The mainstream media have almost entirely ignored a court case in which lawyers for Fox News argued six years ago that their client has a right under the First Amendment to peddle falsehoods in the guise of news.
Nor did THIS BLOG POST of four months ago regarding the matter gain widespread circulation.
On August 18, 2000, journalist Jane Akre won $425,000 in a court ruling where she charged she was pressured by Fox News management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information.
The real information: she found out cows in Florida were being injected with RBGH, a drug designed to make cows produce milk – and, according to FDA-redacted studies, unintentionally designed to make human beings produce cancer.
Fox lawyers, under pressure by the Monsanto Corporation (who produced RBGH), rewrote her report over 80 times to make it compatible with the company’s requests. She and her husband, journalist Steve Wilson, refused to air the edited segment.
In February 2003, Fox appealed the decision and an appellate court and had it overturned. Fox lawyers argued it was their first amendment right to report false information. In a six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals decided the FCC’s position against news distortion is only a “policy,” not a “law, rule, or regulation.”