In a word: Yes.
That said, it’s not always their fault. They appear on TV shows of all kinds, and since they’re not willing to reveal insider secrets of their industry, interviewers typically roll around from their area of expertise to their opinions on the cultural and political matters.
This is where they get into trouble.
In the “golden age” of Hollywood, studios protected stars from themselves and cut deals with media to protect their “properties.” At the time it wasn’t considered good for business to allow celebrities to mouth off on subjects they knew little about.
Today, all deals are off. We shouldn’t care what Whoopie Goldberg, Joy Behar, or any other ignorant leftist thinks about any subject, whether they are on The View or not. It shouldn’t matter if journalists didn’t like the president because their job was simple: to report facts and let the public conscience sort it out.
Today, Journalists think “the masses are asses” so it is their job to not only inform but to educate us. Put everything in context. Guide the cultural conversation.
The most nauseating recent example is 2015’s movie, The Big Short, where lounging (and rather snotty) movie stars explained financial concepts to us rubes, as if these script monkeys had a clue about what they were saying.
But because we live in a fragmented society with thousands of daily data points streaming past us, we do need some contextual boundaries. At the same time, celebrities are probably not the right vehicle.
Enter the CEOs
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and host of CNBC’s “The Profit,” appeared on CNBC, where he talked about CEOs and their relationship to President Trump’s business discussions. Yes, that would seem like something he would know about, and Marcus began well, explaining that CEOs don’t speak but for public policy, but only for policy as in relates to their business. The rest is personal opinion. I agree.
He also said that it’s a tough time right now BECAUSE journalists are asking CEOs questions about Trump. Marcus said:
“I’m concerned about certain CEOs dancing on the fence, fearing retaliation or fearing something. It’s scary right now.”
However, once the interviewer asked if he worries – if he were on one of those presidential councils – about consumers looking at his business poorly if he’s associated with the White House, Marcus said:
“There’s no doubt that there is probably not many consumers in this country today that are in favor of what has been said in the last couple days and if they are, quite frankly, don’t shop at my business.”
Suddenly, we’re back with business threats in late 2016, refusing home heating oil to Trump supporters, and to other businesses refusing service to cops, white people or Trumpsters.
We’re back in reverse boycott territory, with Target, and with Starbucks whose CEO is now begging conservatives to return.
As the heat rose, Marcus tried to clarify his statement:
“What I said is that if you are ok with what was said in Charlottesville and what was done, then I’m not ok with it.”
Interesting addition of the “what was done” (meaning, the violence?), though as an editorial on the Daily Wire mentioned, the damage is done. Most Camping World customers are Trump supporters, so Marcus is going to feel a silent boycott in the coming months.
It’s the Media’s Fault
Now, I personally LOVE “The Profit.” On this show Marcus not only educates the public on entrepreneurship and running a small business, but he champions personal responsibility, respect of others, capitalism and the American spirit of enterprise. It is a refreshing antidote to the MTV Crib culture the millennials are used to.
That said, Marcus, and other CEOs are still victims to the same progressive media narrative foisted on the rest of us. Marcus, I would say, did not have enough information about Charlottesville to make an informed opinion.
NOTE: On Charlottesville, Trump condemned the violence and also said there were good people on all sides. The leftist media believes the statement gives white supremacy a pass. However, the Alt-Right had a permit to march. Antifa, BLM, and a host of unidentified others didn’t have permits or license to beat up Nazis. But violence erupted anyway. So is it possible that “good” locals who didn’t want their town burned to the ground by either radical side got caught in the fray? Yes. And therefore, Trump’s statement, though obtuse, and not in lockstep with the progressive narrative that gave Antifa thugs a pass, isn’t wrong.
Marcus wasn’t competent to speak on the matter, based on the sources he probably read.
Three Points to Consider:
- Marcus probably meant to say, “If you’re okay using racial discrimination and violence to divide my country, we don’t want to do business with you.” I think most people would agree.
- CEOs should be ready for landmines in the public discourse, especially while the progressive media is constantly trying to divide EVERYONE against Trump.
- Your business, whether it’s Camping World or many others, doesn’t get to summarily dismiss huge swaths of the population. While business have the right to refuse service to any customer – especially if they’re rude or offensive – it doesn’t have the right to post, “No Jews Allowed” or “Blacks Not Welcome” or “We Hope Trump Supporters Freeze to Death.”
That last point is the hot stove CEOs need not touch. Don’t tell people not to shop at your business. Tell racists to get their heads out of their clenched backsides and support their fellow man. Then they’re welcome back into your business.
CEOs, stick to what you know: risking capital to build profitable businesses to make America great. And if you can, stay away from progressive media.
Good luck, Marcus.