gay blog, gay news, gay culture

Orbitz Defends Fox News on O’Reilly Factor

gay blog, gay news, gay culture
The majority of the US supports gay marriage, but not Fox News!

Oh, Bill. Always providing such reliable fodder for our incredulity. In last night’s Talking Points, O’Reilly focused on “Presidential Politics and the Media,” and brought up the Media Matters’ campaign to get Orbitz to drop Fox News from their advertising.

O’Reilly notes that “the Orbitz travel agency was threatened, but they’re patriots over there and issued a statement.”

Then, under the title “Orbitz Defends Fox News,” Orbitz spokesman Brian Hoyt says:

[Media Matters] is a political organization that has been funded pretty extensively to go after one network, and we aren’t going to engage in that fight.

We have a strict policy of tolerance and non-discrimination, and that means that we don’t favor one political side or the other.

Bill O’Reilly notes that Media Matters is funded by George Soros, and that it is a left-wing attack on Fox News because “the far left despises FOX News primarily because we are more skeptical of liberal America than most other media.” Yup, Bill, skepticism is exactly why we despise you! It has nothing to do with how you insist on pretending that you are “fair and balanced” (just watch until the end of the video below!).

Now, onto Orbitz. What did you expect, advertising on Fox News? Sure, you might have been doing it for awhile, and so what if Media Matters is a political organization. So is Fox News! Media Matters exists to call out lies, hypocrisy and bigotry in the media – no matter what channel it’s on.

So what’s your excuse, Orbitz? How can you market to us, take our money and then claim “tolerance” for the reason that you are advertising on hateful Fox News? You can’t have your gay and beat it too. Our money comes with a caveat: You cannot use it for something that hurts our community and hurts our fight for equal rights.

Supporting Fox News with money that might have come from Gay Orbitz is not the way to go about showing your consistent support of the gay community. You have to do more than just list your previous LGBT awards, or talk about your Perfect 100 with HRC, or talk about advertising on LOGO. Past actions are not Band-Aids to current situations.

While we respect the right for Orbitz to advertise anywhere, they have to undersand that Fox News, and the hosts that populate the channel, regularly spread lies and disinformation about gays: we are not necrophiliacs, we are not Al Qaeda, and being gay is not about drugs and incest.

Like it or not, Orbitz, you have already taken sides. You sided with the gay community when you launched Gay Orbitz and took our money. Every business decision is about taking sides – there is no neutral in the world.

Hoyt also told the Hollywood Reporter, “We’re going to advertise on conservative TV stations, liberal TV stations and — if there are any out there — unbiased news broadcasts.” Well, if you want to advertise anywhere you want, then you have to deal with the consequences of some of your consumers taking issue with that. The question is: Which constituency is more important to the growth of your business?

I sent the following letter to Brian Hoyt, who is Orbitz’s VP for Corporate Communications and Government Affairs. His number is 312.894.6890 and his email is bhoyt@orbitz.com. Let’s see if we hear back from them!

(For a list of Fox News’ anti-LGBT rhetoric, visit DropFox)

Brian

My name is Nick Vivion, and I run Unicorn Booty. We are a top gay blog, and, with 55,000+ people, the most followed gay blog on social media in the world. I am also a travel journalist and the inaugural Gay Travel Guru for GayTravel.com.

I have been following this DropFox thing, and just sat down to write a brief piece on it. But now it’s looking like I need to get some comment directly from Orbitz, especially with Bill O’Reilly jumping on board last night. He broadcast a statement you made, with the heading “Orbitz Defends Fox News.” Yikes. This is bad. Bill O’Reilly is a bigot, and he uses his platform at Fox News to regularly demonstrate this. I could send over dozens of videos, but I’m sure you have already seen them all. Huckabee compares homosexuality to incest, drug use, etc, and uses his show to rail on gay marriage. The channel constantly insists that DADT is necessary – even though the Joint Chiefs and President say otherwise.

Basically, Fox News regularly broadcasts disinformation that really, truly impacts the gay community. It hurts. We do not have equal rights in this country, and Fox News is making it harder ever day to achieve federal equal rights. I cannot marry my partner – who is also my business partner at Unicorn Booty – and every time I watch another clip or read something else hateful that happened on Fox News, I cringe.

In your TRUTH press release, you point to your consistent support of the gay community. You point to winning the 2008 GLAAD award, to the many commercials, and to the many millions you have donated. All of this is in support of the community that you hope will spend money on your Gay Orbitz travel portal. This is commendable, but remember that past actions are no Band-Aids for current situations.

Gay travelers have to truly feel like a company supports their community – we are fiercely loyal and expect companies that we patronize to be as well. Your support of Fox News via ad dollars is not consistent with your prior support of our community, and while I respect your right to advertise to a broad audience, this is a compromise that you make when you market directly to the LGBT community. You cannot market to us, ask for our money, and not expect outrage when we feel cheated. We have been victimized for so long that this sort of reaction is simply the inbuilt reaction of a persecuted minority. We’re loud, we’re proud, and sometimes we go over board – but only because we feel a loyalty to causes that matter to us.

