Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fox admits that they lie and distort the news, so why are they so pissy?

In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

Back in December of 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox “Investigators” team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 1997 the team began work on a story about bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. The couple produced a four-part series revealing that there were many health risks related to BGH and that Florida supermarket chains did little to avoid selling milk from cows treated with the hormone, despite assuring customers otherwise.

According to Akre and Wilson, the station was initially very excited about the series. But within a week, Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story. When they refused and threatened to report Fox's actions to the FCC, they were both fired.(Project Censored #12 1997)

Akre and Wilson sued the Fox station and on August 18, 2000, a Florida jury unanimously decided that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television when she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) “a false, distorted or slanted story” about the widespread use of BGH in dairy cows. They further maintained that she deserved protection under Florida's whistle blower law. Akre was awarded a $425,000 settlement. Inexplicably, however, the court decided that Steve Wilson, her partner in the case, was ruled not wronged by the same actions taken by FOX.

FOX appealed the case, and on February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the settlement awarded to Akre. The Court held that Akre’s threat to report the station’s actions to the FCC did not deserve protection under Florida’s whistle blower statute, because Florida’s whistle blower law states that an employer must violate an adopted “law, rule, or regulation." In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly.
(Anybody surprised this happened in Florida?)

During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so.

You know I hate to have to point out the obvious but once you admit that you "lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves" you don't then get to bitch that the White House says that you are "not a news station". You aren't!

What kind of candy-ass "I get to break the rules, but you don't" garbage is that?

No, if you want to constantly lie about and run down the administration because your corporate masters and ideological cohorts tell you to, then you don't get to turn around and pretend that you are suddenly going to report the next story objectively.

Here Media Matters brilliantly illustrates just how Fox News "opinions" become Fox News "news".

President Obama is not Charlie Brown, and you are not Lucy Van Pelt. He has already figured out that you are not going to let him make contact with that football. You are going to pull it away like you do EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Well fuck you and fuck your football! There are a lot of real cable news outlets to choose from, and if Fox News wants to act like a schizophrenic ex-girlfriend than they can sit around interviewing each other all day while MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC report the real political news of the day.

(Crossed posted over at Daily Kos.)


  1. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Lucy and Linus' surname is Van Pelt. Otherwise, not a thing to improve on your post!

    Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel

  2. Thanks Mrs. Biscuitbarrel, I fixed it.

  3. Say NO to Palin in Politics5:07 PM

    Tell us what you really think Gryphen, lol. I love your free spirit. Speak it friend.

  4. Fox "News" fears the truth.

  5. Anonymous5:53 PM

    John Stossel, their new stooge, is hosting town halls about healthcare and they sponsored the teaparties. That is activism, not reporting.

  6. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Fair and balanced? Sure. If you believe that up is down and down is up--oh, and that the moon is made of cream cheese, Sarah Palin is Mother Teresa in disguise--and the troops found WMDs in Iraq on day one of the invasion...'cause Dick Cheney said so.

    Any person being intellectually honest with him or herself knows that Fox News is unfair and that Fox News is unbalanced--after all they employ Glenn Beck, the poster boy of "unbalanced" on a daily basis to prove it.

  7. What is puzzling are the Fuchs Noose viewers who say that Fuchs is the only network that reports the facts, and quickly follow that with Fuchs has more viewers than any other network. I don't think they would be upset even if they found that Fuchs is a sham because they are so addicted to it. Fuchs confirms their view of the world. They also don't realize that 1% of 300 million is really nothing to brag about, but you see them spouting it all over the blogosphere. Murdoch, Ailes, Hannity, Beck, and all of the rest at Fuchs Noose know they're lying to their viewers, but as long as the money keeps rolling in, they're okay with it. If I did to people what they are doing to people, I would be so ashamed, and it would be hard for me to ever get a good night's sleep. May they visualize green-tinted sheep covered with dollar bill signs to help them get to sleep.

  8. Anonymous6:21 PM

    Daayum! Gryphen telling it like it is. Expect I can't agre with you 100 percent that the other news outlets necessarily sells real political news. Sadly, a good deal of what they spew out is doodoo as well and they often neglect reporting on some news which dsserves attention. But they try.

