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Fox News lies... courts say get over it.

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I say get over it too, jeez, I just realized this article is 6 years old. Still interesting though.

 

Appellate Court Rules Media Can Legally Lie.

By Mike Gaddy. Published Feb. 28, 2003

 

On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

 

On August 18, 2000, a six-person jury was unanimous in its conclusion that Akre was indeed fired for threatening to report the station's pressure to broadcast what jurors decided was "a false, distorted, or slanted" story about the widespread use of growth hormone in dairy cows.

 

The court did not dispute the heart of Akre's claim, that Fox pressured her to broadcast a false story to protect the broadcaster from having to defend the truth in court, as well as suffer the ire of irate advertisers. Fox argued from the first, and failed on three separate occasions, in front of three different judges, to have the case tossed out on the grounds there is no hard, fast, and written rule against deliberate distortion of the news.

 

The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdock, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.

 

In its six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a "policy," not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation. Fox aired a report after the ruling saying it was "totally vindicated" by the verdict.

 

 

 

So, when they broadcast falsehood it's OK because it's only against FCC 'policy'. Show 1 tit during a halftime show and it's million dollar fines and outrage because that's against FCC 'policy"... what?

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I think it is interesting that the woman went with the Fifth as grounds for suit.

 

It makes a good argument. I think this would be an interesting one to take up the courts. I think it would start coming down to constraints on the first via what your responsibility is to your shareholders and stakeholders. Is it within the rights of the corp to "lie" and what is the intent of the lie? Artistic intent comes into question a lot when the First is brought up. Is it the intent of the person yelling fire to cause confusion and agitation among the people? If so, than it is criminal mischief. If not, then it is protected.

 

I think it's the same sort of question here. I am sure they could have argued intent better against fox. And if the previous rulings were any indication, they can probably do it again and get this turned back in the journo's favor.

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As long as the lie is not libelous against an individual, they can lie all they want. I am not super familiar with the libel laws, but perhaps the journalist would have a case if she could show that by disseminating the incorrect information, that she herself could be harmed. As long as the story was not considered to be satire, then she may have a case.

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So, yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater? I'm pretty sure the expression predates the law but "Beware of frenchmen screaming fou."

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"Would I never punish speech under any circumstances? Only when this speech is a direct threat of criminal action. In short, if I walk over to someone menacingly and say that I will kill him unless he hands me his wallet, I am committing a direct threat of crime, and this is properly punishable by a jury. I believe that such actions have always been punished at law, without benefit of Smith Acts, or fancy "criteria."

 

I would like to take this opportunity, once and for all, to set the record straight on the famous old cliché: "after all, no man has a right falsely to shout fire in a crowded threatre." This formula of that old cynic, Justice Holmes, has been used time and again as an excuse for all manner of tyranny. Just exactly why does no man have this right? Is this really a case where libertarian principle must give way to a diluting "prudence"? There are two possibilities: either the shouter is the owner of the theatre or he is not. If he is the owner, then he is clearly violating the evident contract which he made with the patrons: to put on a play which the patrons can watch – a contract which they executed in cash. By disturbing this performance, he is violating the contract. If the shouter is not the owner, then he is clearly trespassing on the owner’s property. He was permitted on that property on the ground that he would peacefully watch the play, a contract which he is obviously violating. The false shouter of "fire," therefore, is punishable not because free speech should be restricted, but because he is violating the property right of others. And property right, in libertarian principle, is one of the basic natural rights of man.

 

Rights correctly discovered by reason, therefore, cannot conflict. Liberty for all can be thought through on the basis of rational principle. There is no need for the fatal weakening of principle with the base alloy of "prudential" heresy."

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"Beware of frenchmen screaming fou."

 

I see you successfully attacked the first portion of my argument but... perhaps the subtlelty of the second portion eludes you...

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of couse the media ca lie ..read the constitution ? freedom of the press ...

its over now ..dont worry ...

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of course fox news lies... old news! but the constition really is relying on the hopes that everyone is smart enough to make an educated decision for themselves. usually its not the case

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the first amendment is really just protecting the liberty to speak as you wish. it isnt counting on people doing anything. as with anything, you must determine yourself if something is true, etc.

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they all lie and we all fall victim of they're lies .. we report you decide is true ..bump fox news ..i'll take my bias to the right thank you very much

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everyone knows fox 5 is full of lies, who watches this channel but the hood? no one with any intelligence would dare watch this and think tis real. like soap opera news.

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you should never get your news from one source, if an article interests you read about it from different news sources and make your decision based on what you have read.

 

All news is reported from a biased perspecive, it is very rare to find an unbiased good quality reporter these days.

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yeah you say LOL but I heard recently (making up statistics now,,,) that out of 100 major newspapres there are only 8 owners. Now, I'm not living and dying by those numbers but it's something close, and Rupert Murdock pretty much owns the radio airwaves with ClearChannel...

 

No joke.

 

All of your media outlets are belong to US!

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So, yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater? I'm pretty sure the expression predates the law but "Beware of frenchmen screaming fou."

 

The first amendment stops when physical well-being is infringed. That is the only place, it is and should ever be limited. For instance, if my shirt says kill skimos and I live in Alaska, there may be a credible threat. I think that is a bit farfetched. Cross-burnings on the other hand could potentially threaten physical well-being, in a dumbed down legal sense. The FCC, should be required to regulate something that people blindly follow, but that infringes on other freedoms. Limited government is best. unless its humanitarian.

 

Ahh enough rambling, I cannot fathom how these papers like the enquirer stay in business, do not get sued for Libel. I need to read up more on it.

 

Concerning first amendment rights, can anyone who is more knowledgeable(everyone), explain in detail how damage to property trumps our first amendment rights. I mean I understand fundamentally how the government explains it to us, but that seems to be crap. I've been looking at ways around it, but there are now cases involving side walk chalk. As explained to me by a lawyer, damage to real property occurs whenever property is altered in any way, which is up there with conspiracy in its generalness.

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