CBS AVERTS BIGGEST BOYCOTT IN HISTORY
Catalyst April Issue 2002
When The Drudge Report website reported that CBS was giving serious consideration to replacing David Letterman with Howard Stern, we immediately responded with a threat to boycott the show’s sponsors.
William Donohue told the media on March 6, “CBS is out of its mind if it thinks it can get away with moving Howard Stern into the Letterman slot without a fight.” He then laid bare his strategy: “If they are bold enough to make this move, here’s what I promise to do. I’ll organize scores of organizations that have had it with Stern for all kinds of reasons and then we’ll decide on one sponsor to boycott. We won’t go after CBS per se because it’s impossible to boycott a network with any effectiveness. We won’t go after all the sponsors at one time because that is also ineffectual. But if everyone targets the same sponsor at the same time, we’ll win. And then we’ll decide on a second sponsor to nail, and so on.”
Donohue pointed out that the league was still angered by what Stern did on June 30 last year. That was when he and sidekick Robin Quivers joined with porn star Rebecca Lord in attacking all priests as pedophiles. He did this on E! Entertainment. We then asked U.S. bishops to join us in a boycott of Miller Brewing, Stern’s biggest sponsor, and many did.
“This time we’re better prepared,” Donohue said. “This time we’re going to organize the biggest boycott of them all. We’re anxiously awaiting their decision and if CBS goes with Stern, we will announce in the coming weeks the names of all the organizations that are participating in the boycott. Once the sponsors are known, we’ll decide on which one to boycott.”
Page Six, the celebrity page of the New York Post quoted Donohue as saying, “This boycott will work because no one in the entertainment business has angered Americans across the board more than Howard Stern.” Lucky for CBS they decided to stay with Letterman.