While the White House has reportedly stated that President Obama will not appear on Fox News until at least 2010, an influential political action committee is now urging all Democrats to stay off of the cable news channel as well.
MoveOn.org has launched an online petition for its 5 million-plus members to lobby Democrats to stay away from Fox News for as long as the President does. The text of the petition is straightforward: “Democrats should support President Obama’s effort to call out FOX. Please stay off FOX for as long as he does.” Citing the comments made by White House Communications Director Anita Dunn during her October 11th appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” MoveOn.org asks, “Can you sign this petition asking Democrats to support President Obama’s stance?”
MoveOn.org got its start in 1998 when it created an online petition during President Clinton‘s impeachment hearing asking Congress to “censure President Clinton and move on.” Since then, the liberal political action committee has orchestrated other notable online petitions as well as television commercials and political web videos. In one recent video featuring actress Heather Graham, MoveOn.org promotes the public option for healthcare reform.
The news industry as well as Washington, D.C. will certainly keep an eye on whether MoveOn.org’s Fox boycott petition takes hold. The recent war with the White House hasn’t hurt Fox’s ratings but there’s a chance that it could if the effort gains wider support among Democrats. As David Carr of The New York Times noted recently, “The one weapon all administrations can wield is access.”