|LBGT Groups Urge Orbitz to Pull Ads from Fox News Over Anti-Gay Rhetoric|
Media Matters kicked off its DropFox campaign today by urging Orbitz (OWW), an online travel site, to pull its ads from the anti-LBGT Fox News network. 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.
Media Matters’ multi-issue DropFox campaign aims to hold Fox News accountable for its hate speech, misinformation, and other alarming deviations from the usual standards of a news organization. This 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.”
Fox News’ history of destructive anti-gay language and actions includes:
• Giving Mike Huckabee his own show despite Huckabee’s 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.
Orbitz’s gay-specific travel site has been warmly received, has resulted in higher quality service for the LGBT community and has achieved an increase in growth for Orbitz. In the last few years, leading LGBT organizations such as GLAAD have recognized the great work that Orbitz has done in partnering with and catering to the LGBT community.
“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,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “Orbitz is an industry leader in supporting our community and we urge them to send a message that Fox News’ attacks are unacceptable.”
“Orbitz loves gay dollars and, we hope, LGBT people, but by funding homophobes and charlatans like hosts Bill O'Reilly and Mike Huckabee, Orbitz sends the wrong message,” said Courage Campaign Founder and Chair Rick Jacobs. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can go to plenty of other travel sites. We count on Orbitz to do the right thing and stop buying advertising on Fox News Channel so that LGBT people can continue to shop with Orbitz. The alternatives are clear.”