Earlier this week Equality Matters, The Courage Campaign, and GLAAD spearheaded the DropFox campaign and asked people to petition companies such as Orbitz—a travel company with a gay web portal and gay-friendly ads—to pull all their advertising from the rabidly anti-gay FOX News Channel. But the Log Cabin Republicans say the campaign is a bad idea because we shouldn’t antagonize our corporate supporters like Orbitz. So who’s right?
Here’s the petition’s gist:
These campaigns of misinformation, smears, and flat-out lies — which are propagated throughout Fox News’ programming, including its so-called news shows — do real damage to our families and communities. They also call attention to the fact that by supporting Fox News, Orbitz is supporting an organization committed to advancing an agenda that demeans many of your customers and advocates limiting their civil rights. It also undermines Orbitz’s laudable support for the LGBT community.
Orbitz released a statement defending its advertising on FOX News adding that it would not take sides in a political battle between George Soros’ Media Matters and Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News. Conservative meat puppet Bill O’Reilly mentioned the Orbitz statement on his show and said that he considered Orbitz patriotic for standing by their business decisions in light of harsh criticism.
Dozens of brands advertise on Fox News Channel, from American Airlines to Intel to Walgreens, many of which have as long a history supporting the LGBT community as Orbitz (if not longer!). But the organizers of this political grassroots organization – instead of choosing to engage in productive dialogue – chose to launch a sneak attack and smear campaign against just us at Orbitz right out of the gate. They want to discredit our work within the LGBT community, try to embarrass and shame our employees and we won’t stand for such bullying tactics that care more about using our brand to get headlines and fundraise than they do about fighting for the equal rights of all peoples. That is why HRC didn’t join their campaign…and it is why GLAAD (concerned with the tactics of this group…not their message) also dropped out of the DropFox campaign…
I would tell our customers in the LGBT community that I hope Mr. O’Reilly still thinks we are patriots when we refuse to bow to the next boycott that attempts to get us to stop advertising within the LGBT media – from LOGO to the Advocate to GayTravel.com – or with someone on the liberal side of TV dial who gets vocal against those with Elephants on their key chains. That said, we have customers from all corners of the globe, and we intend to promote our brand in a way that is as diverse as our customer base.
Weirdly, we can find no indication that GLAAD dropped out of the DropFox campaign nor any proof to the claim that the HRC refused to join out of tactical disagreements. Is DropFox talking out of its ass?
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the LGBT GOP group the Log Cabin Republicans, issued a statement against the DropFox campaign saying, “…our advocacy organizations are attacking long-time corporate allies for advertising on FOX News? It’s not only a bad tactic, it’s going to do more long-term harm than anything else.”
We’re actually against Orbitz on this one. Orbitz can pat itself on the back for not bowing to partisan pressure, but FOX News is pretty scummy and advertising there does help keep their signal broadcasting. And though the LGBT community shouldn’t expect an otherwise gay-friendly company to conform to its expectations every time we want, the DropFOX campaign doesn’t just focus on FOX’s anti-gay smears; it also focuses on their distortions of climate change science and their operation as a 24-hour Republican propaganda machine with no interest in objective, fair or balanced news reporting.
FOX does untold damage with its work and while Orbitz may not wholeheartedly endorse the network’s every word, one must question whether Orbitz’s commitment to their “diverse customer base” really amounts to more than a just desire to gain anyone’s business, no matter who they have to support.