10/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Glenn Beck & Fox News Can't Escape the "Racist" Trap

Have so many blue-chip advertisers ever fled a program as quickly as the who's who of corporate America that's sprinted away from Glenn Beck in recent weeks? I certainly cannot recall ever seeing a mass exodus of this scale.

If any television program had lost just three or four of those types of high-caliber advertisers, it would be seen as an extraordinary move in a media environment in which grassroots attempts to pressure advertisers have traditionally yielded modest returns. But at Fox News, Glenn Beck is rewriting television history right before our eyes: four dozen lost advertisers and counting. All of Beck's big-time advertisers have fled. All of them.

As momentum continues to gather behind the unprecedented boycott effort led by, Beck and Fox News executives seem to be flailing around as they frantically search for a way to stop the exodus.

But here's what I don't get: Why doesn't Beck go on TV every day and simply defend his "racist" claim? Why doesn't Beck stand up for the racist remark and stake his reputation on it? Because right now, the pathetic, squishy approach he's taking where he limply lashes back while pretending the ad boycott sprang from some mysterious place -- where Beck plays the victim and pretends he never made the "racist" smear -- is just too lame for words.

Read the full Media Matters column here.