Russell Pearce's supporters just sent out this email.
Sen. Pearce and I are calling on all conservatives across Arizona to boycott businesses which advertise with the Phoenix New Times.The PNT is entirely reliant on ad revenue to fund its pro-amnesty, anti-Arpaio, pro-illegal immigration agenda that rabidly attacks Arizona law enforcement, Arizona conservatives and the community leaders and public servants who dare oppose their dangerous, leftist beliefs.
That companies such as local auto dealers, Harkins Theaters and many local restaurants we all patronize fund this campaign against Sheriff Arpaio is something that cannot go on. Corporate responsibility is not limited just to environmental causes and the like. Arizona businesses are (possibly inadvertently) funding the Left’s campaign for lawlessness, crime, illegal immigration, amnesty and worse.
http://www.banamnestynow.com/buy-cott/and in each week’s edition of THE RUSSELL PEARCE SHOW, live on Monday’s at 7pm on KFNX News Talk Radio 1100.
Could this work? The Limbaugh boycott has fizzled, and boycotts are so retro--and so over-called for--that they seem to have lost any punch. In fact, a few years ago I would have said that Pearce is wasting his time, but now I'm not so sure. There are a some factors at play that might just make a Pearce-led boycott an effective tool:
First, New Times itself has changed. We think of New Times as liberal, but it's really more anti-authoritarian. The paper was certainly a pain in Napolitano's backside. Now that the state has a Conservative Governor and Legislature, New Times' anti-authoritarian outlook is also a hard left outlook. The paper has also become a one note tune that's anti Arpaio all the time.
These changes will not be lost on advertisers. After all, Arpaio/Pearce supporters can go to, say, Dan Harkins and rightly say that New Times is trying to destroy them personally. We can debate how much popular support Arpaio/Pearce enjoy, but the number is not small. If Arpaio/Pearce supporters simply stop attending Harkins theaters, that would be noticed. If they start demonstrating in front of Harkins Theaters that would be huge. Harkins would be foolish to risk even one protest for whatever benefit he gets from New Times ads.
Which leads to the second point. New Times has picked up some "respectable" advertisers. Nothing against car alarms, breast augmentation and tatoo removal but those industries are unlikely to care about Russell Pearce's views on anything. Car dealers, restaurants, movie theaters and yes, breast augmentation surgeons however, will be sensitive to large pro-Arpaio crowds in their parking lots. Pearce is smart enough to use the Alinsky rules and will target, freeze personalize and polarize individual advertisers--and not just in Mesa. Shutting down the Harkins megaplex at Scottsdale and the 101 on the opening night of each summer Blockbuster would be a powerful message.
Next, the world is changing in three important ways that will have the potential to make the boycott successful. First is that Pearce can get his message out through the social media, twitter, email plus his radio show. I know that everyone uses social media now, and it may not be the organizational panacea that people claim, but it is very effective for organizing a midsized--a few thousand--group of highly motivated individuals. And having a thousand people break into groups of five or ten and target New Times' 50 biggest advertisers for a few weekends can only be organized--and reported--through social media.
The Internet also gives advertisers more choices. Businesses shouldn't be expected to forgo revenue just because someone is offended by their advertising choices. But now they don't have to. Newspaper advertising is now one of many alternatives and if companies took the money they spent on those full page ads and devoted those same resources to their own social media campaigns they might be better off.
Newspaper economics have also changed. It's not like Pearce is trying to take out New Times at its anti Mecham, anti Symington peak. New Times used to run 224 pages now its often fewer than 100. Newspapers are on life support. Pearce is just going to stand on its oxygen hose.
This boycott is different because Pearce is not trying to change behavior. Most groups launch a boycott because they oppose a specific policy...the company doesn't hire enough minority workers, it offers benefits to its gay employees, it uses sweatshops in Thailand...but Pearce doesn't want to change New Times, he wants to bankrupt New Times. The paper is not ever going to stop opposing him. His only option is to ignore it or destroy it. He's been ignoring it for years and look where it got him.
The Pearce boycott is unlikely to actually drive New Times out of business, but he will hurt them and he may even manage to tip the balance and finish them off.