MSNBC news anchor Brian Williams delivered a sobering call-out to Fox News on his show The 11th Hour Monday night. He featured a bracing ad about the January 6 coup attempt at the Capitol.
Created by political action committee (PAC) MeidasTouch, the ad features news footage of the insurrection and first-person accounts from that day. After Fox News rejected it, MeidasTouch tweeted the video, asking followers to make it go viral on the platform.
Williams decided to do them one better by showing it live on national television.
He called out Fox News' integrity in the process while saying barely a word about the network.
Before airing the ad, Williams directed his viewers to ask themselves two simple questions that cleverly and subtly laid bare Fox News's notorious commitment to bias and dishonesty.
"While you watch, ask yourself what isn't factual about it, which people in it aren't real."
"It's about the attempt to overturn our election, the insurrection of 1/6, and the story is told by those in the fight."
What followed was a shocking reminder of that January day, told by one of Fox News' purported favorite demographics—law enforcement officers—who described in disturbing detail the attacks they underwent while doing their jobs.
One officer described the chemical burns she received on her face while another described the violence of the Capitol rioters as "the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life."
In a voiceover, another confessed how traumatic it has been to watch Republican officials "white wash" what happened to law enforcement during the riot, including describing the violent insurrection as a "normal tourist visit."
In a tweet posted over the weekend, MeidasTouch explained it had purchased nearly $185,000 in ad time on the network for the video.
The Los Angeles Timesreported that ad buy, from June 6 to June 15, would have included seven days of airtime on the network's popular morning show Fox and Friends. But MeidasTouch was informed Friday June 4 by the network it was refusing to run the ad.
Rejecting an ad composed of nothing but news footage and first-person law enforcement accounts is an interesting choice for a network that once called itself "fair and balanced."
And on Twitter, people applauded both Williams and MeidasTouch for calling out Fox News.
MeidasTouch told The Los Angeles Times this is the first time Fox News has ever rejected one of their ads outright without requesting edits.