Have you ever looked up at the television at a local business -- your gym, an auto shop, a bar or restaurant -- only to find Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly shouting down at you? Often without thinking about it, many businesses and other public establishments are providing a vehicle for Fox News' attempts to divide America. Now you can do something about it.
There are several ways you can get involved:
- Join the campaign by signing our petition calling on businesses in your community and across America to turn off Fox News Channel (you'll also get a free TurnOffFox sticker!)
- Know of businesses or other public places that play Fox News? You can help us identify them, and if you're willing to talk with them, we provide materials that make it easy to explain why they should change the channel.
- If there are businesses you know that want to tell the world they would never play Fox, you can help them declare themselves a "Fox-free zone."
- Spread the word and get your friends and family involved in the campaign.
Please check out TurnOffFox.org, join us, and get involved!
Get your free Turn Off Fox sticker
When you join the campaign, you'll also have the opportunity to get a free Turn Off Fox bumper sticker -- and even the shipping is free! You can get 5 stickers for a donation of $3, 20 stickers for $10, or 50 stickers for $20. Getting stickers (and sharing them with your friends) isn't just about making a personal statement of your values. It helps to build awareness of our brand and our message, and makes it easier to educate folks about why Fox News is unparalleled in its propagation of division and bigotry.
Here's a summary of why we are asking businesses and other public establishments to refuse to play Fox News Channel:
- Fox News divides our country. Fox News hosts and guests regularly attempt to pit groups of people against one another - white against black, US-born against immigrant, gay against straight and men against women.
Some of the network's most divisive rhetoric is spouted when the topic of race. In July 2009, Fox host Glenn Beck called President Obama a "racist" who has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture" -- a statement with which Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch has since said he agrees. Frequent Fox guest Jesse Lee Peterson has said that most black people lack moral character, and cited "what they did to the dome" after Hurricane Katrina as evidence. Recently, Fox News contributor John Stossel called for the repeal of a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prevents business owners from discriminating based on race. And Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity were the first to air maliciously edited video of Shirley Sherrod's speech to the Georgia NAACP -- video that cost Sherrod her job with the USDA. The recent episode involving Sherrod has helped confirm what we have long known -- that Fox is a propaganda machine with no regard for the truth.
Glenn Beck calling President Obama a "racist" was the most blatant example of Fox News leading the effort paint the President as someone who harbors and acts upon deeply held prejudice against white people. But the network consistently tries to create the impression that black political and civic leaders want to "get even" with whites by taking their wealth and giving it to blacks.
We've seen the hateful atmosphere that has arisen at Tea Parties because of this false narrative. As the House of Representatives deliberated over health care legislation this past spring, some Tea Party members gathered outside the Capitol shouted "Ni**er!" at black congressmen. One of the protesters spat on Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, while another called openly gay Representative Barney Frank a "faggot" as the laughing crowd imitated his lisp. The Tea Party has been uncritically promoted and embraced by Fox News since its inception.
- Fox News is dangerous. The connection between the network's inflammatory, violent rhetoric and its real world effects is clear. Two examples demonstrate this, though more exist.
Last year, abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down in his church after being demonized for years by Fox's Bill O'Reilly as "Tiller the Baby Killer." O'Reilly had compared Tiller to the Nazis and to Al-Qaeda. He said that Tiller had "blood on his hands" and that he wouldn't want to be Tiller "if there is a Judgement Day."
In another example, a man armed with a rifle, a shotgun and a handgun opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers on an Oakland freeway in July of this year. After he was apprehended, police determined the shooter was on his way to the American Civil Liberties Union and Tides Foundation offices in San Francisco to kill people. In the aftermath of the tragedy, the shooter's mother said that her son watched a lot of television news and was angry at left-wing politicians and organizations. While many Americans are aware of the ACLU's work, the Tides Foundation is a little-known non-profit organization that most people had never heard of -- until Fox's Glenn Beck started demonizing and spreading false information about the organization. Since Beck's show premiered in January of 2009, he has pushed conspiracy theories involving Tides on nearly 30 episodes. During the same time period, Tides was never mentioned on other cable or network news channels, according to a report by the watchdog group Media Matters.
- Fox News Channel isn't really news. Real news stations don't engage in smear campaigns founded on lies and half-truths.
Fox News insists that they're a legitimate news network. They engage in divisive rhetoric, race-baiting and attempts at character assassinations, but they do it all under the guise of reporting the news. Often the mainstream media eventually takes the bait and runs with Fox News' distortions and smear campaigns. When businesses and public places play Fox News, they become a conduit for its stream of misinformation, and it contributes to the misconception that the network is a credible source for news and information.
This campaign is about organizing people to use their feet and their dollars to encourage establishments not to spread Fox 's poison in their communities.
To learn more, and to join the campaign, please visit our website at TurnOffFox.org.