Kellogg’s dumps Breitbart, Breitbart returns the favor
December 6, 2016
Kellogg’s has invoked the wrath of Breitbart. The food company and conglomerate that makes a variety of products from Special K to Pringles decided last week, alongside Target and Allstate, to cease its advertisements on the conservative, alt-right website. Kellogg’s stated it does not support Breitbart’s views, which some consider to be far-fetched.
“Being right like myself, I think what separates us is, [for me] rights aren’t anything about race, the alt-right is more towards race,” senior Justin Valle said. “For example, they hate feminism, Muslims and gays. I’m pretty right sided, maybe I’m the only one, but that’s just ridiculous. Whatever you believe, whoever you are, you shouldn’t be defined by that, but defined by your work ethic and how you treat people.”
Breitbart News is a conservative website that found a reader base in white nationalists, people who support the idea of white racial unity. Some see the alt-right–and white nationalism–as an alternative to the establishment Republicans, while others view it as a politically correct term for white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Senior Lawrence Kinkade believes Breitbart can represent extremely conservative views, but that the site overall keeps a fair view apart from that.
“I’m a pretty conservative person, but I think Breitbart’s alternate conservative/white nationalism views lean a little too much to the right,” Kinkade said. “But those views have caught the attention of a lot of people. I think those views are a little crazy.”
The site rose to greater prominence due to the executive chairman, Stephen Bannon, working closely with president-elect Trump as his campaign manager and now his senior adviser. The reader base is 45 million strong, meaning the site has the ears and eyes of 14 percent of the country.
In the wake of various companies cutting ties with the controversial and growing Breitbart, the website published an article calling for the boycott of all Kellogg’s goods under the hashtag #dumpKelloggs. Breitbart referred to the actions of the companies which distanced themselves as a war waged by liberal companies and “left-wing totalitarians” on conservative consumers, directly referring to them as “bigots” and “anti-American.” Both Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow as well as President and CEO Larry Solov commented in the article, expressing indignation toward what they described as companies standing against the American people’s ideals and belief, which Breitbart claims to represent.
“The media recently has been blowing things up with stuff that has no relevance and I think with Breitbart they are just dramatizing the situation in this case,” Kinkade said. “Look I’m kind of mixed on this issue, because Breitbart suggests racism and sexism in some articles and it will hurt Kellogg’s because anytime a corporation appears on the news in correlation with something negative they obviously are going to lose market value.”
In the past, companies have received heat for taking stances in regards to politics. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno both attempted to prevent Chick-Fil-A from building a restaurant in their cities following President Dan Cathy openly expressing his support for “biblical” marriage—marriage between a man and a woman–and claiming America would be judged for gay marriage. People pushed to boycott the chain and protested against him.
Hobby Lobby also came under fire for refusing to provide coverage of certain contraceptives, in violation of the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare), for female employees due to the religious beliefs of the family owned corporation, raising the question: are companies people? Do they have the right to freedom of religion? The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in a five to four decision, temporarily answering yes to both questions.
“Well I understand why [Breitbart] got mad but it is freedom of speech,” Valle said. “Everyone’s gotta remember it goes both ways.”