Did UPS back out as an advertiser on the popular “O’Reilly Factor” Fox News show, as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann reported last Tuesday?
Absolutely not, UPS has said in a statement.
After Olbermann went public with his claim, UPS quickly issued a statement refuting Olbermann’s charge that the company pulled its advertising from Bill O’Reilly’s top-rated show.
As of Sunday evening, MSNBC had still not issued a retraction.
Here’s how the controversy played out:
Alexa Branchini was brutally raped in her dorm two weeks into her first semester at Boston University in 1999. The rapist is now serving 40 years, but before and during the trial, defense attorneys used stall tactics and claimed the incident was consensual. After Alexa's experience, her family started the It Happened to Alexa Foundation to help the families of rape victims.
The Foundation asked O’Reilly to headline a fundraiser for the organization in March, and he agreed.
After the charitable event was announced, O’Reilly said on his March 24 “The O’Reilly Factor” broadcast, “a bunch of far-left loons picked up some propaganda from the hate group Media Matters that said I am unsympathetic to the plight of crime victims, a preposterous lie.”
One blogger who wrote negatively about O’Reilly and the fundraiser was Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress.org. A “Factor” producer later confronted Terkel about her blog.
On March 31, Keith Olbermann said this about O’Reilly on MSNBC’s “Countdown”:
“He also reiterated his delusion about the It Happened to Alexa Foundation, where Bill-O was thoroughly criticized for having the gall to address a fundraiser for rape victims, after twice publicly blaming rape victims, then sending a producer to stalk a woman who wrote a blog post about his hypocrisy.
“UPS promptly dropped out as an advertiser in protest of Bill-O’s victimization of Amanda Terkel of ThinkProgress.org.”
But UPS has issued statement from its national spokesman Norman Black: “We are writing to clarify our statement of last Friday because it appears to have been misinterpreted. UPS has not ‘pulled’ any advertising from Fox News nor has the company taken a position on the ‘ThinkProgress’ campaign. Our intent on Friday simply was to note that UPS does not have any pending advertising plans with the O’Reilly show.”
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