Friday, July 25, 2008

Media Activism: Protect The Box From Fox

There has been a lot of activism against Fox News lately. Color of Change is the most recent but there has also been some great work by Robert Greenwald and Hip Hop Artist: Nas among many others. There has even been a recent revelation by former White House Press secretary, Scott McLellan that the administration was giving Fox commentators Republican talking points to make sure they were on the same page as the Administration in their broadcasts. We here at Media Crashers also feel that Fox News is the poster child for what is wrong with the news media today and we would like to contribute to this effort.

Today we are pleased to suggest the Protect The Box From Fox netroots uprising.

Today, we call upon all cable remote savvy netroots media activists to participate in, perhaps, the greatest political prank of our generation. A little bit of "friendly fun" for us to have with our friends and family. Did you ever turn everything on and blast the radio in someone's car so that they are surprised when they start it up? It's a little like that. This prank, however, also has the added bonus of shutting down, in a small way, an invasive intellectual heist of a TV network right at it's source, the cable box.

The concept is simple:

We believe that Fox is political pornography. Our politicians have given us a tool to fight pornography on the cable box. It is called "lockout controls." Go to your cable boxes right now and figure out how to use those controls to lock out Fox News. Once you feel comfortable with how this is done, go to your parents house and lock it out there. Go to your brothers house, your sister, your children, anyone you can think of and protect that box from Fox when they're not looking! If you really want to have fun, create a new password.

The audience for Fox news is very often either not too bright, very casual, or the 50+ crowd who barely know what a computer is. Many of them might not even know what lockout controls are, let alone how to change them back. If we are lucky, they might just figure Fox got canceled on their cable service. We're sure there are some that will know how to unlock it. Others may even go to the trouble of calling the cable company and getting talked through the process of unlocking it. There are bound to be several, however, who don't know enough or don't care enough and just move on to other TV offerings.

What about free speech you say? Aren't we stepping on this poor "person's" first amendment rights?

The first amendment protects citizens and the press from being shut down by the government. It doesn't protect a giant, private, for profit, media conglomerate from being shut down by citizens who feel it is a fraud masquerading as new standard of "news." That phenomenon is what we call the free market taking action to correct itself. Some might also call it it's own form of free speech.