Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 32 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/5/20

At Last, Someone is Suing Fox "News" for Journalistic Malpractice in Misguiding People over Seriousness of Coronavirus

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Message Juan Cole
Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

From Informed Comment

Fox News
Fox News
(Image by Johnny Silvercloud)
  Details   DMCA

I have long thought that Fox Cable "News" was open to lawsuits for its persistent purveying of falsehoods to viewers, some of which will cost lives. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets sued over it's climate change denialism, for instance. All you need is for a viewer to maintain that they lost the value of their beachfront property as the seas rose because they depended on Fox's denials that it was happening.

I am not urging a rash of lawsuits against media for innocent mistakes, which would harm our first amendment. But in the case of Fox, they have a systematic editorial policy of outright dishonesty, and where that leads their viewers into danger, it is a tort.

But one group has decided to go ahead with a suit over the "network's" false and dangerous "coverage" of the coronavirus pandemic, in which its anchors and guests have repeatedly referred to the most dangerous disease outbreak in over a century as a "hoax" and have advised against social distancing techniques as an overblown "panic" response.

Sara Jean Green of the Seattle Times reports that WASHLITE, a non-profit in Washington state, is suing Fox Cable News for, in essence, consumer fraud over its months of coverage calling the coronavirus a hoax. Fox broadcasts over the airwaves and so can be regulated by the Federal Communication Commission. The story of the suit was first broken by Ken Stone at the Times of San Diego.

Fox anchors encouraged people to go out to eat at restaurants during the pandemic.

WASHLITE says that its members saw Fox's public broadcasts and that at least one of their board members has contracted the coronavirus. This detail is important because the first bar a plaintiff has to get past is being recognized by a court as having standing to sue. If WASHLITE has affected members, that gives the organization a better shot at actually being allowed to go to trial.

On Feb. 25, a Fox host blubbered approval of a Trump spokeswoman confidently predicting that the coronavirus would not come to the US, "in welcome contrast to the Obama administration."

News 1   Supported 1   Interesting 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Juan Cole Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Rupert Murdoch's Fox postpones Pirro, as his Sky Channel is Pulled from NZ Airwaves for airing Shooter's Video

Clouds of War: Russia sends Warships as Turkey kills 45 Syrian Troops and blackmails Europe with Migration

India Doubles Iran Oil Imports: Are Trump's Sanctions Cratering?

Who's Running John Bolton to Start a war with Iran? He worried even Mad Dog Mattis

Top 5 Mistakes GOP's Wohl Made in allegedly framing Mueller for Sex Charges

Trump hands Oil & Gas to Syria & Russia as he claims "We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East"

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend