John Carney, Breitbart News economics and finance editor, joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss the fallout from Kellogg’s attack on Breitbart News. Marlow saw it as an unfortunate but necessary victory that Kellogg’s has been obliged to shut down 39 distribution centers, with the potential loss of up to 1,100 jobs, as a result of its decision to engage in partisan politics.
“It’s terrible when a company’s management decides to make political decisions that hurt its business,” Carney said. “It’s pretty clear that that’s what has happened here.”
“You’re not celebrating the loss of the people who work in these distribution centers’ jobs, but if anybody’s to blame, it’s not you. It’s not us. It’s not Breitbart. It’s the guys who decided to put their businesses on the line by challenging the values of the millions and millions of Americans who both listen to Breitbart or who voted for Donald Trump,” Carney told Marlow.
“It’s not exactly clear what they meant when they said that they don’t share our values, but why they did that, it’s not exactly clear to me. But I think you’re right: they share the globalist mentality, and they’re willing to put the people’s lives who work for them, their livelihoods, at stake in order to score some points with the leftist people they hang out at cocktail parties with,” he said.
Marlow noted that the Kellogg’s CEO claims that “this has nothing to do with the boycott; they just happen to have had a downturn that requires them to shutter 39 facilities and lay off over a thousand people – that this is a complete and utter coincidence.”
Given a choice between classifying this statement from Kellogg’s as either totally or partially absurd, Carney laughed and went with “partially absurd.”
“Kellogg’s is in a difficult business,” he observed. “People are eating a lot less cereal than they used to. When I was a kid, everybody was eating cereal all the time for breakfast, sometimes for lunch, sometimes for an after-dinner snack. America, in many ways, was a breakfast cereal country. Now there’s a lot more oatmeal people are eating. Greek yogurt is very popular.”
Marlow interrupted to castigate Carney for forgetting to add bacon to his breakfast list, declaring it an oversight that Breitbart News would not allow and revealing that he typically fuels his own morning agenda with bacon consumption. They discussed the danger of fluctuations in the bacon market, and Carney suffered a formal reprimand for the heresy of elevating Greek yogurt above bacon.
After paying due respect to the wonders of bacon, Carney made the essential point that a company facing difficult business conditions should not launch political crusades guaranteed to alienate a substantial portion of its remaining customer base.
“In that circumstance, concentrate on improving the business, instead of scoring political points,” he advised.
Marlow mentioned the travails of Twitter and the controversy over Nordstrom’s dropping Ivanka Trump merchandise as other elements of a pattern of corporate warfare against President Trump and his supporters.
“I think a lot of the Left understands the principle of ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ and are very quick to attempt to pressure companies,” Carney said. “I think Twitter is a very good example of this. I suspect some of it just has to do with the sort of political biases of people who work at Twitter, but I think a very large part of it also has to do with how quickly the Left reacts when it encounters an opinion it doesn’t like.”
“I think most people, most conservatives, most American centrists, when they read something they disagree with, their first instinct is to argue back. Whereas, on the Left, the instinct is to try to shut it down, to try to make sure that that can’t be heard again,” he observed, speculating that Twitter, therefore, gets “a lot more complaints from the Left about even mild things that people on the Right say.”
Carney suspected the overall impact on corporations from their forays into politics is probably “very big,” although it’s difficult to measure with precision.
“Look, we saw how many millions of people voted for Donald Trump. Declaring war on about half the population of the United States because you don’t like their politics is a terrible idea,” he said.
Breitbart News reporter Lee Stranahan joined the conversation to note that the political environment was driven “far to the radical Left” during the Obama administration.
“In other words, we didn’t really see this kind of hyperbole even during Bush, as crazy as things were during the Bush administration. This is a whole new level, and I think it’s indicative of how far we’ve come, that there’s no center in the Democrats anymore,” Stranahan said. “The Democrats used to have a large group of people who would at least come out and say, ‘Look, I may disagree with you, but I’ll defend your right to say it.’ That is gone right now.”
He traced the demise of Democratic centrism to academia, the political correctness movement, and the Left’s current mania for defining everyone who disagrees with them as “Nazis” or “white supremacists” – as well as endorsing physical violence to silence them. From that perspective, he said corporate politicization could be seen as a relatively mild form of political correctness.
“When you have Nancy Pelosi out there calling Steve Bannon a white supremacist, in no uncertain terms, that is exactly the language of the radical Left. And she’s doing it at the same time people are getting their heads beaten in with metal poles because they support a ‘fascist’ like Milo. It’s a very, very dangerous situation we’re in,” Stranahan warned.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.