Amazon Employees Threaten To Walk If CEO Doesn’t Cut Breitbart Ties (DETAILS)

By Liz Lee –
April 14, 2017

f you’re in the news media game, you know that advertising revenue is where the money comes rolling in from. Advertising is expensive, so if a company makes the decision to advertise, they have to make the smartest choices that will get them the most bang for their buck. You wouldn’t want to advertise on a tiny news site no one ever heard of. So, of course you choose the big ones – big ones like the disgusting alt-right news hawk Breitbart or Fox News’ primetime shows.

However, when a publisher that sells its advertising space becomes unpopular in the public eye, it’s normal for advertisers to pull ads. A really great example is the mass exodus of advertisers who are pulling advertising during The O’Reilly Factor. Due to the allegations that Bill O’Reilly has been harassing women for years, advertisers are answering the calls to pull commercials.

With that being said, it looks like the extremist right-wing news rag Breitbart will be suffering the same treatment. Buzzfeed reported:

‘On March 22, a group of Amazon employees took issue with the company’s ads on Breitbart in an email to CEO Jeff Bezos and SVP Jeff Blackburn. Entitled “Amazon Must Stop Advertising on Breitbart News,” the email included a petition opposing Amazon’s continued advertising on Breitbart, with some 564 signatures.’
When employees met with Bezos, he was asked what it would take to get them to stop advertising on Breitbart. Blackburn responded somewhat hesitantly trying to explain that Amazon doesn’t directly choose to advertise on Breitbart, and that’s handled by a third-party.

‘It’s making those decisions for us through a third party, industry standard filter that we use. And that’s what you’re seeing. Some of the pages on the site that you mentioned are passing through those filters.’
What he says does have merit. They do use a third-party company. Most major companies do. Just like many publishers go through third parties to sell advertising space. However, publishers are able to control what goes in their advertising slots. If they don’t like it, they can usually contact the advertisement company or they may can ban a certain topic or brand from being shown on their pages within their account themselves.

For example, Google AdSense allows you to block specific URLs, general categories, sensitive categories, and ad networks from showing on your own websiteThe same goes for the company wanting to advertise their product. Google AdWords, the place you go to begin an advertising campaign for your own product, allows you to exclude your ads from being shown on pages based on a specific topic, specific IP addresses, specific webpages and apps, and site category options and content exclusions.

If Google AdWords can offer that to their customers, any third party advertising network can do the same for their customer, especially for one as large as Amazon. Basically, at any time, Amazon’s marketing department could call up their advertising networks and say, “Hey, pull the ads from Breitbart. They are hateful, and that’s not cool.” It’s all based on if they want to lose that potential audience.

Several employees wrote personal messages to Blackburn and Bezos describing why they should pull advertising from Breitbart. One included:

‘I am a woman, immigrant, person of color. My employer needs to stand up to this site which is nothing but full of hate.’
Another stated:

‘As a transgender woman, I find it deeply troubling that my employer has not yet pulled advertising from this site.’
Another employee used a Breitbart headline as a justification as to why advertising should be pulled. They wrote:

‘”There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews” – the fact that the company’s dollars pay for headlines like this make it very difficult for those of us putting in efforts to recruit and retain more women in technical roles.’
The letter itself was sent on March 22 and went mostly unrecognized. However, several petitions have popped up calling for the same action. One petition on SumOfUs.org gained over 550,000 signatures. The growing outcry has lead to Amazon’s acknowledgement of their employee’s concerns. An employee told Buzzfeed:

‘They are now taking it very seriously. It’s not a finalized decision, but it’s at least moving in the right direction.’
With Donald Trump being elected president, hateful rhetoric has been allowed to spread. True colors have been revealed as they feel safe behind the orange clown curtain that is a Trump presidency. However, as consumers, we still have the power to make an impact by protesting companies who advertise through nefarious channels such as Breitbart.

