The major news networks, prime-time cable news channels, united with the tech giants Facebook-Google-Twitter-YouTube have all declared an all out war on 'Fake News.' Because after all they are the gold standard for excellence and truth in modern journalism. They are by their own assertion the very 4th pillar of Democracy.
Their assertions is that if the public get their news from any one else they are being mislead. The real truth of the matter is that all of the above news organizations were involved to some degree in supporting the following court case.
In 1997 Jane Akre and Steve Wilson began work on a story about bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. The investigative story was to be broadcast in several segments. The news story was highlighting the adverse health risks related to BGH.
Initially, the station intended to run the series as is, however after FOX News was contacted by, the multi-national conglomerate, Monsanto, Fox News halted the story pending rewrites.
Akre and Wilson were instructed by Fox News to make revisions to the story, which were patently FALSE. When the two producers balked Fox News ordered the pair to write a story in which all the facts were removed and replaced with out right LIES. With their backs to the wall the pair threatened to go to the FCC. Fox News terminated the pair immediately.
Akre and Wilson sued the Fox News station for wrongful termination. A Florida jury on 8-18-00 twelve to zero ruled that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox News when she refused to broadcast, in the jury’s vernacular
“A totally FALSE story with no basis in TRUTH.”
The jury added that Akre did indeed deserved protection under Florida’s whistle blower law awarding her a sum total of $425,000 settlement.
FOX News appealed the case, supported by five Main Stream Media (MSM) outlets who filed briefs of Amici Curiae supporting FOX’s position: Belo Corporation, Cox Television, Inc., Gannett Co., Inc., Media General Operations, Inc., and Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc.
The Florida Second District Court of Appeals on 2-14-03 unanimously overturned the court case and the financial 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 a “law, rule, or regulation.”
The Florida Court of Appeals unanimously asserted that FOX News did NOT break any laws...
"There is no rules or laws against distorting, falsifying, out right lying in the news in the United States of America."
Using a perniciously twisted interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court asserted that the FCC policy against using out right LIES in reporting the news does not rise to the water mark of a “law, rule, or regulation,” it was simply a “policy.”
The court stated...
"It is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly. The station can lie if it wants too..."
During their appeal, FOX News 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 falsify 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 LIE to the American public.
After the appeal verdict WTVT general manager Bob Linger rapaciously muttered, “It’s vindication for WTVT, and we’re very pleased. It’s the case we’ve been making for two years. She told the truth and because of that She never had a legal claim."
"We can lie and lie and lie and no one, not the courts, not the government, not even the public can do anything about it...”
So, when the major news networks, Primetime cable news channels, and tech giants Facebook-Google-Twitter-YouTube purport that only 'THEY' are capable of disseminating real news remember this court case. Remember also that all of the Major News Networks, the tech giants, and those expected to have Journalistic ethics supported FOX News in their 'supposed' legal right to produce false news stories, which they KNEW to be misleading lies.