Intolerant, and Proud of It
BY Rick Jacobs
May 26 2011 1:05 PM ET
As a gay man, I can be intolerant, and proudly so. But let me explain what I mean. My intolerance extends only to those who espouse intolerance against other groups of Americans, for instance, African-Americans, Muslims, Catholics, or gays (who happen to be part of each of the foregoing communities).
Last week the Courage Campaign, of which I am the chair and founder, along with Media Matters for America, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and Equality Matters, launched the DropFox campaign to persuade Orbitz, previously a strong supporter of and marketer to the LGBT community, to stop advertising on Fox News.
So far, the results have been spectacular — nearly 200,000 people have expressed their outrage at Orbitz's hypocritical business practice of appealing to the LGBT community, cheerfully accepting our hard-earned dollars, but then turning around and providing millions of dollars so Fox News can broadcast lies and hate — intolerance — about the very same LGBT community. On Tuesday, CREDO Action and the League of Conservation Voters, along with their members, joined us in asking Orbitz to drop the ads because of Fox News' history as climate change deniers.
We know we're winning because Bill O'Reilly, official gasbag of Fox News, spent eight minutes of Monday night's show urging "everyone in America" to use Orbitz and then "interviewed" Brit Hume about why Fox News is so clever. I started to laugh, but then realized that these guys do a lot of harm, and that, of course, is why we want Orbitz to drop its support for O'Reilly, Hume, Huckabee, and Fox News.
What did Orbitz do?
The travel site issued a statement mentioning quite a few times its commitment to promoting "tolerance, nondiscrimination, and equality" and citing accolades it has received from the LGBT community over the years. Orbitz certainly deserved those awards, and it would deserve even more if it stopped "tolerating" us and just included us in the American fabric, but that's not the point.
We are asking Orbitz to renew its once-strong commitment to the LGBT community and stop spending the profits it has made off of us to pay for advertising on antigay Fox News. Period.
This is, quite simply, a matter of right and wrong, and what Orbitz is doing is wrong.