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-   -   Fox News can lie! (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=23679)

snopes 08 January 2008 11:33 PM

Fox News can lie!
 
Comment: Got the following email today. Was wondering how accurate the
information is.

Subject: FOX can Legally Lie

FOX News has legally argued in court that they have the right to LIE and
OBFUSCATE and won!

NEW WORLD COMMUNICATIONS OF
TAMPA, INC., versus JANE AKRE Case No. 2D01-529.
http://www.projectcensored.org/publi...s/2005/11.html

This is interesting and SCAREY!

Excerpt below:

"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.

"Fox" 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."

Please go to link above and read whole story if you're concerned.

Sara@home 09 January 2008 12:05 AM

Fox does lie but any news organization may lie.

Lancastrian 09 January 2008 11:03 AM

Is the person who wrote the OP under the impression news orginazations are under legal obligation to tell the truth?

diddy 09 January 2008 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sara@home (Post 463872)
Fox does lie but any news organization may lie.

Indeed. Anyone can lie all they want. It may not be ethical, but it is not illegal. Now when it gets to slander or defamation of character, things change. You can easily get sued civilly for that.

Canuckistan 09 January 2008 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 464373)
Indeed. Anyone can lie all they want. It may not be ethical, but it is not illegal.

It may not be in the best interests of the company that claims to be fair and balanced, and it violates all journalistic standards to simply make NFBSK up, but Fox does not have to tell the truth legally. I doubt they ever had to tell the truth legally (subject to slander laws, of course, as you point out).

The e-mail headline is misleading for that reason -- Fox didn't win any legal right. They always had it.

Logoboros 10 January 2008 12:49 AM

Is there any kind of "trade description act" that applies, though? Which is to say, you can lie on the public airwaves, but once you promise your viewers that you are telling the truth, then you are failing to fulfill your end of the business arrangement if you don't. Or, since for public broadcast, since the viewers aren't actually paying (directly), there isn't any "business" or trade between the broadcaster and the public?

--Logoboros

diddy 10 January 2008 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canuckistan (Post 464455)
It may not be in the best interests of the company that claims to be fair and balanced,

Correct. Thats why I said that it was unethical.

Quote:

The e-mail headline is misleading for that reason -- Fox didn't win any legal right. They always had it.
I wasn't arguing that at all.

AnglRdr 10 January 2008 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Logoboros (Post 465527)
Is there any kind of "trade description act" that applies, though? Which is to say, you can lie on the public airwaves, but once you promise your viewers that you are telling the truth, then you are failing to fulfill your end of the business arrangement if you don't. Or, since for public broadcast, since the viewers aren't actually paying (directly), there isn't any "business" or trade between the broadcaster and the public?

--Logoboros

In theory, broadcasters are required to act in the community interest as part of their license agreement.

In truth...I think this case was more of a personnel issue, and a very poorly written judicial opinion.

Canuckistan 10 January 2008 02:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 465598)
I wasn't arguing that at all.

I was. It's not always about you. ;)

diddy 10 January 2008 03:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canuckistan (Post 465665)
I was. It's not always about you. ;)

It really should be. And it will when I become Emperor of the World(TM)

Silas Sparkhammer 10 January 2008 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 465730)
It really should be. And it will when I become Emperor of the World(TM)

We now have three declared candidates here....

Silas

Jay Temple 10 January 2008 09:32 PM

Very well, who gets the first primary?

Ali Infree 11 January 2008 03:20 PM

Not only can they lie, they are believed!
 
http://www.sacredheart.edu/pages/207...ievability.cfm

I have some serious mistrust of this survey, since Sacred Heart University must be a Catholic school. Those surveyed declared they trusted Fox News most.

GAAACK:eek: :eek:


Ali "need new whisky recommendations" Infree

Recklessmess 12 January 2008 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canuckistan (Post 464455)
It may not be in the best interests of the company that claims to be fair and balanced, and it violates all journalistic standards to simply make NFBSK up, but Fox does not have to tell the truth legally. I doubt they ever had to tell the truth legally (subject to slander laws, of course, as you point out).

The e-mail headline is misleading for that reason -- Fox didn't win any legal right. They always had it.

Even more so, the press is the only industry in the country that is constitutionally protected.

BrokenBiscuit 13 January 2008 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lancastrian (Post 464291)
Is the person who wrote the OP under the impression news orginazations are under legal obligation to tell the truth?

I don't know about the OP, but I was! I'm genuinely shocked. Now that I think about it I understand why news sites aren't a special case, but it feels wrong.

diddy 14 January 2008 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay Temple (Post 466808)
Very well, who gets the first primary?

We will have to sort that out when they allow elections for Emperor. Unfortunately, nobody seems to really like that idea when you ask 'em.

Grendel 30 January 2008 11:48 PM

In Canada, "spreading false news" used to be a crime, but the Supreme Court struck that section down as being contrary to the Charter of Rights. The case was taken to the S.C.C. by Ernst Zundel, a Nazi sympathizer, who had been distributing a booklet called Did Six Million Really Die?. He was acquitted of spreading false news, but convicted of publishing hate literature, which was upheld as constitutional.

Ali Infree 31 January 2008 06:41 PM

What really troubles me is that there were five amicus briefs filed by media holding companies supporting Fox. Specifically, they were concerned that, " The station [the sued Fox station] argued that it simply wanted to ensure that a news story about a scientific controversy regarding a commercial
product was present with fairness and balance, and to ensure that it had a sound defense to any potential defamation claim."

So, the media companies don't want to present facts that may affect commercial (read: advertising) interests withoiut a defense.

And here I thought that the truth was a defense.

Ali "silly me" Infree


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