Recent comments

  • Reply to: Petition from Fired Fox Journalists   14 years 10 months ago
    The appellate court overturned the case because it determined the FCC policy against news distortion was never formally adopted as a rule, and therefore doesn't qualify under the Florida whistleblower statute. There was no finding as to the truthfulness of the story.

    I'm sorry, but I still think this is a slippery slope. Can you imagine what would happen if Michael Powell had jurisdiction over "Rathergate?" It's bad enough that we have to deal with all the conservative horsehockey over "indecency." And since corporations are the ones with the big legal budgets, I think the cast majority of "news distortion" cases brought against broadcasters would involve stories critical of corporations (that is, of course, assuming broadcasters would ever resume running actual stories).
  • Reply to: Petition from Fired Fox Journalists   14 years 10 months ago
    "Do we really want to open the Pandora's Box of the FCC determining whether a story is "distorted?" The FCC doesn't need to. Fox itself admitted as much when they had the reporters' whistleblower rewards overturned: "That verdict was overturned in 2003 when an appellate court accepted Fox's defense that since it is not technically against any law, rule or regulation for a broadcaster to distort the news, the journalists were never entitled to employee protections as whistleblowers in the first place."

    "Remember Food Lion and ABC?" Funny, that's exactly what Monsanto wrote to Fox News.

  • Reply to: Petition from Fired Fox Journalists   14 years 10 months ago
    You're right. Akre and Wilson were fired without their report ever being broadcast. The station then hired a new reporter who produced his own report about BGH, which was significantly different than the one that Akre and Wilson produced. According to Akre and Wilson, the report that aired included the falsifications that they refused to put in their report.
  • Reply to: Petition from Fired Fox Journalists   14 years 10 months ago
    Now Akre and Wilson are petitioning the Federal Communications Commision to reject the station's request for license renewal on grounds that it is not operating in the public interest.

    I wonder if that's really a good idea. While it's true that the FCC has a policy (but not a "rule," which is the distinction the appeals case turned on) against "news distortion," it's never really been enforced because of First Amendment considerations.

    Do we really want to open the Pandora's Box of the FCC determining whether a story is "distorted?" If a real hard-hitting story were broadcast, I can imagine Monsanto (or more likely an astroturf front group acting on it's behalf) turning the tables to quash such reporting. Remember Food Lion and ABC?

    (BTW, for the sake of clarity, while they were indeed ordered to insert falsehoods, I don't believe Akre and Wilson's story ever actually aired.)
  • Reply to: Republicans 'Outorganized and Outthought' Democrats   14 years 10 months ago
    False and hurtful material such as the Swift Boat crap and the flip-flop accusations and the purple heart bandaids clearly hurt Kerry and "helped" Shrub. Even worse was the second stealing of a national election. I don't know if people were paid, but I believe that, just as in the Ukraine, the exit polls in six states were not wrong, the votes were stolen.

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