America is a land where speech is free -- that is, until an advertiser puts a price on it. In the case of News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox News Channel host Glen Beck, that price is expressed in the form of 57 advertisers which have stopped spending money to reach the viewers of Beck's show. Are these advertisers making the right business decision? And should Fox News dump Beck?
It all boils down to something hard to measure, which is whether a company wants to have its reputation associated with the kind of free speech that Beck exercises on his show. It may be that some of those advertisers do not agree with the contention that the only way to save America is for Osama bin Laden to detonate a major weapon in the U.S., as one guest recently argued on Beck's show. (The clip is below.)