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Fox ‘News’ Refused to Air Capitol Riot Ad from PAC

June 6, 2021

(LA TIMES) Fox News declined to broadcast an ad Sunday about the violence faced by law-enforcement officers as they tried to stop the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, according to the creators of the political commercial.

“We couldn’t have fathomed in our wildest imaginations that even a Fox News would reject an ad that simply condemns the insurrection and condemns people who support the insurrection,” said Ben Meiselas, co-founder of MeidasTouch, the liberal Political Action Committee that created the ad. “What Fox has really become is a fascist, echo-chamber gatekeeper for their base.”

Networks have the discretion to refuse to air ads by political campaigns and advocacy groups. A Fox News spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Meiselas and his brothers Brett and Jordan said they placed the ad buy as they have in the past but were informed Friday that the cable network would not air the ad. They were not given a reason.

 

The commercial features law-enforcement officers testifying in Congress and speaking to the media about their experiences during the insurrection, including being sprayed with bear mace, engaging in combat and being called “traitors.”

“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone says in a clip from a CNN interview as images of GOP elected officials are shown on screen.

The ad, which has gone viral on social media, ends with block letters that say “The GOP Betrayed America. We Will Never Forget.”

Fox News is the target of multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuits by makers of voting systems and software over its coverage of the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic accused Fox News of irresponsibly broadcasting falsehoods that their technology and equipment were used to rig the election. The fraud claims are among the factors that led to the insurrection as lawmakers were voting to certify the election results.

The House of Representatives approved a plan to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection on a 252-175 vote, but last month in the Senate, it received 54 votes, six fewer than required to bring the proposal up for debate.

MeidasTouch booked nearly $185,000 of air time to play the ad on Fox News until June 15, starting Sunday on Chris Wallace’s show and continuing for seven days on “Fox and Friends,” as well as two spots on daytime programs and one more on Wallace’s show next weekend.

Brett Meiselas noted that many shows on the network talk about “cancel culture.”

“The fact [is] they want to cancel and censor the voices of law enforcement who bravely guarded the Capitol,” he said. “It’s the height of hypocrisy, and it’s un-American.”

 

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