AIM’s Self-Defeating Boycott

Back in October, Accuracy In Media announced the formation of its “Boycott The New York Times” Campaign, a project that was to be run by B-list right-wing pundit Don Feder.

Though initially launched to combat what it saw as the paper’s “persistent leftist bias” during the election, it appears as if the campaign and its accompanying website are still in operation and yesterday Feder penned an attack on the “paper’s moral relativism applied to the war on terrorism” and proclaimed that the Times has a lot in common with terrorists around the world:

[W]hile The Times may be appalled by terrorists’ acts, it frequently agrees with their goals.

Like Al-Qaeda, it believes there should be no U.S. presence in the Middle East. Like Hamas, it believes Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian land. Like jihadists around the world, it believes we brought 9/11 on ourselves by our arrogance and cultural insensitivity, and an imperialist foreign policy.

Some acts of terrorism are committed with bombs and bullets, others with newsprint and ink.

Ignoring the inanity of that claim for a minute, what struck me was a much more basic question:  why is Don Feder reading the New York Times?  As the head of the “Boycott The New York Times” project, Feder doesn’t seem to be doing a very good job of actually boycotting the paper.

After all, the purpose of any boycott is to, you know, actually boycott the product/organization in question and is, in fact, AIM’s stated goal for its project:

[O]ur goal is to expose The Times and to rally the public against it through a boycott. In so doing, we seek to progressively limit its influence … those who sign our petition are putting The New York Times and its advertisers on notice that they won’t subscribe to The Times, buy the paper or visit its website.

Presumably, Feder has signed his own petition which leads one to wonder just how he manages to find articles to complain about on a regular basis, considering that he’s pledged not to read or buy the paper or visit its website. 

It just seems a little odd that Feder is dedicated to running a website committed to getting people not to read the New York Times – a website that just happens to consist entirely of content derived from that paper and which regularly provides links to its articles. 

Highlighting NYT articles and driving traffic to its website just doesn’t seem like a particularly effective boycott strategy if your goal is to get people to stop reading the NYT and visiting its website.