LBGT Groups Urge Orbitz to Pull Ads from Fox News Over Anti-Gay Rhetoric
-- Travel Agency is First Target in DropFox Campaign to Hold Network Accountable
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-- Online Ads Apply Pressure to Orbitz and Promote DropFox Campaign www.dropfox.com
WASHINGTON – Media Matters kicked off its DropFox campaign today by urging Orbitz (OWW), an online travel site, to pull its ads from the anti-LBGT Fox News network. Three high-profile gay rights organizations—GLAAD, Courage Campaign and Equality Matters—signed the letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking that the company no longer support Fox News through ad revenue.
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Media Matters' multi-issue DropFox campaign aims to hold Fox News accountable for its hate speech, misinformation, and other alarming deviations from the usual standards of a news organization. This campaign includes an online ad component to raise awareness about Orbitz's financial support for Fox News.
"Orbitz risks alienating gay and lesbian customers by giving ad dollars to Fox News, a network that blatantly promotes an anti-gay political agenda," said Ilyse Hogue, Senior Adviser at Media Matters. "Orbitz customers who value equality can and will take their business elsewhere, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Any company whose customer base values the diversity, civil rights, and journalistic standards should recognize that doing business with Fox will only cost them in the long run."
Fox News' history of destructive anti-gay language and actions includes:
- Giving Mike Huckabee his own show despite Huckabee's history of comparing homosexuality to drug abuse, incest, pedophilia, and necrophilia. Huckabee has repeatedly used his Fox platform to campaign against gay marriage, and he has suggested that marriage equality poses a threat to stable society.
- Bill O' Reilly repeatedly using his popular prime time show to warn against the "dangers" of allowing gay people near children, to assert that same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy, nuptials with turtles, ducks or dolphins, and to claim that implementing a hate crimes bill could protect pedophiles.
- Perpetuating the claim that repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell would impact troop readiness and morale, despite multiple reports — including the Pentagon's — to the contrary.
Orbitz's gay-specific travel site has been warmly received, has resulted in higher quality service for the LGBT community and has achieved an increase in growth for Orbitz. In the last few years, leading LGBT organizations such as GLAAD have recognized the great work that Orbitz has done in partnering with and catering to the LGBT community.
"Companies, especially ones with strong track records of LGBT inclusion, should think twice before supporting Fox News' pervasive pattern of indefensible bias against our community," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Orbitz is an industry leader in supporting our community and we urge them to send a message that Fox News' attacks are unacceptable."
"Orbitz loves gay dollars and, we hope, LGBT people, but by funding homophobes and charlatans like hosts Bill O'Reilly and Mike Huckabee, Orbitz sends the wrong message," said Courage Campaign Founder and Chair Rick Jacobs. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can go to plenty of other travel sites. We count on Orbitz to do the right thing and stop buying advertising on Fox News Channel so that LGBT people can continue to shop with Orbitz. The alternatives are clear."
A Media Matters analysis of coverage on everything from gay marriage to the repeal of DADT to gay individuals supports a conclusion that Fox's coverage is driven by an anti-LGBT political agenda and cannot be considered unbiased news.
Media Matters will continue to hold Fox News accountable for its indefensible rhetoric through its DropFox campaign.
