After being rejected by Fox News, a liberal political action committee’s advertisement calling Republicans “traitors” and showing violent images from the Capitol riot found a home on MSNBC.
The PAC, MeidasTouch, said Fox News rejected their ad despite having run other ads of theirs in the past. The group shared their ad on social media, calling attention to the network’s apparent unwillingness to run an ad that criticised Republicans.
On Monday, MSNBC’s Brian Williams aired the ad for free during his evening program.
“It’s about the attempt to overturn our election – the insurrection of 1-6 – and the story is told by those in the fight,” he said.
The ad plays the testimony of Capitol police officers discussing the violence of 6 January over footage of Trump supporters attacking police and a handful of Republican lawmakers. It ends by saying that “the GOP betrayed America,” and that “we will never forget”.
A Fox News spokesperson said the ad was rejected. MeidasTouch claims this is the first time the network has ever turned away an advertisement.
A spokesperson for the network said that is not correct.
According to The Los Angeles Times, MeidasTouch intended to use nearly $185,000 worth of airtime on Fox News between 6 June and 15 June, which would include seven days of advertisements on “Fox and Friends” – a show Donald Trump is believed to have watched regularly while in office.
“We couldn’t have fathomed in our wildest imaginations that even Fox News would reject an ad that simply condemns the insurrection, and condemns people who support the insurrection,” MeidasTouch co-founder Ben Meiselas told the LA Times.
In one clip, DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone expresses his frustration with Republican lawmakers who have attempted to sweep the riot under the rug.
“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” Mr Fanone says in the video.
After the ad was rejected, MeidasTouch took its frustration online, sharing the ad and asking others to retweet it.
“We made a $184,854 TV buy with this ad on Fox News this week. Fox News just denied airing our ad. Retweet and get it out in every corner of the country,” the group wrote on Twitter.
While MeidasTouch portrayed itself as a victim of censorship by Fox News, CNN’s media commenter and frequent Fox News critic pointed out that the network is under no obligation to run any ad.
“A liberal group, MeidasTouch, is crying foul because Fox has declined to air its TV ad about January 6. But let’s be honest – this seems like a bid for attention. Fox is within its rights to object to the messenger behind the ad, not the message,” Mr Stelter wrote in a newsletter.