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Shut the Fox up! Can two guys from Oklahoma bring down Fox News?

If you received an email last month hawking a gag gift called the Foxblocker, you're not alone.

The $8.95 device, which allegedly plugs into the back of your cable box and obliterates the Fox News Channel from your TV, had plenty of industryites laughing through Christmas.

But if you thought it was a joke, think again.

According to the device's creators, Sam Kimery and Joshua Montgomery, a pair of activists based in Oklahoma, the technology works as advertised.

Indeed, it uses the same proprietary technology that hotels use to block X-rated channels from appearing on their TVs. (Buyers designate their cable systems and receive devices tailor-made for their areas.)

"We wanted to say something about big media's right-wing tilt," says co-creator and electronics expert Kimery, "and how out of control it's gotten since the Fairness Act was killed in 1985."

But that's not all. With each purchase, the company's Web site, Foxblocker.com, sends a barrage of emails to Fox advertisers saying that you, the almighty consumer, have just given the channel the boot.

As Montgomery, an aeronautical engineer, says, "We hope that companies will see people actually paying to block channels that won't offer alternative views and then rethink how they spend their advertising dollars."

Kimery and Montgomery came up with the idea after watching Robert Greenwald's doc "Outfoxed," which looks at some of the more egregious journalistic faux pas by Fox reporters last year.

But don't even think about installing the device on your neighbor's cable system without his or her knowledge. "That would be illegal," stresses Kimery. "But we do offer bulk discounts to schools, hotels and hospitals," he adds, slyly.

Fox News did not respond to requests for comment.

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Title Annotation:Product Placement; Foxblocker
Author:Vadim, Jaime
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 10, 2005
Words:284
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