Media Matters Wants to Buy Ad Attacking Fox News, On Fox News

By Alex Weprin 

You may recall the hoopla from last week surrounding News Corp.’s $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association.

Well, if you thought it was over, think again.

Liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America has put together a TV ad touting the donation, and says that it is trying to get Fox News to air it on its top-rated program, “The O’Reilly factor.”

Will it happen? Probably not, but there are some circumstances whereby it could end up on FNC.

FNC is unlikely to approve the ad, seeing as it serves no purpose but to criticize the network, albeit subtly.

However, if MMFA is serious about running the ad-and it isn’t clear that they are- they could purchase time through local cable providers, which get commercial time from networks.

That is how Fox Business Network ads occasionally pop up on CNBC, at least in new York City.

That said, on cable news advertisers do not get to choose the show that their ad appears on. Typically they are sold on time periods or audiences. So an advertiser could buy 10 slots in FNC primetime, with some likely to be on the “Factor” and others on “On the Record” or “Hannity.”

MMFA also sent a letter to the White House Correspondents Association, asking them to reconsider their decision to move FNC to the front row of the White House briefing room. Their rationale is that the donation proves that FNC cannot be considered independent.

That line of reasoning falls apart at closer inspection however, because as we reported last week, nearly every media company gives thousands, if not millions, of dollars to politicians and political organizations.