Stardock Takes a Stand for Fox News

28 09 2009

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I found this interesting, especially given the recent hullabaloo over the Shadow Complex boycott. Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock Software and an outspoken conservative, has decided to take a stand against UPS. UPS, the package delivery service, recently decided to drop all of its advertising with Fox News. Stardock, according to Wardell’s comments on his Facebook page, does a “non-trivial amount of shipping with UPS.” Upset by the company’s decision to pull its advertising from the network, Stardock Software will now be doing all of its physical game fulfillment through FedEx.

So now we face yet another aspect of the Shadow Complex boycott issue. What’s good for the goose and so on… If liberals can boycott things that offend them, then so can conservatives. While I doubt losing Stardock’s business will result in a significant hit to UPS’ bottom line, this doesn’t strike me as a terribly healthy phenomenon. There are lots of CEOs out there, and lots of companies much bigger than Stardock and what happens when everyone needs to start signing an ideological bill of particulars before someone else will do business with you? If I have to have my voting record perused every time I go for a job, I might as well move out of California now. As lovely as I’m sure Texas is, I have no desire to live there.

To everyone’s credit, the discussion that came about as a result of Brad’s post was pretty civilized as such things go, but the gaming industry is a pretty small neighborhood. That tends to encourage civility. The rest of Red and Blue America? Not so much.

And on a completely unrelated note, if you’re at all interested in strategy games and have never played Galactic Civilizations 2, drop what you’re doing and play it now! You’ll thank me later.

UPDATE: This story got picked up by GamePolitics which prompted Brad Wardell to e-mail with the following:

My Facebook comment was taken considerably out of context. I could care less about Glenn Beck or whether someone advertises on their show or not. But UPS is boycotting the entire channel which annoyed me enough to ask my publishing director to look into whether it was true (it was) and have them look into Fed Ex which provided competitive pricing and make use of them for our uses.

This is completely and 100% true and was true when I first put up the story. This is why this story was labeled “Stardock Takes a Stand for Fox News,” NOT “Stardock Takes a Stand for Glenn Beck.” However you feel about Fox News, I wanted to make sure that Brad’s stance was clear.

Update 2: Brad Wardell comments on his personal blog

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18 responses

28 09 2009
Deadairis

I suppose I’ll boycott buying physical goods from…Star…dock?

28 09 2009
Balance of Power

Not to be flippant or arrogant, but Brad Wardell’s move to drop UPS is an empty gesture – much like (if you ask me) the so-called astroturf Tea Parties.

It is particularly ironic since Stardock has made a successful business in selling software without the need to ship it somewhere physically using UPS or any other carrier for that matter. So whatever financial damage Wardell is trying to send to UPS will be purely symbolic in nature.

It is rather disappointing though that the money I have plunked down to support an independent game developer such as Stardock has gone on to help support an acolyte of the cult of Ayn Rand, whose mindset is probably just as single-mindedly slavish and sycophantic as any dyed-in-the-wool cult of personality Commie.

BoP

28 09 2009
delsyn

Boycotts are ALWAYS symbolic. It’s extremely rare for a boycott to do any actual financial damage. They point of them is to generate bad publicity and press coverage that highlights the cause and shames the parties involved.

What makes you think Wardell’s an Objectivist? He describes himself as conservative. There’s a big difference between the two.

And why are the Tea Parties “Astroturf” but protests sponsored by MoveOn or other professional liberal activist organizations an authentic expression of the opinion of the majority?

Is “community organizing” only acceptable when done by the left?

29 09 2009
HCF

Boycotts are not “ALWAYS” symbolic – the word Boycott is actually a name, a surname belonging to an English landlord in Scotland, Captain Charles Boycott, and we have that name as a modern word with a meaning as a verb, “to ostracise,” because the first ever people to “do a Boycott” on Charles succeeded spectacularly. There are numerous examples through history where Boycotts have been largely effective.

Unless you’re limiting your scope to merely those Boycotts brought by political action parties…

There is a wonderful irony here, in that the polar opposite of a Boycott is a Lynch mob. Lynch is a word given to us again thanks to the successful application by a man – Charles Lynch – a Scotsman who emigrated to the US and had great (and terrible) successes in his application of Lynch Mobs against British sympathizers.

28 09 2009
Brad Wardell

I’m not an objectivist or even particularly ideological (though I enjoy debating pretty much any topic).

I can’t say that I’m terribly excited about my Facebook comment getting spread around since I am usually pretty careful about who I let have access to my Facebook page and I’m not trying to make some “public” stand out of this.

It just annoys the heck out of me to see leftists constantly hyperventilate about a tiny cable news channel. You don’t see conservatives trying to pressure MSNBC or CNN or heck, demand that John Stewart be more “fair”. People should have a thicker skin and be glad that so many different points of view are available to choose from.

29 09 2009
Neeneko

Conservatives pressure major news networks all the time. Crow, 3 decades of constant organized pressure have turned the major networks into some of the most conservative news sources in the world.

2 10 2009
Tim Cross

John Stewart is a comedian, yes he does tend to favor the left but he is a comic who will satirize whatever and whoever will get him the biggest laugh and the best ratings. By comparing Fox News, CNN and MSNBC to John Stewart, then you are saying all of those networks should be seen how Comedy Central is seen, as a network trying to get the most laughs and the highest ratings and not a valid source for news being reported in a fair and balanced manner..

Don’t get me wrong I love John Stewart, I enjoy his comedy but he isn’t a news caster, or a commentator he is a comedian.

