Fox News won’t run advertisement spots that would have aired an ad for a half a minute aimed at showing Fox News fans what dangers fascism pose. The Hollywood Reporter reports that an executive at Fox News declined to air the advertisements despite the ad revenue because the cable news channel didn’t believe the subject matter was appropriate.
Marianne Gambelli (President of Ad Sales, FOX News) explained to the Jewish Voice: “The ad in question is full of disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film’s message and did not meet our guidelines.”
The advertisement was supposed to open people’s eyes up to the dangers of fascism while also promoting a short documentary based on that very concept. A Night at the Garden documents a time in America where American Nazi sympathizers held a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1939, at the same time the Nazis were persecuting Jews and taking land from sovereign nations. The ad aimed to alert people to the rising fascistic movements around the globe, with the dire warning that “It Can Happen Here.”
The first ad was supposed to run during a commercial break that would happen in the middle of Sean Hannity’s hour. Hannity has been one of President Donald Trump’s loudest defenders and draws some of the biggest audiences in cable news. Field of Vision handles distribution for the documentary, and it wanted to get its message out on one of the most-watched cable news shows.
The first advertisement was actually just a regional ad buy that never aired anyway because it was superseded by the president holding a rally in Texas. Field of Vision then decided to try for a national ad spot during Hannity’s primetime hour, and that’s when Fox News deemed the ad buy too inappropriate for the channel.
According to emails reviewed by Hollywood Reporter from a representative working on behalf of Fox News in order to try and sell national ads, he relayed the message to Field of Vision that CEO Suzanne Scott found the ad “not appropriate for our air.”
The original regional ad purchase was facilitated through Charter Communications, and cable networks only have control over national ads. Otherwise, the ad spot that would have aired locally if the president’s Texas rally didn’t preempt planned programming couldn’t have been stopped by Fox News.
The director of the film spoke to Hollywood Reporter about why he made it and how he thought it fit into the bigger global narrative in 2019.
“The film shines a light on a time when thousands of Americans fell under the spell of a demagogue who attacked the press and scapegoated minorities using the symbols of American patriotism,” director Marshall Curry said.
He scratched his head about Fox News’s decision to not run the ads. “It’s amazing to me that the CEO of Fox News would personally inject herself into a small ad buy just to make sure that Hannity viewers weren’t exposed to this chapter of American history.”
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