Moveon.org, the anti-Bush “grass-roots” advocacy group has begun urging followers to contact the Federal Trade Commission to ask the agency to outlaw Fox News Channel’s use of the motto “Fair and Balanced.”
“You can now ask the FTC to order Fox News to stop misleading consumers. The FTC’s job is to protect consumers from deceptive advertising on the part of big media companies,” shouts the group’s website.
The activist group, which has compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler, claims the popular news channel’s use of their slogan is “deceptive and misleading.”
Offering a sample letter to the FTC, Moveon.org includes the line, “Fox News is free to present programming in any way it wishes, but the First Amendment does not permit false advertising.”
The site offers to send a Net user’s note to the agency and to congressional leaders.
While no evidence of deception is presented on the Moveon.org page, it includes a video clip montage of FNC’s Bill O’Reilly saying “shut up” in various contexts.
Moveon.org says it worked with film director Robert Greenwald to make a documentary called “Outfoxed,” which presents the group’s evidence that Fox News Channel “turns Republican talking points into news headlines.”
“‘Outfoxed’ examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, have been running a ‘race to the bottom’ in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know,” Moveon.org says.
Greenwald says FNC has “put pressure on many of the other networks to move in the same direction: cheap news, ranting and raving, pseudo-patriotism.”
Fox has said the documentary is the product of complaints from ex-staffers it characterizes as “former low-level FOX employees” who are “hardly worth addressing.”
Moveon.org is partially bankrolled by billionaire George Soros, who has donated millions to various efforts in hopes of ousting Bush from the White House.