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U.S. News Media Can Legally Lie To You

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posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 08:38 PM
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www.fromthewilderness.com...

Accepting a defense rejected by three other Florida state judges on at least six separate motions, a Florida appeals court has reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information.

In a six-page written decision released February 14, the court essentially ruled the journalist never stated a valid whistle- blower claim because, they ruled, it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.

In the lawsuit filed in 1998, Akre claimed she was wrongfully terminated for threatening to blow the whistle to the FCC. After a five-week trial that ended August 18, 2000, a six-person jury was unanimous in its conclusion that she was indeed fired for threatening report the station's pressure to broadcast what jurors decided was "a false, distorted, or slanted" story about the widespread use of growth hormone in dairy cows.

Continued....


Snip from ruling:

We agree with WTVT that
the FCC’s policy against the intentional falsification of the news – which the FCC has
called its “news distortion policy” – does not qualify as the required “law, rule, or
regulation” under section 448.102.
The FCC has never published its news distortion policy as a regulation
with definitive elements and defenses. Instead, the FCC has developed the policy
through the adjudicatory process in decisions resolving challenges to broadcasters’
licenses.

Continued....
www.2dca.org...


Legal precedant has been established.

The media can lie to you all they want because the FCC News Distortion Policy is not a law, or rule, or regulation.




posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 08:40 PM
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Yeah, Dan Rather would be in jail now if it was against the law to lie on the air.



posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 04:16 AM
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I feel the government should at least fine organizations which knowingly distribute false information as if it is truth. Too many people believe every word they hear from "credible" sources, including the television and news agencies, believe it or not. The government, which knows the people are sheep, should step in and make sure such manipulation does not occur. A democratic government is supposed to protect its people, right? Why not protect them from lies and deception whenever possible?

Perhaps the reason the government does nothing to make sure news agencies don't purposely lie or mislead is because this is to the governments’ advantage. I'm sure few ATS members doubt the government likely tells the news from time to time what they can and cannot report, so to tell Fox News they cannot lie, might hinder the USgovs efforts when dealing in televised propaganda/disinformation. If not that, I guess they could argue "It's our right to lie and manipulate, there are no laws against doing that unless under oath. Furthermore, freedom of speech gives us the ability to say whatever we wish, including lies."

I see this as being a rather extensive judicial battle, if any legislators or organizations (such as the FCC) pursue a "Media Trust Act." I wonder which side would come out the victor? Something tells me Fox News would, one reason being the USgov cannot police all of the media, checking every story to be sure it's accurate. If they start watching for lies on the airwaves, pretty soon it'll jump to print, and then Internet sources. Eventually whichever organization (FBI or FBI-FCC joint org?) placed in charge of watching the media for truth would be quite large, sucking up God knows how much of Americas budget and resources. Even if the gov doesn't actually "watch" but only investigates when people come forward and say "this is a lie!" there could be a tremendous need for manpower just to handle all of that.

Maybe it wouldn’t turn out so well, creating yet another super-agency to crack down on our rights (and privacy) and risking a tax hike to fund the program. I dunno, could go either way for me at the moment. One one hand the government should protect it's citizens (including from lies), and on the other there could be alot of redtape which restricts it from protecting us here, and of course there could be too many resources required to properly do that, resources better used elsewhere.

I'm having a hard time making up my mind at this point. I'd like to see this topic debated though, maybe others can break this stalemate of sorts within my mind, regarding this issue. If there was more information as to what resources would be required, I'd be able to have a more clear opinion. Maybe my thought process here will be of some help to someone else in deciding how they feel regarding the media legally lying, though (I hope). Geeze, I hate being unsure... heh

How often do you see a person posting something, then changing their mind halfway through? haha


EDIT: I realize now my post is somewhat pointless, but it's already posted sooo...

[edit on 9/30/2005 by SkyFox2]


df1

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Yeah, Dan Rather would be in jail now if it was against the law to lie on the air.

