|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 11, 2009
Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
Washington, D.C. – Today, on the eighth anniversary of 9-11, one day before Glenn Beck’s “9-12 Project” descends on Washington, Media Matters for America calls attention to what has become a familiar, disturbing pattern on the purportedly “fair and balanced” news network.
Fox News now routinely engages in political advocacy against the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress, and Beck’s promotion of a September 12 march on Washington is the latest example. Network executives have made little effort to hide Fox News’ agenda, with one referring to the network as the “voice of opposition.”
“There is little difference between being the ‘voice of opposition’ and just being the opposition,” said Eric Burns, president of Media Matters. “Since the president’s election, Fox News has become nothing more than the 24/7 media wing of the Republican Party. No political party in American history has had such an enormous megaphone.”
Since President Obama’s inauguration, Fox News network executives have made their intentions clear. In clips aired on the March 23 broadcast of NPR’s Media Circus, vice president for programming Bill Shine referred to the network as the “voice of opposition.” And chief executive officer Roger Ailes reportedly said of the new administration: “I see this as the Alamo,” adding, “If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we’d be fine.”
On air, the network’s agenda is even clearer. Fox News personalities and hosts have promoted and encouraged viewers to “join” tea party protests and town hall meetings. They have implored viewers to call Congress and the White House to protest Democratic policies. And they have declared “Victory!” when Democratic legislation has been stalled.
Most recently, Beck and Fox News have repeatedly promoted Beck’s “9-12 Project,” which, in addition to encouraging local events, is organizing a September 12 march on Washington, which Fox News will broadcast live.
- Beck’s 9-12 Project “a place” for people looking to take back their country. Beck started the 9-12 Project, which describes itself as “a place for you and other like-minded Americans looking for direction in taking back the control of our country.” Beck’s FoxNews.com website, under a section titled, “TAKE ACTION: GET INVOLVED!” states of the 9-12 Project: “Check out Beck’s new Web site for updates on the stories and people who prove that your values and principles are still very much alive.”
- 9-12 Project organizes events across country. The conservative project frequently organizes events around the country. For instance, members of the 9-12 Project have helped organize tea parties, and Beck’s 9-12 website is working with others for a “March on Washington,” among other local events, on September 12. Beck will participate in a 9-12 “March on Washington” by broadcasting live from 1 to 3 p.m. ET on Fox News.
- Beck: “9-12 Projects and rallies happening all over.” In recent months, Beck has frequently touted the effectiveness of his 9-12 Project in organizing followers. On August 12, for instance, Beck described the 9-12 Project as giving “ourselves an outlet of voice to connect, because you needed to community organize. … Well, you have already done it. There are 9-12 Projects and rallies happening all over. The biggest one seems to be in Washington, D.C., on September 12.”
- Beck: “We started that. Millions all involved across the country and the 9-12 project and other organizations like it.” On August 27, Beck said of the 9-12 Project:
BECK: Now, the second part of this. A few months ago, I told you, you got to know you’re not alone. You’ve got to know. You got to unite. Talk to people. Make sure you know you’re not alone, through the 9-12 Project. We started that. Millions all involved across the country and the 9-12 Project and other organizations like it. I knew we needed to connect with one another.
- Beck: “On 9-12, I hope to see you in Washington. I will make sure you’re seen all over the country.” On August 28, Beck described the 9-12 march on Washington as something “worth standing up for” and told viewers, “I hope to see you in Washington. I will make sure you’re seen all over the country.”
- Beck: Will we find people “to stand for our country?” Discussing his participation in the 9-12 march, Beck asked viewers: “Will we find another 50 men or women willing to stand for our country and the republic? On the Fox News Channel, you can find out all of the details at the 912Project.com.”
- 9-12 march website: Beck “really helping our numbers grow!” A post on the 9-12 march website 912dc.org states, “The recent coverage by Glenn Beck is really helping our numbers grow!” The website frequently mentions Beck’s promotion of the march and excerpted a September 8 USA Today articlewhich reported that the march has been “[e]ncouraged by conservative commentators such as Fox’s Glenn Beck.”
For more examples of the network’s political advocacy, please see Media Matters‘ comprehensive report: