On Sunday, Fox News decided not to take advertiser money in order to make a very principled point: The insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021 wasn’t a big deal. That’s the basic position of both the GOP and conservative media writ large, at this point. Their end game is oligarchy and being the financial and power beneficiaries of that anti-democratic system.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Fox News higher-ups nixed airing a political commercial that highlighted law enforcement’s clashes with rioters and insurgents at the Capitol on that tragic day. Ben Meiselas, co-founder of the liberal MeidasTouch political action committee (PAC), told the Times, “We couldn’t have fathomed in our wildest imaginations that even a Fox News would reject an ad that simply condemns the insurrection, and condemns people who support the insurrection.” It’s hard to read tone and doubly hard to know whether Meiselas is being tongue-in-cheek here or simply naive.
In Fox News’ defense, the short commercial is damning to Republican leadership, face-checking Jan. 6 deniers like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, and Wisconsin Rep. Ron Johnson. Writing “racist” as a descriptor fits for each of the previous names, though the PAC commercial chooses to stick with their underplaying the seriousness of the Jan. 6, events. It features testimony from different law enforcement personnel recollecting experiences from that fateful day. The advertisement ends with title cards reading “The GOP Betrayed America. We Will Never Forget.”
The fact they want to cancel and censor the voices of law enforcement who bravely guarded the Capitol. It’s the height of hypocrisy, and it’s un-American.
MeidasTouch booked nearly $185,000 of air time to play the ad on Fox News between June 6 and 15, starting with Chris Wallace’s Sunday show and continuing for seven days on “Fox and Friends” as well as two spots on daytime programs and one more on Wallace’s show next weekend.
The MeidasTouch team points out the hypocrisy of a network like Fox News, which has spent so much time giving lip service to the faux boogeyman of “cancel culture,” in essence canceling this advertisement. “The fact they want to cancel and censor the voices of law enforcement who bravely guarded the Capitol. It’s the height of hypocrisy, and it’s un-American,” Meiselas told the Times.
It isn’t a surprise that Fox News’ interest in freedom of speech is disingenuous. Their No. 1 interest at this point is amplifying whichever Trump-inspired lie will keep the MAGA rubes shelling out money. And Donald Trump spent a good deal of his time in the most powerful seat in the known worldtrying to censor and cancel any and all dissenting opinions. In fact, Donald Trump’s No. 1 nemesis in regard to free speech was reality and our temporal world.
Fox News’ rejection of the advertisement has given it a longer life, as MeidasTouch has been able to use the Trump-loving network’s stark hypocrisy to very successfully promote the commercial online. The PAC, founded by three brothers, has successfully gotten Fox News’ goat before. During the Georgia runoff, an advertisement made by the PAC highlighting claims of insider trading against former Sen. Kelly Loeffler included Fox News personalities speaking to the charges against the vacuous GOP candidate. Fox News sent a cease and desist letter to the PAC, but MeidasTouch decided to tell the Murdoch crew to shove it. Fox News responded by shutting up and saying nothing.
More recently, the group has targeted Fox News and the GOP’s move toward overt white supremacy and extremism.