LBGT groups urge Orbitz to pull ads from Fox News


Media Matters kicked off its “DropFox” campaign 5/16 by urging online travel site Orbitz to pull its ads from the network, claiming Fox News has engaged in years of anti-LGBT bigotry and smears; compares same-sex relationships to bestiality, polygamy, incest, and pedophilia; and pushes anti-LGBT misinformation.

Three high-profile gay rights organizations—GLAAD, Courage Campaign and Equality Matters—signed the letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking that the company no longer support Fox News through ad revenue.

The DropFox campaign says it will hold Fox News accountable for its “hate speech, misinformation, and other alarming deviations from the usual standards of a news organization.” The campaign includes an online ad component to raise awareness about Orbitz’s financial support for Fox News.

“Orbitz risks alienating gay and lesbian customers by giving ad dollars to Fox News, a network that blatantly promotes an anti-gay political agenda,” said Ilyse Hogue, Senior Adviser at Media Matters. “Orbitz customers who value equality can and will take their business elsewhere, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Any company whose customer base values the diversity, civil rights, and journalistic standards should recognize that doing business with Fox will only cost them in the long run.”

Media Matters cited numerous events and dates over the past years from Fox News hosts, but gave special emphasis to:

•      Giving Mike Huckabee his own show despite his “history of comparing homosexuality to drug abuse, incest, pedophilia, and necrophilia. Huckabee has repeatedly used his Fox platform to campaign against gay marriage, and he has suggested that marriage equality poses a threat to stable society.”

•      Bill O’ Reilly repeatedly using his popular prime time show to warn against the “dangers of allowing gay people near children, to assert that same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy, nuptials with turtles, ducks or dolphins, and to claim that implementing a hate crimes bill could protect pedophiles.”

•      Perpetuating the claim that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would impact troop readiness and morale, despite multiple reports — including the Pentagon’s — to the contrary.

RBR-TVBR observation: Every advertiser is important, but we wonder why Orbitz was the focus on this Media Matters announcement. GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios mentioned Orbitz is an industry leader in supporting [the] community, so perhaps the company might be the easiest to convince to drop the network. Usually, all advertisers are targeted in an effort such as this, so the strategy must be to get one to fall first before working on the others.