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Fox News Urges Boycott of CBS Advertisers

Reported by Melanie - January 10, 2005

Four CBS employees were fired today due to their involvement in the 60 Minutes II program (aired September 8, 2004) about George Bush's military service.

Fox News seems to want more. This is what happened during the first eight minutes of Your World w/Neil Cavuto today (January 10, 2005):

Neil Cavuto opened the show with a brief introductory blurb announcing the main subjects that would be covered during the program. As Cavuto talked about CBS, a banner at the bottom of the screen read: THE PUNISHMENT! Next came Terry Keenan who reported that neither CBS or 60 Minutes lost advertisers as a result of "memogate." To the contrary she said, CBS's ratings went up by one million viewers (in 2004) and 60 Minutes ranks 12th overall in 2004 television ratings. Keenan said CBS has attracted millions of new, young viewers.

Next came guest Jerry Della Femina, an advertising executive. Della Femina and Cavuto talked about the advertising business and how CBS's image has been tarnished. Cavuto said there are a lot of people who "don't like some of the political leanings there, real or imagined" and who "say that this is not enough punishment and that advertisers who glommed back on are making a mistake." Della Femina said advertisers go where the people are, they want ratings. He said he feels sorry for the people who got fired but that since CBS's president is staying, that's "not a good signal to the world." Midway through the discussion Fox News aired two separate full-screen graphics titled: "CBS 60 Minutes II Advertisers September 8, 2004." Each screen showed the name of eight companies.

Next came Mike Paranzino, the founder of BoycottCBS.com. According to Cavuto's introduction, Paranzino thinks that until "CBS starts hiring some conservatives this is going to happen again and again and again." Paranzino said what happened today is "a start." He said the "real problem" at CBS is the "orthodox viewpoint that's enforced from the left. There's no diversity of viewpoints there."

Cavuto said that since some of CBS's shows are actually gaining viewers it's not "as if they're facing any death knell there." Paranzino agreed but said he would like someone "at the top" fired. He said the report about the incident enumerated 16 mistakes "that can only happen if you accept the liberal mindset." He said that if CBS had some "diversity of opinion there, some people of faith, maybe some conservatives," some people who "don't live in Manhattan, no way this story would have aired."

Since CBS "probably hasn't" done the things Paranzino would like, Cavuto wondered about "all these advertisers, and we mentioned Aventis and some of these others that are still pretty much advertising 60 Minutes II and the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. Does that make you want to boycott their products or what?" Paranzino said people can always take their "eyeballs elsewhere" and that "until CBS News has real reform or takes the views of tens of millions of Americans seriously, you're free to take your eyeballs elsewhere." After praising CBS's president Les Moonves and Roger Ailes as the "best in the business," Paranzino said he thinks Moonves will "replace Dan Rather with a surprise that's going to impress us all because it's gonna not just reflect the narrow liberal mindset." He might be replaced by someone "outside the gene pool" as Cavuto said at one point. Paranzino said he thinks Moonves might surprise everyone and name a host from somewhere in the middle of the country, that he might "do some sort of twist" that would "suggest that he understands there's more than Berkeley and Manhattan and Hollywood in this country."

Bear in mind that Paranzino's web address, BoycottCBS.com, appeared off and on during this segment.

COMMENT: Isn't this a piece of work? First Terry Keenan tells the audience about CBS's increased ratings. Next, ad exec Jerry Della Femina talks about advertisers as Fox News flashes their names on the screen, and then comes the owner of BoycottCBS.com -- the perfect place to get started. Fox News and the radical right are trying to destroy everything that stands in their way - CBS News, the UN. Who knows who or what is next.

Oh, and by the way, I flipped around on Fox quite a bit today because I was amazed at the time it was giving to the CBS story. I never heard the words: Armstrong Williams.

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