MAKE IT UP REPORT, YOU DECIDE….Via Jeanne d’Arc, Fox News has finally prevailed in their fight for the right to lie on their news programs. Two producers, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, produced a show about Monsanto’s Bovine Growth Hormone for Fox’s WTVT subsidiary in Florida, but ran into trouble:
Shortly before the original TV series was to run, an attorney from Monsanto contacted Fox TV and demanded that the script be altered. The station gave in to Monsanto’s demands and told Akre and Wilson to rewrite and tone down the script. One year and 73 rewrites later Monsanto still wasn’t satisfied and Akre and Wilson were fired.
….As reported by Jeanette Batz in the St. Louis newsweekly, Riverfront Times, David Boylan, WTVT station manager, was blunt in demanding that Akre and Wilson tell the story about rBGH the way Monsanto wanted it told. “We (the Fox TV network) paid $3 billion for these television stations. We will decide what the news is. The news is what we tell you it is.”
After they were fired Akre and Wilson sued under Florida’s whistleblower statute, which prohibits retaliation against employees who threaten to disclose employer conduct that violates the law. They won damages, but a few weeks ago an appellate court overruled.
Why? Because although the FCC does have a policy against the intentional falsification of news, this policy didn’t qualify as a “law” under the Florida statute. So Akre and Wilson couldn’t have threatened to disclose a violation of the law, and therefore they couldn’t have been fired for this.
I’m glad to see that TV news is once again safe for corporate America. I feel safer, don’t you?