You also mention that you got flack for advertising on LOGO, and that you didn’t back down then. LOGO, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have attacks on one particular group of people on it. Sure, it’s liberal, but it doesn’t actually advocate one point of view or another. Fox News is just simply so divisive, and over 30 Fox Newsers have donated to GOP candidates – including millions by News Corp. That’s hardly not taking sides!

I understand that you want to reach their audience, but sometimes you have to take a stand. Orbitz has stood with the gay community when not many other companies would, and you have been a leader. Dropping Fox News would make you a leader once again – gays do not want to even think of their dollars going to Fox via ad revenues.

As a small business owner, filmmaker, and freelancer myself, I understand the nuances of marketing. I am not some siloed journalist or kitchen blogger. I get it. I also get that when you choose to market to us, you have to understand that our money comes with a caveat. If we feel cheated, attacked, or unsupported, we will react. Sometimes it is knee-jerk, and sometimes it takes the right confluence of circumstances to make the gay community aware of an issue (as I’m sure you’ve been advertising on Fox News for awhile), but we still stand behind our beliefs as loudly and visibly as possible. We do not have equal rights in this country, and this is what we have to do to make an impact. While you might not want to take sides as an advertiser, we do as consumers. And we choose fairness, equality, and gay rights – things that Fox News does not stand for.

If you’d like to give a reaction to “Orbitz Defends Fox News,” I will gladly include it in my piece. I haven’t found much more than some defiant soundbites that don’t do anything to address the LGBT community’s concerns. I have also included a couple of questions that I have. I will be posting within the hour, so please do pass along anything you’d like to share. We are honestly trying to create an open dialogue here, as these discussions are only positive for all involved.

All the best,

Nick Vivion

Our questions for Orbitz:

1. In your statement, you said that Orbitz does not take sides politically. Does Orbitz’s support of Fox News via ad revenues imply that you support the content of the Fox News Channel?

2. What do you say to those in the LGBT community that believe supporting Fox News via ad revenues is tantamount to supporting the perspectives aired on the channel?

3. Bill O’Reilly called Orbitz “patriots” and that you stand for “freedom.” What do you say to those in the LGBT community that are asking Orbitz to stop advertising on Fox News?

4. What do you say about those who point to the inconsistency in purchasing of ads on FNC with the consistency of Orbitz’s support of the gay community over the past decade?

5. The general tone from Orbitz seems defiant (see your own tweets, and quotes in the Hollywood Reporter). Why is that?

(For a list of Fox News’ anti-LGBT rhetoric, visit DropFox)

  • Anonymous

    I say boycott Orbitz.. They are sellouts… They constantly advertise on the LOGO network…their damm commercial is drilled into my head, “Gay pari ? Paris Texas ?” etc……. I say Fukc OrbitZ and FOX…. 

    Fox is so extreme part of reporting the news is not putting an angle on the news. Properly reported news is not slanted one way or the other. It for the viewers or readers to decide. 

  • Anonymous

    Here’s what I sent to Mr. Hoyt today:

    Dear Mr. Hoyt:

    As someone who has used Orbitz many times when coordinating travel, and a
    member of the gay community, I have always been pleased with your
    advertising to gay and lesbian customers. It was nice to be recognized
    us as a group that loves to travel, and have inclusive advertising
    directed specifically at our demographic.

    But your recent defense of spending your advertising dollars with Fox
    News is laughable at best. Fox News is a NOT a news network. They’re a
    network of distortions and lies driven by a political agenda that
    includes the destruction of any progress toward equal rights made by gay
    men and lesbians in this country. They’re also climate change deniers,
    war mongers, and appear to be seriously invested in fomenting a level of
    class warfare not seen in this country in a century.

    To suggest that advertising on the LOGO network balances out the dollars
    you spend at Fox is ludicrous. That’s like trying to absolve yourself
    of child molestation by sending a check to support Sesame Street. The
    LOGO network doesn’t spend its airtime fabricating hateful distortions
    about anyone. But Fox “News” has aired distortions that ACTUALLY hurt
    gay people, on nearly every one of their programs.

    So while your advertising to the gay community is commendable, it simply
    isn’t enough. You can’t play both sides of the equation, Mr. Hoyt, and
    whoever told you that was a marketing right of all American companies
    lied. I plan to tell all of my friends to boycott Orbitz until you stop
    advertising on Fox News, and hope that others in the community will do
    the same. It’s not as if you don’t have competitors out there that we
    can book travel with. I hope the viewers of Fox News can make up for the
    loss your company experiences from disillusioned gay folks using other
    travel sites, but I kind of doubt that they spend as much on travel as
    we do.

    Referring to Media Matters as a “fringe” group may have made you some
    points with Bill O’Reilly, but it sure didn’t with me. And speaking of
    fringe groups, what do you think Fox News is?

  • Kat

    Bill O’Reilly is the most respected news commentator in the country. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    *moves to Canada*