Guinness's decision not to sponsor the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade smacks of "totalitarianism" and "thuggishness," in the view of right-wing commentators.
Guinness announced Sunday that it would not participate in the parade, due to organizers' continued exclusion of LGBT-identified groups. The popular Irish brewer has long been a key sponsor of the parade.
Conservative pundits immediately denounced Guinness. "Guinness is boycotting the New York St. Patty's Day parade ... welcome to the new totalitarianism," Laura Ingraham said on her radio show today, one of several comments compiled by Media Matters. "This is thuggish behavior, though. The idea that if you don't wear T-shirts or hold placards expressing your sexuality, you're discriminated against. No one is saying you can't have a protest, no one is saying you can't have your parades, no one is excluding you from a coffee shop or university or a company or anything, they're just saying that they'd like to have their parade without sexuality being shoved in the faces of families and children and the organizers who put it on, big deal."
Ingraham warned, "I think Guinness ought to be careful, because Guinness is going to start getting boycotted by other groups of people." She claimed the number of people who would now be inclined to boycott Guinness outweighed those who might have boycotted if Guinness continued its participation in the parade. She also said the desire of LGBT groups to be "front and center, proselytizing at every nongay event" is "petty and a waste of time."
Fox News contributor Todd Starnes weighed in as well, tweeting that LGBT groups want to turn the St. Patrick's Day parade "into a Gay Pride parade." Starnes also tweeted, "Apparently parading is now a civil right."
Also among the critics was media mogul Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox News' parent company. He called for a boycott of the brewer this morning, tweeting, "Where will this end? Guinness pulls out of religious parade bullied by gay orgs who try to take it over. Hope all Irish boycott the stuff."
Listen to some of Ingraham's comments below, courtesy of Media Matters.