The effort to obtain fair representation of LGBT people in the media is gaining momentum through Media Matters’ Drop Fox campaign. Drop Fox is a multi-issue campaign that holds Fox News accountable for its harmful presentations and misinformation on various fronts, including LGBT issues, by insisting that businesses withdraw their financial support of the network. Today, Media Matters joined Courage Campaign, GLAAD and Equality Matters in sending a letter to Orbitz CEO Barney Harford asking that the company stop supporting Fox News through ad revenue.
Fox News has a history of supporting television personalities and contributors who use anti-gay rhetoric in lieu of the respectful language expected of a news organization. According to Media Matters, Fox host Mike Huckabee has made outrageous comparisons between gay sexuality and behaviors such as drug abuse, incest and necrophilia. Similarly, Bill O’Reilly has asserted claims on his prime time Fox News show that marriage equality could lead to nuptials between humans and animals.
In stark contrast to Fox’s anti-gay reputation, Orbitz has been recognized by leading LGBT organizations such as GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign over the past years for its commitment to improving service for the LGBT community. Yet Ilyse Hogue, Senior Advisor at Media Matters, noted that, “Orbitz risks alienating gay and lesbian customers by giving ad dollars to Fox News, a network that blatantly promotes an anti-gay political agenda.” Hogue added that, “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.”
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios expressed support for the Drop Fox campaign and its initiative with Orbitz, stating, “Companies, especially ones with strong track records of LGBT inclusion, should think twice before supporting Fox News’ pervasive pattern of indefensible bias against our community. Orbitz is an industry leader in supporting our community and we urge them to send a message that Fox News’ attacks are unacceptable.”
On its website, Drop Fox puts the news organization’s track record in perspective. They write, “From comparing same-sex marriages to bestiality to employing a contributor who once warned about 'gay fascism' to providing a megaphone for anti-LGBT extremists, Fox News has proven to be an unseemly associate for organizations committed to decency, inclusiveness and equality for all.” GLAAD supports the Drop Fox campaign and Media Matters in standing up for responsible journalism and accurate media representations of LGBT lives.