For a liberal media that bemoans the idea of businesses and corporations being considered “people” post-Citizens United, BuzzFeed decided that they would cancel the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) advertising for their site due to Donald Trump’s candidacy threatening “the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world.”
Politico cited the ad buy as $1.3 million with BuzzFeed CEO and founder Jonah Peretti telling employees in a letter that his site would not be “promoting things, that limit our freedom and make it harder for [his employees] to live their lives.”
Peretti also revealed that the RNC had planned to “spend a significant amount on political advertisements slated to run during the Fall election cycle,” but was now being erased simply because of the liberal sites’s disgust with Trump’s controversial policies and rhetoric.
“The tone and substance of his campaign are unique in the history of modern US politics. Trump advocates banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, he's threatened to limit the free press, and made offensive statements toward women, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and foreign nationals,” Peretti complained.
The BuzzFeed CEO assured the staff that he “don’t need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers” and “will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign,” but the ceasing of the RNC’s ad buy somehow warranted an exception.
We certainly don't like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don't run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won't accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.