For a quarter of a century Fox News has been disseminating a torrent of disinformation and purposefully twisted propaganda aimed at advancing their ultra-conservative agenda and propping up radically right-wing politicians. They have pursued that mission via a relentless crusade of flagrant lies and vicious slander.
For most of that time those offended by Fox's deceit have sought to mitigate it by calling out their dishonesty, campaigning to persuade people not to watch, and boycotting Fox's advertisers. Those tactics have produced uneven results. While successfully shaming many companies into refusing to advertise on certain programs (i.e. Tucker Carlson, whose show is surviving on the largesse of the MyPillow guy), Fox has the wealth and political will to keep money-losing programs on the air.
A more productive means of impacting and disabling Fox's Lie Factory would be to persuade cable operators to either drop Fox News or put it on a tier that requires subscribers to pay specifically for that channel. Fox actually makes more from cable licensing than from advertising. Media Matters has a project aimed at addressing just that: UnFox My Cable Box.
Now another method has been initiated by the NAACP. The venerated civil rights organization's CEO, Derrick Johnson, recently sent a letter to the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodall, asking him to stop helping Fox News to spread lies and hate. Johnson called Fox News “a uniquely destructive force” that “foments racism, undermines public health recovery from the pandemic, and repeatedly attacks the legitimacy of last year’s Presidential election.” USA Today reports further on the contents of the letter:
“The letter, sent to Goodell from Derrick Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of the NAACP, on March 9, and obtained by USA TODAY Sports, also says in part that 'the NFL’s programming should not be used as a bargaining tool for Rupert Murdoch to help fund Fox News’ hatred, bigotry, lies and racism.'” […]
“In a statement to USA TODAY Sports, separate from his letter to the NFL, Johnson said: 'It is immensely perturbing that the NFL would consider extending its relationship with Fox, especially after the January 6th insurrection on our Capitol. The NFL should not be used as a bargaining tool to help fund Fox News’ racist and dangerous programming.'” […]
“'Fox News has gone far and beyond to disinform its viewers, inciting hate, bigotry, and ultimately threatening American democracy,' Johnson said. 'We have grave concerns with the NFL’s contract renewal with Fox, and we look forward to having a serious conversation'”
Unfortunately, The NAACP's letter went out too late to prevent the NFL from making a deal with Fox. But that doesn't diminish the potential for this as an effective means of protest. There are other organizations and other contracts pending. The NAACP has identified a rich vein of activism that should be mined by groups seeking to put an end to Fox's destructive impact on our nation. And it's critical that we use all the tools at our disposable to fight for truth and equality.
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