You'd think there would be few sentiments less controversial in America than "Nazis are bad."
After all, much of America's prominence on the global stage stems from our victory over Germany during WWII. Many of our great-grandparents went to war to fight the Nazis. Captain America beat Nazis. Nazism goes against everything our country stands for.
And yet, for the good folks at Fox News, Nazism is controversial.
Fox News's most recent fling with Nazism revolves around a 30-second ad for the Oscar-nominated documentary short, A Night at the Garden. The movie covers a terrifying American Nazi rally held at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 1939. The ad expresses the movie's sentiment with a single line of text at the end: "It can happen here."
"The film shines a light on a time when thousands of Americans fell under the spell of a demagogue who attacked the press and scapegoated minorities using the symbols of American patriotism," said director Marshall Curry to The Hollywood Reporter.
Again, we're talking about actual Nazis here – Americans who legitimately identified with the Nazi party during WWII.
After running the ad on a local slot during Sean Hannity's primetime Monday night show, the film's distributor, Field of Vision, purchased a national spot. That's when Fox News's CEO, Suzanne Scott, stepped in, telling THR the ad was "not appropriate for our air."
Yes, Suzanne, certainly advertising a documentary about an actual historical event is not appropriate for a "news network."
"It's amazing to me that the CEO of Fox News would personally inject herself into a small ad buy just to make sure that Hannity viewers weren't exposed to this chapter of American history," said Curry.
It really is amazing. What genuine reason could Fox News possibly have for actively shielding its viewers from an award-nominated documentary about relevant American history. Are their viewers so fragile that the mere image of Nazis might send them into cardiac arrest? Or do they think a significant portion of Sean Hannity's viewer base might actually identify as white supremacists?
"The ad in question is full of disgraceful Nazi imagery regardless of the film's message and did not meet our guidelines," Fox News president of ad sales Marianne Gambelli told Gizmodo.
Weird, I thought Fox News hated censorship.
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