  9. old tea bag6:48 PM

    I think I gots a czar in my nayborehood. Is there an 800 numer where I can report the thing?

  10. Anonymous7:17 PM

    Wowzers Gryphen! Your are fired up and ready to go! Love your spirit. Did you happen to hear Thom Hartmann's take on this whole thing today? It was great. (It may have been a replay but I heard it on XM radio today). I tried to find a link or a podcast, but could not. Hopefully, you can or did hear it.

  11. Well said and it is a fact that Fox does distort their "news".
    They are NOTHING but a right-wing/neo-con propaganda mouthpiece!

  12. Anonymous8:17 PM

    Gryphen, I follow your blog and support your effots, however, I hate to see you demean yourself with foul language... It does not become you.

  13. Anonymous8:23 PM

    I was pissed off today when Laura Ingraham (sp>) was at George Stephanopolis's round table. Geesh! She is one of the worst propagator's of Fox's crap. She tried to justify Fox "News" when they discussed this topic and it came off pretty lame.

    Funny how she changes her tune when she is in the company of moderates and liberals. If you ever listen to her radio program she is just caustic.

    I don't mind George including conservatives on his program, but Laura Ingraham (sp?)? Seriously? Even George Will looked like he smelled something bad. I emailed George and let me know my feelings on having her on.

  14. I know that this is off-topic, but I didn't know of an open thread or any other way to post this. Has anyone seen the article on about the diary of Sarah Palin's ghostwriter? It is rather bizarre. Have a look:

  15. Anonymous8:52 PM

    @ Susie:

    I'm guessing that is not real and is an attempt to punk us "libruls". I could be wrong, but it is hard to believe any of that was released. It could be a deliberate attempt to "punk" the liberal press. I would be very leary of this.

  16. FEDUP!!!9:21 PM

    Fox 'News' = 'Faux Noise'! (False noise)

    What I don't understand is that the WH caved in to the 'MSM', instead of saying: "OK, so you want to force me (us) onto Faux Noise or you won't let me (us) speak on your stations either. FINE! Instead, I (we) will go to C-Span and other independent news stations, and I/we will go to bloggers to get out my (our) views."

  17. Tantef10:45 PM

    Susie, that Salon article is prominantly labled satire and fiction.

  18. Tantef10:47 PM

    Hmmm, post vanished...Suzie, it is labled satire and fiction.

  19. Anonymous1:12 AM

    It's too bad that Fox doesn't have the guts to run a scrolling tickertape across their broadcast that says "We have the legal right to lie and distort the news."

  20. Anonymous3:49 AM

    Gryph, they all do it. Fox does it on the right, the others on the left. I long for the day's of the 'Chet' achors, where nothing but news is read. Boring, I know. I like the commentators on BOTH sides (except Huckabee. Can't stand the bigot red neck), but when I want just pure news, I can't get it on any channel.

  21. The problem with all our news is that the newscasters and opinionated talking heads are paid WAY TOO MUCH! We need a law passed that requires each talking head's salary to be posted below his face as he speaks. We also need the same law to require a statement of which party the talking head voted for in the most recent election. Cronkite must be rolling over in his grave!

  22. Anonymous6:54 AM

    Good for you Gryphen, I quite agree. Fox News is so infuriating it makes me see red. Has every single newscaster become a devil's advocate? Really they are just talking heads saying what the fat cat executives want them to say. Their presentation is not even believable & they mean to piss you off with their misinformation. Way too much subjective opinion & few facts with every one of them except Rachel. We are being innundated with too much "news". Too much money in it & it's become theater.....& yea...fuck fox news.

  23. Anonymous6:57 AM

    Great post, Gryphen! I never turn to that channel on the teevee; clips of their spew is about all I can handle. I have listened to talk radio while driving. But after about 5-10 minutes, I find myself yelling at the radio, like that Wilson guy! I certainly understand why Savage was on the list barred from England!

  24. Anonymous11:08 AM

    "What kind of candy-ass "I get to break the rules, but you don't" garbage is that?"

    That is a core Republican value.


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