Chuck Ross

Guest Blog: A Raging Liberal Defends Fox News

May 27, 2011

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog by Norman Horowitz. Norman started in the TV business in 1956, when he was 24. He has been president of Worldwide Distribution for Columbia Pictures TV (Screen Gems); president of Polygram Television; and president of MGM/UA Telecommunications Co.]

By Norman Horowitz

Many take the position that if you do not approve of what someone’s press is publishing that it is acceptable to somehow destroy the offending press.

In the “pretend spirit” of free speech Media Matters for America (MMFA) wants to stifle the free press rights of Fox News. MMFA is not at all pleased with Fox News and has chosen to find a way to stop Fox News from publishing.

It is both sad and objectionable that MMFA objects to press freedom.

Media Matters has said:

…Don’t think for a minute, however, that [Glenn] Beck’s departure means Fox News has suddenly embraced accountability and restored credibility. A responsible journalistic organization wouldn’t have needed two years, a million lost viewers, and hundreds of lost advertisers to show Beck the door — but Fox News isn’t a responsible journalistic organization. The network still specializes in misinformation and falsehoods, including their famous tagline: "fair and balanced."

Fox News can’t keep the lies going alone. The network relies on the support of a wide range of advertisers who, through their financial support, help Fox News maintain a full-time operation promoting deception, provoking anger, and serving as the Republican Party’s mouthpiece all under the guise of news.

Because this has gone far enough, we’ve launched a new campaign to show advertisers just what they’re sponsoring when they partner with Fox News and to inform the public about which companies are supporting Fox’s dishonest and divisive agenda.

Join us today at Drop Fox.

It’s time for advertisers to decide. Will they continue to put their brand on the line by spending money to associate their products with bigotry, political attacks, and deliberate misinformation? Will they risk their reputation by helping to perpetuate Fox’s toxic effect on civil discourse? Or will they act responsibly and pull their ads from the so-called news network?

The hundreds of advertisers who refused to support Beck’s nightly hour of hate and paranoia put much-needed pressure on Fox News to get him off the air. As the rise and fall of Glenn Beck shows, Fox News and its parent company News Corp. will only respond when their bottom line is threatened. Together, we can change the incentives for News Corp. and end the destructive effect Fox News has on our national conversation.

Get involved in this important effort!

Join us today at Drop Fox.

Matt Butler
CEO and President
Media Matters for America (MMFA)

Media Matters of course can take issue with what Fox News promulgates and can publish opposing opinions of its own.

As many know, my politics pertaining to the media is that just about “anything goes.”

If you don’t approve of it don’t watch it, read it, or listen to it. Suggest that your friends and family might choose to do the same and that is fine.

But MMFA has crossed a line by trying to stifle a voice of which they don’t approve. They suggest, in a manner of speaking, that the public destroy the Fox presses by removing the financial support of Fox News that comes from Madison Avenue.

What a horrid position it is for MMFA to take.

We all need to support the right to publish commentators such as Glenn Beck and many others at Fox News. I personally find what they are spewing noxious. But that’s the point. As distasteful as it might be, we all need to defend speech we don’t agree with as long as it’s not inciting people to riot and things of that nature.

A famous example, of course, is one cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire.

If MMFA doesn’t like much of what is said on Fox News, they can say so, and they can say it quite LOUDLY.

But their shouting emits a foul odor when they are advocating the suppression of views expressed on Fox News along with the suppression of Fox News itself.#


  1. Norman is right. What makes the US different and has been core to our nation’s values is the right to FREE SPEECH. Efforts to hamper free speech should always be stopped. I don’t watch O’Reilly or Hannity who are noxious. But Shepard Smith’s two news shows on weekdays are two of the best news compilation shows on TV.

  2. As a fellow progressive, I admire your idealism. But some voices are too odious to ignore.
    And the problem at Fox isn’t that their commentators go over the top. They’re entertainers. That’s what we want them to do. Same goes on the left for Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher and Laurence O’Donnell.
    What FOX News does, and what Media Matters objects to most, is the political manipulation of what runs on their “news” shows. The demonization of the left and the promotion of the right by Ailes and Co. is well documented, and ignores details like fairness, balance or even truth in many instances.
    Like I said, I admire your idealism. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world and until the playing field is truly balanced, I agree with Media Matters that an ad boycott is sometimes called for.

