NEW YORK: Fake news and GOP fear mongering coalesced yesterday in a nasty smear involving the 'other' global concert firm that's not Live Nation.
Trending on Facebook and bringing calls for acts to boycott American concert promoter AEG -- with ownership in sports teams, venues and the company behind the Coachella festivals -- are allegations that owner Phillip Anschutz financially supports political organisations that oppose LGBT rights, after online chit chat about donations he made through the Anschutz Foundation.
Rolling Stone, Billboard, the Los Angeles Times and Pollstar are all now reporting the allegations as "fake news" with Anschutz himself pushed to release his own statement, as follows:
"Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.
"Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of The Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups."
The "nasty" news that darkened the US election and emboldened hidden prejudices in American society continue to resonate, only now they are spilling into corporate life.
Defamation carries with it a big penalty, so there's no getting away from the fact that this story isn't just going to blow away. Pointing a finger and making claims carry consequences--even in an age where fake news threatens to become a norm.