July 16, 2004

MoveOn.org to sue Fox over term "Fair & Balanced"

Liberal political action group MoveOn.org is planning a Monday morning news conference in New York City, where they plan to file suit against Fox and Fox News Channel. The suit will claim that Fox is misleading the public by using the term "fair and balanced" to describe it's network coverage.

At a press conference that will begin at the Warwick Hotel and conclude with the delivery of legal papers to FOX News’ NYC studio this Monday, representatives from MoveOn.org and others will unveil their next step in the campaign to hold FOX News accountable.

Two major legal actions challenging the network’s use of the tagline “Fair and Balanced” will be announced. Chellie Pingree, President of Common Cause will lead the news conference.

The war of words continues.

Posted by mhking at July 16, 2004 06:30 PM

A thousand unkind cuts...

He shall feed his flockumentary

Posted by: Sissy Willis at July 16, 2004 07:36 PM

I would love to say that this has a snowball's chance of succeeding, but with some of the ridiculous rulings courts have made of late, you never know.

Posted by: S Michael Moore at July 16, 2004 07:41 PM

Boy, these stupid liberals will fund anything. You would think they learned a lesson from FOX when they sued Franken. These "silly suits" only help the opponent by giving free publicity. There is actually a study that says that Fox Special Report is the most balanced news program on TV.

RE: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1158002/posts

These moveon.org folks are
a) Foolish
c)have too much money or
d)all of the above

Posted by: vanyogan at July 17, 2004 12:24 AM

Will Michael Moore ever get sued for his horrendous misuse of the word documentary?

Posted by: Watcher at July 17, 2004 03:17 AM

Anything to keep the lawyers busy!

Posted by: Fausta at July 17, 2004 08:16 AM

Folks, this is good news.

MoveOn feels threatened by the slogan! I like that. Plus, the negative publicity generated for MoveOn will be priceless.

Posted by: cole at July 17, 2004 12:07 PM

FOX should counter-sue for wasted time. This is one of those cases where the plaintiff should be liable for the defendant's legal bills if the plaintiff loses. Plus a penalty for filing a frivilous suit.

Posted by: Richard at July 19, 2004 06:32 PM

L O LLL. With umpteen other organizations coaching Kerry for sound bytes and MoveOns chasing Fox. Free speech my ASS. "your free to speak if you side with me!" isn't that LLL's slogan?

Posted by: nochizmo at July 19, 2004 10:20 PM

There is no such thing as integrity anymore. This only proves to justify Fox News and lets me know that they really are fair and balanced if such unfair and unbalanced organizations are threatened by their news coverage. If FNC isn't really fair or balanced then how do they explain shows like Hannity and Colmes or The O'Reilly Factor? Whose display of both liberal and conservative guests, views and the like are a staple of the shows. Why not go after ABC, CNN, or NPR? The hypocrisy is overwhelming!

They(FNC)are the big kid on the block now and so are receiving the brunt of attacks, making them out to be the media bully, no doubt spawned or encouraged by their competition.

Posted by: Jerry McClellan at July 20, 2004 10:27 AM

As a liberal I couldn't disagree more with the content of the posts here. I haven't seen a greater concentration of unsupported opinions since the last pResidential Press Conference (cAp iNtended). It's all too typical for those wealthy enough to be right wing conservative to accuse the opposition of doing what they themselves are guilty of.

For instance, I find it hard to believe that anybody could find sufficient reason to accuse liberals of censorship. Considering that the conservatives have discarded the Constitution,


effectively ended freedom of speech



strangled public debate via their friends in management of the media


misled us into a needless war


from which they and their close friends profited greatly


Given all of this I really don't think this suit (if it materializes) is worthy of any concern.

If the suit mentioned in this thread does indeed materialize it won't be the first one regarding "Fair and Balanced" (as was pointed out by another poster), but the crucial difference is that Franken was being sued for using the phrase "Fair and Balanced" something Fox claimed was it's property - a registered trademark I believe.

I don't see any indication that the hypothetical suit mentioned above is regarding the use of a registered trademark so I doubt it will have any legal similarity to the frivolous lawsuit Fox threw at Franken. It seems far more likely that Fox is being sued because their reporting is neither Fair nor Balanced. They are without a doubt biased, slanted, and often spinning their "news" to such an extent that one could make a argument that their news items were nothing more than LIES.


Speaking of LIES, I read the report mentioned above .... the one that stated Fox news was actually fair and balanced. It states, "Our results show a very significant liberal bias" (In the media that is). I didn't have to read any further. The idea that the media has a liberal bias is a blatant falsehood propagated by the Rush Limbaugh's of the world. The fact that EVERY major news media outlet in the US today is owned by people with very conservative viewpoints is an undisputed fact. Fox is a perfect example of this because the owner has taken a particularly active role in censoring news stories that don't fit his agenda as well as influencing editors and writers to guarantee that their "news" items and any expressed interpretation of them support the already established conservative viewpoints espoused by the owner of the company. Anything that doesn't fit their agenda never gets broadcast ....those things that do get aired are edited or spun in whatever way necessary to support the administration and Mr. Murdoch's agenda.