  3. “What MSNBC does, and what I object to most, is the political manipulation of what runs on their “news” shows. The demonization of the right and the promotion of the left by MSNBC is well documented, and ignores details like fairness, balance or even truth in many instances.”… “Writer guy” all one has to do is change the specifics and what you said comes across in a wholly different way. I believe what I wrote above as strongly as you believe what you wrote. I choose, however, not to attack their First Amendment rights but to exercise my rights by NOT watching

  4. What media matters is doing is gutless and dangerous to America. You don’t see right wingers going all crazy about MSNBC whose programming is 24/7 pro democrat/anti republican.

  5. “What FOX News does, and what Media Matters objects to most…”
    You MAY object.
    You MAY speak out.
    You MAY choose not to watch Fox News.
    You MAY NOT advocate shutting off someone’s right to speak. You fight speech with MORE speech, not with less.
    Since when did the left become such Nazis that they would decide who should speak and on what terms?

  6. Hey, Guys.
    We are missing the big picture. If you don’t like what someone is saying and you want to stop them from saying it, you are not American. The first amendment isn’t there to protect your right to free speech provided I like what I hear.
    I am an imigrant from a country where you don’t get a right to free speech, you go to jail or you die for saying what you think.
    So smile WriterGuy and Son of Newspaper guy and bless the day that you get to post to this web site and spout your idea of fairness or nonsence or news or trashtalk.
    It don’t make no never mind how you describe your ideas, or those of your fellow Americans, just enjoy the RIGHT (not luxury) to say it, post it, ridicule it, do what ever you want to it.
    Cause when it’s gone, it’s gone and the next time you don’t like Bill O’Mahr or Lawrence Hannity or whatever talking, spouting, drivelling fool is on the box, just be thankful that he and you aren’t getting your head bashed in by a government thug, being paid to shut you up.
    Now those guys in Egypt and Libya and Syria can teach us a few things. Try talking crap about the government in Damascus or Tripoli and see how far you get.

  7. This is a silly argument. Media Matters isn’t calling for suppression. Suppression would be legally unable to watch Fox. To say that you are in favor of free speech does not mean you must never be opposed to listening to garbage. A boycott is not a way of stifling free speech, its a way of exercising it! A boycott is a form of free speech, too. If the Fox viewers are so plentiful and passionate, they have the right to let advertisers know how they feel about a boycott. Free speech doesnt mean everything must be given air time, it just means nothing should be against the law. If people find something objectionable enough that they don’t want to have to hear it, thats perfectly within their rights. The fact that MM isnt calling for a law banning Fox means they aren’t calling for suppression, stifling, or any of the other words used in this bogus argument.

  8. Hey Mike, tell George I said hi. And tell him to SPEND THAT MONEY!!! He needs to triple the amount so he can protect the ignorant unwashed from the evil and dangerous FOX News.

  9. Yo, WriterGuy…
    “…some voices are too odious to ignore.”
    And with that, you win this month’s ‘Freedom of the Press For The Press That Deserves to be Free’ award.
    Congratulations, Comrade!

  10. I wonder how many who valiantly support Media Matter’s effort to persuade advertisers to boycott FOX News also dauntlessly oppose the U.S. government from cutting its funding of NPR and PBS. Just remember, while you may not agree with FOX News, at least you’re not paying for it.

  11. I have to disagree here. Fox newscasters have never been shy about revoking the first amendment rights of others. Need I remind you all of the Dixie Chicks? In my mind, live by the sword, die by the sword.

  12. The Dixie Chicks are but one example.
    Remember also their so-called “War on Christmas” (in which viewers were asked, repeatedly, to boycott many of the nation’s top retailers); the victims of the Fox/Breitbart smear campaigns (Sherry Sherrod, ACORN, Planned Parenthood); and the boycott of NBC championed by Bill O’Reilly…

  13. No one stiffled DixieChicks freedom. There was just a back lash against what they said. People didn’t like it and stop choosing to buy their music. No one has a freedom from reprecussions that comes along with Freedom of Speech.

  14. I don’t see how MMFA is suppressing FOX news. They don’t have that kind of power. I don’t agree with trying to pressure advertisers. But I see nothing wrong with any organization pointing out that FOX news hates America and has done more harm to this great nation than Al Qaeda has ever hoped to do. Why does Roger Ailes hate America so much? Half of our nation is now running around screaming about Sharia Law, getting SSN’s issued to sperm cells and believing that the U.S. was not born here and is secretly a Muslim terrorist.

  15. What media matters is doing is gutless and dangerous to America.

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