Absolutely unbelievable. The entire thrust of your agruement is that faux news is a bunch of lying scum bags, but thats ok because dan rather is lying scum bag too. I'm shocked & awed that you fail to see the absurdity of this logic.

Do you actually believe that your arguement is compelling to anyone with an IQ above 10?
.



posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by ArchAngel
Legal precedant has been established.

The media can lie to you all they want because the FCC News Distortion Policy is not a law, or rule, or regulation.

Its allways been permissible for them to report false news. THere is no law that requires anyone to be honest, ever.


df1

posted on Sep, 30 2005 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
THere is no law that requires anyone to be honest, ever.

Actually there is a law we could use on the media. We could place a judge at certified media outlets and swear in the news commentators/reporters, then if they lie we could prosecute them under the perjury laws. If that goes well we could expand its use in political campaigns.

What do you think?



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 05:40 PM
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and this is a surprise to you???????

I stopped believing anything I saw in the media or on the internet years ago.

NPR leans as far to the left as fox does to the right, or even more. MSNBC and CNN are nothing but propaganda organs of the democratic party. The networks and newspapers follow only the ideology that will bring in the greatest advertising revenue (which currently is leftist). 99.99999% of all internet blogs are written by paid professional liars (there may be one or two out there written by someone who is too stupid to be paid, so I left it less than 100%). The leaders of the environmental industry openly boast about how much they can lie and get away with it.

Sad but true -- the most reliable news sources today are the onion.com and the Weekly World News.



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by df1

Originally posted by Nygdan
THere is no law that requires anyone to be honest, ever.

Actually there is a law we could use on the media. We could place a judge at certified media outlets and swear in the news commentators/reporters, then if they lie we could prosecute them under the perjury laws. If that goes well we could expand its use in political campaigns.

What do you think?


I think that would probably be viewed as infringing on the first amendment.

As long as slander or libel is not involved I don't know of much that could be done.



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by Skibum

Originally posted by df1

Originally posted by Nygdan
THere is no law that requires anyone to be honest, ever.

Actually there is a law we could use on the media. We could place a judge at certified media outlets and swear in the news commentators/reporters, then if they lie we could prosecute them under the perjury laws. If that goes well we could expand its use in political campaigns.

What do you think?


I think that would probably be viewed as infringing on the first amendment.

As long as slander or libel is not involved I don't know of much that could be done.


What could be done is to make the FCC News Distortion policy into law.



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Its allways been permissible for them to report false news. THere is no law that requires anyone to be honest, ever.


I've always been told that lying to a federal agent is a crime, but I can find no citation to back this up (apart from the crime of "obstructing justice"). Lying is indeed a crime in certain cases, such as:

Perjury - after taking an oath of honesty in a judicial proceeding, any false testimony is considered perjury and is punishable with jail time.

Obstruction of justice - any attempt to impede legal processes, including by lying, can land you in jail.

I can also think of some ways how lying about something could land you a charge of witness tampering.

Zip

EDIT: Okay, cool, I just found something interesting:


from gbr.pepperdine.edu...
Businesspersons must be especially aware of the federal lying statute contained in Title 18 of the U.S. Code Section 1001, which states that: “(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any judicial matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years or both.”[17]

Under this statute it is a crime to knowingly and willfully make any materially false statement concerning any matter within the jurisdiction of the United States. The falsehood must be material; but this requirement is met if the statement has the “natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing the decision of the decision making body” which receives the false statement.[18] This statute has an extraordinarily wide scope. Unlike perjury, the false statement need not be given under oath. Any statement, whether made orally or in writing, can violate this law.


This is the law that applies to the act of lying to a federal agent. It doesn't have to occur in a courtroom. According to the link above, this applies to any federal employee, not just federal police agents.

I wonder if a case could be made for televised lies to be illegal because government employees watch television.



[edit on 10/1/2005 by Zipdot]



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