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Administration Lays Out Vision for Federal Workforce

Published: April 12, 2017
More in: Fedweek
The Trump administration’s plan for reforming the government and reducing the federal workforce (issued April 11), while ending the government-wide hiring freeze imposed in February, lays out a series of guiding principles that agencies are to follow:

* create a lean, accountable, more efficient government that works for the American people;
* focus the federal government on effectively and efficiently delivering those programs that are the highest needs to citizens and where there is a unique federal role rather than assuming current programs are optimally designed or even needed;
* align the federal workforce to meet the needs of today and the future rather than the requirements of the past; and,
* strengthen agencies by removing barriers that hinder front-line employees from delivering results.”

It tells agencies to:

*  “determine the appropriate staffing levels for different programs to accomplish their objectives” based not just on past staffing levels but also on other data such as time studies;
*  examine the total cost of their personnel, not just the number of employees, saying it may be “more efficient to restructure duties to enable additional lower-graded employees to do lower-level work previously assigned to higher-graded positions, and consolidate the higher-graded work into fewer positions”;
*  review their structure to “accomplish the work with the fewest amount of management layers needed to provide for appropriate risk management, oversight, and accountability”; and
*  review positions as they become vacant to determine whether the position fits current mission needs and whether the duties can be reassigned to lower organizational levels or a lower grade.

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Trump Signs Law Taking Aim at Planned Parenthood Funding

A Planned Parenthood clinic in New York. President Trump appeared ready to accept congressional Republicans’ idea of using a broad health care overhaul to strip all federal funds from the group. Credit Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency
WASHINGTON — President Trump signed legislation on Thursday aimed at cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions, a move cheered by conservatives who have clamored to impose curbs on reproductive rights.

The measure nullifies a rule completed in the last days of the Obama administration that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services related to contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening from qualified health providers — regardless of whether they also performed abortions. The new measure cleared Congress last month with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tiebreaking vote in the Senate.

The previous Department of Health and Human Services regulation, which took effect two days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, said that states and localities could not withhold money from a provider for any reason other than an inability to provide family planning services.

Mr. Trump has shown ambivalence about Planned Parenthood, voicing support for its health-related services other than abortion, and his daughter Ivanka has urged him to tread carefully on the issue, concerned about the possible political repercussions of the Republican effort to defund the organization altogether. As a middle ground, Mr. Trump has proposed preserving federal funding for Planned Parenthood if it stops providing abortion services.

The organization has said it will never accept such a deal. And federal law already prohibits government funding for abortion, except in cases of rape or incest, or to save a woman’s life.

Regardless of his misgivings about the effort, Mr. Trump appeared ready to accept congressional Republicans’ idea of using a broad health care overhaul to strip all federal money from Planned Parenthood. When the Freedom Caucus, a conservative faction of House Republicans, refused to support legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act last month, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to denounce the group, saying it had “saved Planned Parenthood.”

Mr. Trump has made restricting abortions a priority during his early days in office. Days after being sworn in, he signed an executive order reinstating the so-called Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, which blocks United States funding from going to any nongovernmental organization around the world that provides abortion counseling, even if the money is not used for abortion-related services.

Conservatives have praised Mr. Trump for his anti-abortion moves.

“Prioritizing funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care alternatives is a winning issue,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, who attended the closed-door bill signing at the White House on Thursday. “We expect to see Congress continue its efforts to redirect additional taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood through pro-life health care reform after the spring recess.”

Abortion rights activists condemned the action, arguing that it would harm women’s health.

“Despite repeated promises that he would protect and invest in women’s health, President Trump has once again shown that his words carry little weight,” said Heidi Williamson, the senior policy analyst for the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress. “Trump’s actions are creating very real and damaging consequences for millions of women and their families, inflicting direct harm on already vulnerable communities.”

The rule reversed on Thursday was a response by the Obama administration to moves by more than a dozen Republican-controlled states in recent years to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. They did so by blocking clinics from receiving Title X money — named for the 1970 law that created the federal family planning program — as well as Medicaid reimbursements.

State courts have ruled against such restrictions for Medicaid reimbursements, but since Title X money is distributed through grants to states, they have the power to set criteria for recipients.

Republicans in Congress and legislatures around the country have targeted Planned Parenthood because its network is the largest provider of abortions, although about half of its affiliates do not perform them.

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