.
Meanwhile, always eager to ride on the latest social media trend, corporate America has promptly noticed the events over the past 72 hours, and it is guaranteed that many more companies will follow in Keurig's activist footsteps. Who knows: the resultant breaking and smashing of various "resistance" products may just end up being the CapEx spark that the US economy so desperately needs...