The Fox News Channel ran a splashy full-page ad in our recent GOP Convention issue. In fact, Fox has bought several ads in The Nation in the last year, including our back page, leading some fifty readers to cancel their subscriptions in protest of the magazine taking what they considered tainted money.
But we stand by our advertising policy--one which starts "with the presumption that we will accept advertising even if the views expressed are repugnant to those of the editors.... Blatantly misleading ads, or ads purveying harmful products will fall into a gray area of discretion, but as a general principle, we assume our readers will have sufficient knowledge to judge for themselves the merits of commonly known products (such as cigarettes)." (For more on our ad policy, click here.)
In contrast, Fox News seems to believe its viewers must be protected from news free of White House spin and corporate agendas. More the cowardly lion than the faux-fierce Fox, the cable news network has just rejected a sixty-second TV ad that The Nation was planning to air during the Republican National Convention.
"Nobody owns The Nation. Not Time Warner, not Murdoch," the commercial says. "So there's no corporate slant, no White House spin. Just the straight dope." FOX rejected the ad "out of hand," according to the magazine's senior vice president for circulation Art Stupar, after our ad agency sent the commercial to the network. "I find it ironic." Stupar told the New York Times, which wrote about FOX's censorship. "They are the GOP cable station, a champion of free markets, and they got spooked at the thought of running an ad that doesn't publish spin or serve the agenda of corporate conglomerates." Could mention of Mr. Murdoch have been a problem? A man who takes money from some of the worst regimes in the world can't take a few bucks from The Nation?
Cowardly FOX may be running scared, but the ad appeared on Time Warner's CNN, as well as NBC Universal's MSNBC and Bravo, during RNC week. You can also click here to watch the spot online, and thanks to the readers and others who contributed money to allow us to air it.