Dozens of Activist Groups Target Fox News for Boycotts, But Two Details Seem to Defang This Effort

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Learning who is behind this takes away much of the threat.

On Tuesday it was announced there was the release of a letter set to go public in which over forty progressive activist groups are coming together to warn corporate America away from advertising on Fox News. This push, cleverly dubbed Drop Fox, is intended to let these corporations know there is a financial risk for them if they intend to promote their products and services on the news channel. Although this sort of effort has been made numerous times in the past, this time it is different because…uh, they wrote a letter?

Headlined by Black Lives Matter, and GLAAD (only a few other groups are listed, including the usual lineup of intemperate sources, like MoveOn, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Sleeping Giants, and their ilk), the push to influence these companies are targeting their ad buyers, letting them know that they should not work with Fox, or that they “risk damaging the reputation of their brands.” That is a barely veiled threat that their businesses would incur the neutered wrath of boycotts. 

“Fox News has already made clear what you can expect from the network next year: more Tucker, more lies, more extremism, and more racism,” the groups say, according to an advance copy of the letter obtained by TheWrap. “Use this inflection point to quietly part ways with Fox News.”

They have also set up a spartan website that lists out these companies currently working with the news channel, as well as all of the contact information so they can be leveraged appropriately. If this all sounds rather familiar that is understandable. This has been an ongoing push for years, and this particular gathering is being spearheaded by an unsurprising force. The letter and the website are orchestrated by a longtime opponent.

This newly branded boycott is instigated by — Media Matters For America. 

Yes, yes, stop chuckling. No, wait; chuckling is appropriate. This infamous leftist cabal has been attempting to get Fox impacted financially for years, and they have had about the same effect as a yapping Yorkie has by barking at the construction project taking place across a street. While this detail alone is enough to set off a nationwide wave of shrugs, we also are served all the more reason to point and laugh.

Over at The Wrap they had obtained an early release of this renewed call for resistance — getting a copy of The Letter — and also garnering an exclusive interview with the organizer.

When the next inevitable Fox News outrage emerges, the advertisers and media buyers that stuck with Fox News during this critical decision period will need to explain why they actively chose to continue to enable Fox News’ extremism,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone told TheWrap Tuesday. “The advertisers that choose to recommit to Fox News will end up being the ones to pay the reputational price for Fox’s lies and extremism.”

Carusone does not specify what makes this particular upcoming moment a “critical decision period”, but take his word on it — it is critical! Now, is it more critical than past boycott efforts he and his basement-dwelling news force launched? We can only assume…and we have to. We are granted no other details regarding what constitutes critical mass here, so just go with the insistence. 

With being tipped off, the entertainment outlet was able to reach out for comment from the intended target. The details given by Fox News further mitigate any import this coalition of cranks might create. Said a spokesman from the channel:

Fox News is about to close out its fourth consecutive year delivering new records in advertising revenue, so clearly Media Matters’ predictable ongoing partisan attacks have zero impact outside of their irrelevant echo chamber on social media.”

Not just taking a press release soundbite as fact, The Wrap looked into the data and found this was proven correct. According to Morning Consult, in 2020 Fox News viewers were more likely to purchase advertised products than the audiences at their competitors, CNN and MSNBC. Also, another study found advertisers were more likely to spend on commercial time at Fox. While last year saw a drop in overall spending, Fox News experienced significant growth.

Ad spending behind cable-news networks was off 1.6%, according to SMI. Marketers seemed interested in Fox News’ weekday primetime schedule, according to SMI, with ad spend behind those programs up 65% compared to the year-earlier period.

Based on the track record over the years with these targeted efforts at cutting into the revenues at Fox News, one would not be faulted for thinking the network would almost be encouraging more of these activist boycotts.