If anybody is censoring it's the heads of the media outlets. They've established an atmosphere of ignorance such that the only informed people you'll find are those who have actively sought out the truth. No real information of any import can be seen or heard on your television. No critical analysis of political events will arrive magically on your doorstep like your daily newspaper. Most people don't know this and thus the ignorant are the majority.

You folks and your opinions are the direct result of the American publics expectation that you can become and remain an informed citizen by watching the nightly news and/or reading the daily paper and/or swallowing the daily stew of unsupported allegations, outright lies, and utter hypocrisy which have become the trademark of Rush "pilonidal" Limbaugh and the other conservative liars you hear on the airwaves these days.. This whole liberal media idea originated somewhere within Rush's posterior as far as I'm concerned.


FYI, just in case you don't know what I'm talking about regarding the pilonidal comment, Rush used it to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. He and many of the other members of the Bush League are commonly referred to as "Chicken Hawks" for their present day war mongering after having successfully avoided military service during Vietnam.

You're being fed a very small, very slanted piece of the pie. At the same time you're being told that anybody with information that didn't come from the nightly news is some conspiracy theory quack pot. I urge you all to get out of your easy chair and start researching and thinking for yourselves because the data is out there but it's not going to be delivered to your doorstep. Those in control of the media benefit from your ignorance and from your close-mindedness. They don't want you to even consider the fact that you're being lied to. I am asking you to at least consider the possibility. What you see on CNN and what you read in the newspaper are lies. I don't expect you to believe what I say, please don't in fact. We'd have a healthier society if people weren't so willing to believe what they're told, regardless of the source without first verifying it's validity in some way. Skepticism is so warranted one should almost have to file a justification with the local government every time you're NOT employing skepticism.

And another thing, you'll never learn a thing by circulating only among those who agree with you. If you really hold to your convictions why not spend some time looking at other viewpoints (which is what I'm doing right now). If you're DEFINITELY RIGHT and those who disagree with you are DEFINITELY WRONG, then you could spread the gift of your enlightenment among those who've been less fortunate than you.

he he, who am I kidding, sharing is something conservatives have traditionally been completely unwilling to do whether it be knowledge, power, money, time or affection ... if you had an infinite fount of all wisdom that would flow forever and imparted all of the universes wisdom from a single sip you'd keep it all for yourself wouldn't you? even knowing that you could benefit from a second or subsequent draughts not at all. yes you'd keep it secret selling a sip here and there at astronomic prices to the extremely wealthy and letting the rest flow uselessly into the ground...this would continue for a long time even after you'd passed the point where more money would change your life in any way. This is the heart of conservatism. What fun would having all the universes wisdom be if everybody else had it too, right? Indeed, Wisdom and (forsaking the metaphor) Money are only worth having if the majority of people lack it/them. It's not enough for conservatives to be sickeningly wealthy, to feel superior they require the rest of society to be living in abject and desperate poverty. Those among the impoverished who are willing to humiliate themselves will be given the honor of serving the wealthy. Those who won't humiliate themselves for money can live as slaves (aka prison) or be cast back into the feudal compost pile with the chicken carcasses.

I challenge you to unlock your doors and minds and actually have a discussion with people who aren't part of your "Conservatives looking out only for #1" clique. You will undoubtedly learn something you have needed to know but didn't want to know for a long time. I can't be sure what that something will be but I'm sure that your learning it will be a positive event for the nation and for the planet. Those who can stomach such knowledge and who continue to seek it will find one day that they don't need quite so many fences, security guards, electrified fences, video cameras and guns. They'll see the world isn't really populated with enemies around every corner, no the only enemies are literally those of our own making, but I'm rambling now.

I'll end this post soon and look forward to the hate email which will no doubt result. My only request is that if you're going to "tell me how it is", that you provide links to supporting factual data (not links to conservative blog sites that link to other conservative blog sites and so on). Opinion pieces are fine but if you've got an opinion you should also have reasons for why you feel that way and some logical, rational argument to back it up. Send me that. Name calling hasn't been appropriate since we left the sandbox. Try to keep the conversation elevated by using insults like, for example the "Conservatives looking out only for #1 clique" one I used above. It's just more fun that way. I won't do you the favor of tearing apart your position unless it's conveyed in a lucid manner, and is politely worded. We're all supposed to be adults and fluent in this language. Letters indicative of that will be responded to before others of a more base nature. :-)

I'd say have a good day, but you militant conservatives aren't content unless there's shooting somewhere so I cannot honestly hope your day is a good or happy one. I will simply say "So Long".


Posted by: Paul Jimerson at July 28, 2004 09:20 AM

Those observant types among you will note two things:

1) that the first part of my message is missing - yes I was too long winded.
2) more importantly the democracy now dot org link appears to have been included in my post even though I state that such things are censored and not allowed in posts here. FYI, I added a tag in between "democracy" and "now" with the words "take this out" inside it. This tag allowed my post with the URL intact to pass by the censoring check but sometime after the censor was passed my post was run through a filter which removed html tags from it. That's why the supposedly prohibited link appears here.

Providence has apparently cast some light in my direction but only for so long as it takes one of the bookburners here to have my post stricken from the record. You who go on and on about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, prove it by keeping my post up.


Posted by: Paul Jimerson at July 28, 2004 09:28 AM


Posted by: mhking at July 28, 2004 09:54 AM
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