Bill O’Reilly, JetBlue, Daily Kos, Susan Collins, and Corporate Contributions
As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly went on a mission this week to get JetBlue to renounce its sponsorship of the upcoming convention held by the liberal website Daily Kos.
Depending on which side you believe, O'Reilly has either been extremely or moderately successful.
Here's what O'Reilly had to say about the subject Friday at the Fox News website (emphasis added):
Well, today the CEO sent us this statement: "Because the only thing JetBlue has done with the YearlyKos Convention is to provide 10 travel vouchers, we've asked to have our name removed from their Web site to avoid confusion. We're an airline, we're not a political organization."
The proprietor of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, though angered about this decision, didn't completely agree that this was a removal of sponsorship per se (emphasis added):
Okay, so JetBlue, after deciding to resist Bill O'Reilly's pressure last night, just decided to back down.
As for my part, I'm cancelling my JetBlue American Express card and will be looking at alternative options for my future travel.
Update II: JetBlue wants me to note that they didn't pull the tickets they donated to the event. So the sponsorship remains, but they are too afraid to let anyone know that they donated those tickets.
Well, that might be one explanation. On the other hand, it's entirely possible that whoever made the decision to get involved in sponsoring this convention didn't know the advocacy level of this website.
After all, corporations aren't allowed to give money to candidates per se, even though they figure out ways to do so by creating political action committees, or having executives donate personally.
Either way, it is possible after the attention created by O'Reilly, JetBlue did indeed take a closer look at the advocacy of Daily Kos, as well as the attendance of exclusively Democrat candidates at said convention, and concluded that its sponsorship might have appeared as a political contribution.
This should have certainly been considered by Moulitsas given the recent banning of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan as a DKos poster due to her intention to run as an independent against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California). At the time, the Kossacks aggressively defended this decision by pointing critics in the direction of website rules that make it clear that management will only assist the election of Democrats.
Tangling the web a tad further, Lance Dutson, the Internet director for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), recently noted a connection between Daily Kos and Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine):
Maine's own representative Tom Allen is a frequent contributor to The Daily Kos, and in fact has his own page there - tom-allen-2008.dailykos.com. Moulitsas and others at Daily Kos were instrumental in driving contributions to the Allen campaign during an online fundraising effort several weeks ago.
As Dutson linked, the Kossacks are backing Allen to defeat Collins in 2008:
Tom Allen can beat Collins, but he needs help. Financial help. Early money matters. In Maine, your contribution will go a long way.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with this, and this is similar to what the Kossacks did in '06 and '04. However, it seems incontrovertible at this point that this is clearly a Democrat campaign website now. They do fundraisers, invite candidates to write diaries, hold conventions with said candidates, etc.
As such, Daily Kos clearly walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck. With that in mind, it's time for Markos to grow up a little bit, and recognize that if he wants to play with the big boys, he's going to have to play by big boy rules.
One other thing: maybe it's time to drop the vulgarity at his website. I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to take someone seriously when they feel the need to incorporate obscenities into their prose like a pulp fiction writer.
As an aside, can anybody tell me definitively what was in that suitcase Jules and Vincent were risking their lives for?