Media Matters Campaign to Deplatform Fox News Off Cable and Satellite Systems Gains Ground With Democrat Hearing in Congress This Week

The current push is based on accusations by liberals that Fox, Newsmax and OANN broadcast disinformation about the COVID pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. However, Media Matters has a campaign that preceded the current controversies, launched in 2019, called “UnFoxMyCableBox” urging liberals to demand that they stop being charged for Fox News and Fox Business as part of bundled fees.

MMFA boasted their president Angelo Carusone was quoted blasting Fox in Kristof’s column published Feb. 11:

As America debates whether to hold former President Donald Trump accountable for inciting insurrection, what about his co-conspirator Fox News?

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…We can’t impeach Fox or put Carlson or Sean Hannity on trial in the Senate, but there are steps we can take — imperfect, inadequate ones, resting on slippery slopes — to create accountability not only for Trump but also for fellow travelers at Fox, OANN, Newsmax and so on.

That can mean pressure on advertisers to avoid underwriting extremists (of any political bent), but the Fox News business model depends not so much on advertising as on cable subscription fees. So a second step is to call on cable companies to drop Fox News from basic cable TV packages.

…“Given all the damage that Fox News has caused and the threat that it remains, they absolutely should unbundle Fox News,” Carusone told me. “It’s not a news channel. It’s a propaganda operation mixed with political smut. If people want that, they should be forced to pay for it the way that they pay for Cinemax.”

“During 2020, Fox News’ caldron of lies and extremism boiled over,” Carusone said. “They made us sicker and put up obstacles to the pandemic response by flooding the airwaves with over 13,150 instances of COVID misinformation. They fomented racial animus and promoted white supremacy as a response to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. And, in the first two weeks after the election was called for Joe Biden, Fox News laid the groundwork for the attack on the Capitol by challenging the results on 774 individual instances with wild conspiracies and flat-out fabrications.”

House Democrats wrote a letter to cable and satellite providers in advance of this Wednesday’s hearing with this direct question:

“Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?”

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