Dear Purina, Jewelry Exchange, and Jos. A Bank:
I am writing to inform you that I will not purchase your products as long as you advertise on FOX News.
FOX News is not "fair and balanced." It broadcasts rightwing extremist slander, incitement to violence, political propaganda, and outright lies to promote its rightwing political agenda.
This is not "news," but rather a never-ending "war on news." And it is intolerable in a Democracy.
FOX News regularly defames unionized workers, the unemployed (including veterans and 99ers), environmentalists, feminists, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, progressives, scientists, and any other group it disagrees with.
These defamations consist of outright lies or flagrant distortion and misrepresentation of facts. Those lies and distortions are regularly exposed and documented, but FOX News rarely admits or corrects its errors; instead it slanders its critics.
FOX News slanders are occasionally directed towards prominent individuals in groups it attacks, including America's first black President, Barack Obama.
FOX News offended all decent Americans in July 2009 when Glenn Beck slandered President Obama directly saying, "This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don't know what it is... This guy, I believe, is a racist."
Activists at ColorOfChange, Media Matters, StopBeck, FoxNewsBoycott, and of course Democrats.com responded with a boycott of advertisers on Glenn Beck's show. Ultimately over 300 advertisers pulled their ads from Beck, and FOX was forced to cancel his show because the boycott cost FOX over $40 million.
But canceling Beck's show changes nothing. Beck's slanderous statements, hate-mongering, provocations of violence, and political partisanship are fully echoed (if not outdone) by Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and many other FOX hosts and regular guests.
Since 2009, their incitements are linked to a gun battle that wounded two policemen in Oakland, the murder of three policemen in Pittsburgh, and the murder and wounding of nine churchgoers in Knoxville. In these and possibly other instances, defamatory words had deadly consequences.
Your advertising dollars help FOX News engage in slander, incitement of violence, rightwing partisanship, and outright lies - FOX's "war on news."
I demand that you stop advertising on FOX News immediately, and I will boycott your products - and encourage others to join me - until you do.
- FOX ran at least 52 segments falsely accusing President Obama of lying about his birthplace, citizenship, and eligibility for President.
- FOX was the first network to broadcast a lying Andrew Breitbart video that falsely accused Shirley Sherrod, a highly-respected black civil rights leader, of discriminating against a white farm couple - leaving out the part where she actually fought for them. FOX's slander forced Sherrod to quit her job in the Obama administration.
- FOX falsely accused Van Jones, a highly-respected black environmentalist, of being a 9/11 conspiracy theorist. FOX's slander forced Jones to quit his job in the Obama administration.
2. Incitement to violence
- In 2010, Byron Williams drove to San Francisco to "start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU." California police chased his speeding truck and got into a 12-minute shootout with Williams in which two policemen were wounded. Before the attack, Glenn Beck slandered Tides 29 times, falsely saying it works to "warp your children's brains and make sure they know how evil capitalism is." In jailhouse interviews, Williams confessed he views Beck as a "schoolteacher" who "blew my mind." He said Beck "give[s] you every ounce of evidence you could possibly need" to commit violence.
- In 2009, neo-Nazi Richard Poplawski murdered three Pittsburgh policemen who responded to a domestic dispute. Poplawski's hatred of government was inspired by numerous right-wing broadcasters including Glenn Beck, whose video he posted on white supremacist website Stormfront.
- In 2008, rightwinger Jim David Adkisson opened fire in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN during a children's performance of Annie Jr., killing two and wounding seven. Adkisson believed all Democrats and liberals should be murdered and believed the church was "liberal." Police found liberal-smearing books by Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity at his home.
- On August 6, 2009, Glenn Beck outrageously "joked" about giving Speaker Pelosi a glass of wine with poison, inciting his audience to carry out his "joke."
3. Republican partisanship
FOX supports the Republican Party, Republican candidates, and Republican groups like the Tea Party nearly every hour of every day.
The "Tea Party" that first appeared after President Obama's inauguration in 2009 was tiny and scattered until FOX gave it extensive coverage and promotion that April. Glenn Beck then allied his "9-12 Project" with the Tea Party and led the joint "Taxpayer March on Washington" that September, which was heavily covered and promoted by FOX. Afterwards, FOX even ran full-page newspaper ads attacking other networks for not covering 9/12.
In April 2010, Rupert Murdoch declared "I don't think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party," and promised to investigate.
But just four months later, Murdoch's News Corp. donated $1 million to the Republican Governors' Association and another $1 million to the Chamber of Commerce, which was spending heavily to elect Republicans nationwide.
Apart from cash contributions, FOX funds numerous Republican politicians by hiring them as "FOX News Contributors." In 2011, FOX funded four Republicans who were talking about 2012 Presidential runs: Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Rick Santorum.
In addition, FOX hosts appear as keynote speakers at Republican fundraising events.
No impartial news organization funds a political party and its candidates, or allows its employees to do so.
To promote its partisan agenda, FOX News regularly twists and distorts the truth. Sometimes these distortions are so willful and blatant that they can accurately be called "lies."
Many of these lies use carefully-chosen text, images, and videos rather than spoken words. Click the images to enlarge.
- In September 2006, Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) was accused of sexting underage male Congressional pages. The scandal threatened Republican control of the House that November. To save the Republicans, FOX News falsely labeled Foley as a Democrat.
- In March 2007, Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby was convicted on four of five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to FBI investigators in the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. FOX News reported Libby was found "not guilty of lying to FBI investigators," despite his conviction on one of those two counts.
- In March 2011, Wisconsin citizens held large peaceful protests against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting legislation. FOX News tried to slander the protesters as violent by showing videos of protesters in a shoving match. But those were clearly not Wisconsin protesters, because there were palm trees in the background.