When bracing for a New York demonstration aimed at media companies last
Thursday, the self-described "fair and balanced" Fox News Channel targeted
picketers with its scrolling news ticker, or "zipper," outside its headquarters.
The sign's messages included "Does Anyone Here Have a Job?" and "The Cleverest Sign Wins a Week's Free Vacation ... to Baghdad," plus there was a shot at FNC's competition: "CNN [Cable News Network] Agrees with You. They're Two Blocks North. And They Have Doughnuts!"
The lines were written by producer Marvin Himmelfarb, a former ad and sitcom writer whose chief task is keeping the information current while putting more zip in the zipper.
He toned down the quips after the war started, but saw the protest as "a good chance to let loose," adding that no bosses in the building knew in advance what he was posting.
"That's my responsibility. I try to keep it in good taste." A CNN spokesman was surprised by the lines, saying, "At CNN, we don't take positions and we don't cheerlead."
Alas, Himmelfarb missed his target. The "die-in" challenging what protesters contended is the media's pro-war slant did indeed draw a crowd to Rockefeller Center, but they blocked Fifth Avenue, a fair distance from Fox News, and a planned "direct action" on the channel didn't materialize.
Other lines in the Himmelfarb arsenal
- Who Won Your Freedom to
Protest ... Protesters or Soldiers?
- War Protestor Auditions Here Today ... Thank You
for Coming! Try to Look Scruffy
- Attention Protestors: The Michael Moore Fan Club
Meets on Thursdays at the Phone Booth on 6th and 50th
- Yell as Loud as You Want; We're Still Not Hiring