STOP SUPPORTING FOX TV WITH MONEY FROM YOUR CABLE BILL

National Fox “News” TV [1] is a major contributor (if not THE major contributor) to the disinformation, divisiveness, hate, and lack of civility that are undermining our society and democracy. It also drives the nationwide hyper-partisanship and the gridlock in Congress. Since its debut in 1996, Fox TV’s primetime viewership has grown to 2.5 million, with evangelical Christians as its most reliable audience. Its penetration and impact have been facilitated by its claim to be news and, moreover, to be fair and balanced. It has grown increasingly radical and extreme over time, including noticeably more so since 2019. Its core themes have been:

  • Stoking racism and the belief that anti-white bias is a serious problem (most recently and notably in its constant, withering, distorted attack on critical race theory),
  • Fanning the flames of “culture wars” against same sex marriage, LGBTQ+ rights, abortion, etc. as a fight against evil with white evangelical Christians as a key target, and
  • Promoting the belief that “liberals” are literally trying to destroy the country.

As national Fox TV consciously strives to generate outrage based on white resentment and supposed threats to Christianity, Trump and his acolytes in the Republican party have provided a reinforcing feedback loop that amplifies and exacerbates the disinformation, divisiveness, hate, and lack of civility. There is no mechanism for slowing this runaway train. [2]

Although social media play a critical role in amplifying disinformation and fostering divisiveness and other negative outcomes, much of the misinformation originates with national Fox TV. The content of other extremist channels like One American News Network (OANN) and Newsmax raise similar concerns but their audiences are minimal when compared to Fox TV’s audience. (See the Defenders of Democracy Against Disinformation website and this page about Fox TV in particular for more information.)

A significant portion of Fox’s revenue comes from the fees it receives from cable TV providers like Verizon and RCN, which transmit Fox programming to more than 100 million consumers every day.

Therefore, if you are paying Verizon or RCN (or any other provider that includes Fox TV) for your TV service, you are providing revenue to Fox, possibly as much as $2 per month. I do not want to provide one cent to Fox, but when I contacted Verizon multiple times to say I didn’t want to pay for the Fox channel, I was told that Fox can only be removed from my cable package if ALL news channels are removed. Verizon includes Fox in its News Bundle and it is inseparable from the other News channels. RCN customers have had a similar experience. This is unacceptable, in part because Fox isn’t news – it’s disinformation and propaganda. Therefore, it shouldn’t be in the News bundle to begin with.

I’m contacting senior executives at Verizon (see contact information and a sample letter below) to ask that Fox be removed from the News Bundle so that I don’t have to pay for Fox’s propaganda. I do want access to credible news on my TV but I don’t want to give money to Fox. Two of the four executives I’m targeting have email contact forms on the Internet. The other two (as far as I can tell) are only available by regular mail. I’ve also included contact information below for the CEO of RCN for those of you who are RCN subscribers. If you have another cable TV provider, please do an Internet search to find contact information for senior executives.

I encourage you to join me in contacting executives at your cable TV provider to ask that Fox be dropped from your service so we don’t have to give it money as part of our cable bills. I’ve drafted a letter to Hans Vestberg, the Verizon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (see below). Please feel free to modify it as you see fit – particularly, of course, if you have a different cable TV provider but have the same Fox problem. Please send it by regular mail to him and to the Corporate Social Responsibility officer listed below at the address provided. Please email it to the other two executives using the webpage links for them presented below.

If you would like to call Verizon’s corporate headquarters, the number is 212-395-1000.

Senior executives at Verizon
Hans Vestberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Rose Stuckey Kirk, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer
Jim Gerace, External Communications and Media Relations, email form: https://www.verizon.com/about/our-company/leader/contact/916685
Manon Brouillette, Verizon Consumer Group, email form: https://www.verizon.com/about/our-company/leader/contact/922789

Chief Executive Officer at RCN
John Holanda, Chief Executive Officer
RCN
PO Box 11816
Newark, NJ
07101-8116

Sample letter to Verizon CEO

April 24, 2022

Mr. Hans Vestberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Verizon
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY
10036

Dear Mr. Vestberg,

We have been Verizon customers for many years. We are very unhappy that we have to pay money each month through our Verizon bill to Fox TV. We have called and asked multiple times to have Fox removed from our cable TV package but have been told that it’s part of the News Bundle and cannot be removed unless all news channels are removed.

Fox TV is NOT news. Much of its content is inaccurate information and could more properly be described as propaganda. It fuels divisiveness and hate. We do NOT want our money supporting an organization that undermines our democracy and civility in our society.

If a resolution to this issue cannot be provided by Verizon, we will consider changing or eliminating our cable TV service, along with our Internet and landline services that are currently bundled with our cable TV service.

Please let us know what you are doing to stop forcing your customers who want good, informational news channels from paying money to Fox TV. If we don’t hear from you, we will assume nothing is being done and will pursue alternatives to our Verizon FIOS service.

Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.

<Note: I’d recommend signing your letter by including your name(s), address, phone number, and an email address to indicate that you are serious and want an answer.>

[1]      I put News in quotes because Fox TV delivers more disinformation than news. Hereafter, I will refer to it as Fox TV and drop “News” because I don’t want to imply that it provides news. I also use “national” before Fox TV to make clear that my focus is on the national programming and not the programming of local Fox affiliates.

[2]      Drum, K., Sept.-Oct. 2021, “The real source of America’s rising rage,” Mother Jones   (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/07/american-anger-polarization-fox-news/)

One thought on “STOP SUPPORTING FOX TV WITH MONEY FROM YOUR CABLE BILL

  1. This is a great idea. Unless we get a huge number of people these monopolies won’t care what we think, but it is worth a try. I am with Comcast / Xfinity so I am going to research some places to send my requests. We aren’t saying that we don’t want them to show FOX, just make it an option. Which I will not take!

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