As TFPP has been covering, the leftist smear merchants at Media Matters figured that the blowback Fox News host Sean Hannity has received for covering the case of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich would be a pretty good pretext for a campaign to pressure advertisers to abandon his show…but it hasn’t been working out too well.
The Daily Wire reports that one of the sponsors that buckled under pressure, military financial services firm USAA, has returned to Hannity following blowback from their conservative customers.
USAA originally tried to stick with their decision, claiming they simply wanted to avoid political opinion shows…which rang hollow once people noticed that they were still advertising on the shows of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell. To save face, USAA then pulled their MSNBC advertising, too.
Well, apparently that wasn’t enough to calm the sleeping giant they had awoken. The Wire’s Robert Kraychik notes that a discussion thread on USAA’s website spanning more than 270 pages is chock-full of commenters claiming to be USAA customers that would sever their own ties to the company for abandoning Hannity, such as this from user “NsquidVet”:
I did NOT risk my life to protect the 1st Amendment for this bank to turn on it because some fascist left organization did not like what a reporter had to say.I have 7 accounts at this bank with over 250k passing through it annually. If this Bank will not stand up to the Constitutional values I fought for, then I will remove all my accounts and tell me veteran brothers to do the same.You have 10 days to retract and put out a public statement. Stay out of politics!!!
For USAA to reverse their original decision and return to Hannity, I think it’s safe to say they didn’t just get angry, anonymous internet comments, no matter how many there were. I’d love to know how many phone calls and emails they got from verified customers threatening to ditch them.
One also has to marvel at the obliviousness it must have taken for USAA’s management to think appeasing Media Matters ever would have worked out for them. Your customers are the military, for God’s sake! Patriotic, disproportionately conservative and Republican…ring any bells?
In any event, not only is it gratifying to see the brownshirts of the Left fail in at least one instance, but it’s another reminder that the free market works…if we let it.