But now Ted Lieu, a California state senator, has threatened Lowe’s with the “encouragement of boycotts” and an examination of potential legislative remedies if Lowe’s does not apologize to Muslims and run its ads on the show.
That’s not cool either.
It’s great that Lieu called out Lowe’s for being bigoted and ignorant, and that’s well within his rights as an elected official. But threatening the store with possible legislative action crosses the line.
Eugene Volokh agrees and says that Lowe’s is well within its right to pull ads from the show:
“[T]he claim is that Lowe’s is refusing to advertise on a program that sends a positive message about Islam in America. And that decision not to support a particular ideological message — whether motivated by Lowe’s management’s disagreement with the message, or just a decision that this message is too controversial for Lowe’s to endorse — strikes me as part of Lowe’s First Amendment prerogatives. And of course the analysis would be the same if an [advertiser] wanted not to advertise on a pro-Scientology program, or on a pro-atheism program (think a militantly anti-religious and advertiser-supported version of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit), or on an evangelical Christian broadcasting network. Likewise, some jurisdictions ban discrimination in places of public accommodation, including stores, based on political affiliation; but advertisers have the right to refuse to advertise in pro-Republican or pro-Democrat or pro-Communist or pro-Nazi magazines.”
How do you think Lieu should have responded to this situation?