I have loved Stardock and your products but if you truly stop doing business with UPS just because they pulled their advertising from all of Fox News, and not because the competition was offering better competition/services, then I must act just as petty as that action would be and stop doing business with Stardock.

29 09 2009
Xeno

Fox is not a tiny news channel….they are the #1 news channel right now. Just FYI

29 09 2009
Terry

Mr. Wardell,

The right has built an empire based on pressuring the media and to suggest otherwise is to be obtuse, whether intentional or not. See “The News Twisters,” Spiro Agnew, Brent Bozell, Ann Coulter, Bernie Goldberg, NewsBusters, Rush Limbaugh, the recent Fox News print ads suggesting the teabaggers weren’t covered by other stations, etc. You’re either lying or you’re clueless.

29 09 2009
Fastest way to make stop buying games from your company, start supporting Glenn Beck. « What Would Matt Do

[...] looks like Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has taken the boycott a step further. According to the Angry Bear blog, Wardell has announced on his Facebook page that he is now boycotting UPS because they pulled their [...]

29 09 2009
HCF

First, it must be said that Stardock work so very hard (with their various marketing stunts and gimmicks) to remain in the public’s best opinions simply because they are spammers, toiling against the best interests of the public at every turn available to them.

So were this to escape Brad Wardell’s Facebook page, it would be nothing more than another publicity stunt. Smile and shake your hand while they stab you in the back.

But there is a way of looking at these political action groups’ constant calls for economic sanctions against wrongthink that makes it a bit easier to understand;

I think that for example, boycotting Whole Foods will never change its CEO’s mind (not the least because he is no longer financially invested in the company – he “works for fun” now). Even if you did make him publish a retraction, how do you know it is sincere? Whole Foods itself makes no political donations (of which I am aware), as an entity it is neither for nor against any position. A Boycott here seems to be a non-event.

However, Ben & Jerry’s donated, as a company not as individuals, to the Democratic Party to support their campaigns. Here, patronizing Ben & Jerry’s had the opposite effect – it reinforces a political activist position you might not have as a mere customer wishing to enjoy some Ice Cream. Choosing not to so patronize Ben & Jerry’s deprives them of your dollar to so spend. So here we see there is a measurable effect. I think today we see that Ben & Jerry’s donates instead to ‘non-partisan’ middle-men political action groups. I don’t doubt this is because to do otherwise robs them of customers.

So there are places where Boycotts are effective, and the lesson is to follow the money. Where Boycotts aren’t economically effective, what you have there is a Lynch Mob pretending to be a Boycott.

29 09 2009
Dan

Mr Wardell,

If there was a Left-wing demagogue spouting hating speech a la Glenn Beck: a) the Right would be all over it, and b) said demagogue would deserve it. Differences of opinion are great and all, but attacks and venom as displayed by the right (Tea Baggers, Birthers, incoherent frothed-up nonsensical rage) go far beyond any line of decency and beyond what those kooky left wing guys can muster. So sure, they can spew away, but risk alienating not only those on the left, but anyone TO the left of the extreme right (i.e. the sweet sweet chewy middle of the political spectrum)

Cheers.

29 09 2009
HCF

I submit that if it suffices for the definition of “promulgators of hate speech” to simply utter a supposition that you are concerned someone may be racially motivated, that the entire Left of Center of which you speak has been guilty in the last few weeks. It has been all over the news. Worse, however, the very people decrying this as promulgation of hate speech would then themselves be guilty on the same grounds. Are you not going to vote for them next election too? I guess that is as good a reason as any.

But you are correct that you are not seeing anyone from the Right organizing astroturf Boycotts, propping up ludicrous claims over soundbites. It’s just not their style.

And before you judge this administration’s detractors, I think you should really watch the protestors against the last two Bush administrations. If you want an easy place to start, look to Little Beirut – that’s Portland, OR – when Republican presidents were visiting.

29 09 2009
Matthew

I am of the opinion that Stardock should not be used as a crude instrument to make cheap political statements.

These so-called “leftists” are also paying customers–best not to associate the Big Red Elephant with Stardock, especially given the progressive nature of the company’s stance on gamers’ rights.

My image of Stardock has been tarnished. That’s too bad.

29 09 2009
Tridus

“It just annoys the heck out of me to see leftists constantly hyperventilate about a tiny cable news channel. You don’t see conservatives trying to pressure MSNBC or CNN ”

Actually Brad, you see that all the time. You don’t think the name “Clinton News Network” was because they had a camera following Hillary around, do you?

Conservatives bitch and moan CONSTANTLY about the “liberal media”, which is defined as anything that doesn’t make stuff up ala Fox “News”.

That’s the real problem with this little cable channel, it puts ideology above minor details like truth. The sheer amount of stuff they get wrong is criminally negligent.

29 09 2009
Anonononomous

Too bad it’s the customer who pays shipping. I like Stardock games and pay the extra to get the box when I but from Impulse and the program they had before it in order to get the manual. The whole point of a boycott is that you give something up to make a statement. In this case Brad is just limiting customer choice in order to strike out at UPS without losing anything for himself since Stardock isn’t the one paying the shipping costs.

Also, saying Fox News is a little cable news channel is just ridiculous.

2 10 2009
Bing

#1 “Couldn’t care less.” The phrase is “couldn’t care less.”

#2 In 2003, FOX News lawyers went to court and legally won the right for the media to lie. This is the type of network you are defending.

#3 You just lost a long-time customer, Wardell.

7 10 2009
HCF

#2 [Citation Required]

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