Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Call to Action Regarding John Gibson's Abuse of America's Freedom of Speech

The following is my letter sent today to all Fox News Sponsors...

Dear Fox News Sponsor:

RE: Fox News and John Gibson’s Public Commentary Regarding Heath Ledger

I write to you because I recently discovered my tolerance level for public abuse of freedom of speech by a paid broadcaster. We each have our own levels of tolerance and I respect the levels set by the Board of Directors and/or CEO/President of your company. However, John Gibson surpassed mine with his publicly stated, insensitive comments directed at a recently deceased young man Mr. Gibson admits to not ever having met.

I do not believe mean spiritedness ever accomplishes anything, nor do I believe the silent majority ever creates progress. So, I do not raise my voice in rants about John Gibson’s character, but I do come to you with a raised voice about his actions – the actions you support as long as you are a sponsor of his program and/or the network that supports his program.

The freedoms we enjoy as Americans came at a VERY high price to those that fought and continue to fight (and serve) in our military. To disgrace and exploit those sacrificially earned freedoms the way John Gibson and his colleagues have is beyond explanation and excuse. Just because we have freedom of speech does not mean that consequences should not follow when those freedoms are abused -- Don Imus learned that and I believe John Gibson falls into this same category. Mr. Gibson, his colleagues, Fox News, and their sponsors need to learn that it is never the right time to do the wrong thing.

I come to you as a consumer that has made the decision to NOT support the businesses that support the actions of those taken by John Gibson. I believe strongly that Mr. Gibson and his colleagues should be terminated from their jobs. At the very least, a fine should be implemented against all of them and Fox News. Heath Ledger was a fine young man, father, son, brother, and acting was his profession. His death is a tragedy and the world embraces his family by mourning along side them.

Mr. Gibson’s apology has been offered, truly, to only those that were “offended by his comments.” He has taken no responsibility for his commentary – he essentially places the responsibility of offence on those that were appalled by his words. I see a great chasm of difference between these two actions. I will not support John Gibson’s actions by supporting your company as long as you continue to sponsor and advertise on Fox News where John Gibson and his colleagues are employed.

I encourage you to do the right thing – withdraw your advertising dollars from Fox News and publicly release a statement informing your consumers that you are a company and a group of people that represent a product and a service that can be trusted by the public to “do the right thing” in ALL areas of business; a company and a group of people that stands for their consumers and not against them.

Heath Ledger did nothing to deserve the actions rallied against him on John Gibson’s broadcast. Which of your innocent consumers is next and how long before the public begins to associate your company with these kinds of actions? Please, take a stand now and let’s work together to teach all generations that the freedom of speech Americans enjoy came at a very high price and deserves to be respected and not abused by those in public positions.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to a well considered response.


Penny Ronning

The link I found for the current list of Fox News Sponsors is:


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