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Thu Mar 14, 2019, 01:32 PM

Media Matters protests as Fox News makes pitch to advertisers

Columbia Journalism Review

BY 11AM ON WEDNESDAY, dozens of protesters had assembled outside the headquarters of Fox News, in midtown Manhattan. In the shadow of the glass and stone towers that line Avenue of the Americas, about 75 people were bundled up in hats and scarves. Their signs got right to the point: “DROP FOX,” one read. “FOX NEWS IS BAD FOR BUSINESS,” said another. “DON’T BE A SUCKER FOR TUCKER.”

“They have a strangely wide amount of space out here,” one of the demonstrators, Angelo Carusone, said of the open plaza at the entrance to the News Corp building. “It’s like it’s designed for protesting.” Carusone, who is 36 and wore a tweed jacket with brown wingtips, is the president of Media Matters for America, the progressive nonprofit responsible for organizing the rally. As he moved to address the crowd, over a hundred advertising executives were gathered inside, where network leaders and anchors beseeched them to continue their financial support of Fox News.

“There have to be meaningful consequences,” Carusone shouted as protesters and reporters craned to listen. “We have to deal with Fox News. They are a uniquely destructive voice, and the only way to do it, because they will not listen, is to go directly to the companies that are paying for what you hear every single night from Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity!”

It has been a busy week for Carusone, who is usually based at Media Matters’s headquarters in Washington, DC. On Sunday, his organization published audio of Carlson, host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, making misogynistic and hateful comments on a shock-jock radio program between 2006 and 2011. They followed Monday with another dump, this time of Carlson saying he wished the United States had an outwardly racist president and calling Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys.”


I had a chance to hear about this from Angelo this morning. This was an "upfront" where networks pitch their programs and featured performers to advertisers. Apparently the least controversial person they could put on stage was Laura Ingraham. No ad buys were obtained.

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