Fox News has engaged in years of anti-LGBT bigotry and smears:
- Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson wants kids to know the "unhappy facts" about gay people (April 19, 2011)
- Fox Nation, anti-gay hate group united in opposition to protecting LGBT individuals worldwide (March 24, 2011)
- Huckabee uses role at Fox News to launch anti-gay attacks (March 2, 2011)
- Fox attacks LGBT history bill as "propaganda" from "pro-gay agenda" (December 20, 2010)
- During discussion of gay-themed McDonald's ad, O'Reilly asks: "Do they have an al-Qaeda ad?" (June 3, 2010)
- LGBT groups criticize O'Reilly for "equating gays" with "terrorists" (June 3, 2010)
- Fox News contributor goes off on anti-gay rant (January 6, 2010)
- In vicious new smear, Rove falsely claims Jennings advocated for NAMBLA (October 7, 2009)
- Fox Nation, Washington Examiner manufacture Jennings-NAMBLA link (October 2, 2009)
- Glenn Beck depicts "Barney Frank To The Rescue" (June 29, 2009)
- Discussing "very important story," O'Reilly asks, "I can't figure out how they know the penguins are gay... Do they wear tight t-shirts?" (June 10, 2009)
- In "Street Meat" graphic, FBN's Bolling pictures Rep. Barney Frank "appropriately positioned...catching, of course" (May 11, 2009)
- Gingrich: "[T]here is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us" (November 17, 2008)
- O'Reilly: "[T]housands" of gays in one place "can be confusing to children" (July 13, 2007)
- O'Reilly: To "cluster" gays near children is "insane" and "inappropriate" (July 12, 2007)
- Coulter:"I don't think there's anything offensive about any variation of faggy, faggotry, faggot, fag" (March 7, 2007)
- Fox's Hill on Clinton's "Southern drawl": "[I]f she was attending, say, a GLAAD convention, would she speak with a lisp?" (March 6, 2007)
- O'Reilly logic: If kids of gay parents were equally healthy, why wouldn't eating cupcakes cause pregnancy? (December 14, 2006)
- O'Reilly on ban of Irish lesbian and gay group from NYC St. Patrick's Day parade: "I don't want these people
intruding on a parade where little children are...watching." (March 21, 2006)
- Introducing a segment about the Academy Awards, Fox News anchor Gregg Jarret said that the films nominated in the Best Picture category carry "darker themes," such as "homosexuality; homicide bombings; political assassinations." (March 6, 2006)
Fox News compares same-sex relationships to bestiality, polygamy, incest, and pedophilia:
- During discussion of same-sex marriage, O'Reilly again brings up absurd question about marrying a duck
(July 13, 2010)
- Huckabee claimed that legalizing same-sex marriage is like legalizing drug use, incest, and polygamy
(April 9, 2010)
- O'Reilly: Gay marriage could lead to marrying a turtle
(May 12, 2009)
- Beck uses toys to explain slippery slope from same-sex marriage to polyamorous marriage (May 12, 2009)
- On his radio program, Beck argues that gay marriage would allow for siblings to marry, if "they're both fixed" and can't procreate (May 12, 2009)
- O'Reilly, others on Fox News warn of "triads" with legalization of same-sex marriage (May 11, 2009)
- As a public official, Huckabee called homosexuality an "aberration" and condemned the government for
supporting it along with pedophilia, sadomasochism, and necrophilia (January 2, 2008)
- O'Reilly links same-sex marriage to UK woman who "married" dolphin (January 5, 2006)
- On his radio program, O'Reilly continues obsession with inter-species marriages (September 16, 2005)
- On his radio program, O'Reilly again warns that same-sex marriage could lead to calls for nuptials with goats
(April 15, 2005)
Fox News pushes anti-LGBT misinformation:
- Quick Fact: O'Reilly advances myth that DADT repeal will "cause a lot of morale problems" (April 21, 2010)
- Myths and falsehoods on Don't Ask, Don't Tell (February 24, 2010)
- Special Report pushes debunked claim that DADT repeal would "adversely impact" troop readiness
(February 23, 2010)
- In latest bigoted smear, Fox leads right-wing media assault on Jennings' involvement with anti-AIDS group
(October 23, 2009)
- Fox News' Hemmer latest to advance made-up charge that Jennings knew of "statutory rape" case and "never reported it" (October 1, 2009)
- Despite evidence to contrary, Fox News machine claims Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape"
(September 30, 2009)
- O'Reilly smears hate crimes bill with false claim that pedophiles could be protected (May 6, 2009)
Fox News provides a platform for anti-LGBT extremism:
- Fox Invites Hate Group President Tony Perkins To Continue His Anti-Gay Misinformation Campaign (April 27, 2011)
- For DOMA reaction, Fox News turns first to anti-gay bigot Maggie Gallagher (February 23, 2011)
- On Fox & Friends, Perkins claims he's not "anti-gay" while promoting "research" that says "homosexual behavior is harmful" (December 9, 2010)
- Anti-gay bigotry isn't off-limits on Fox either (October 25, 2010)
- On Fox, MRC's Graham criticized MSNBC for "adding this lesbian Air America radio host, Rachel Maddow" to its lineup (September 9, 2008)
- Fox News guest Rudov "fear[s] ... the long-term consequences for children" of "promoting" "homosexual lifestyle" (April 7, 2008)