Fox News Reportedly Worried About Being Sued For Misleading Viewers On Coronavirus


Remember all those people insisting a few weeks ago that COVID-19 was just a cold, then just like the flu, then an overblown Democratic hoax?

How can they keep claiming they’re right about everything?

I mean, if I’d showed up on the House floor in a jokey gas mask to “own the libs,” errrrr, 25 days ago, I’d keep it on for the duration just to hide my shame.

But being a Republican means never having to say you’re sorry. How many of them apologized to you for calling you a traitor in the run-up to the Iraq war? Zero? Yeah, me too.

So they’ll apologize for not taking this seriously around the same time John Voight and Mike Huckabee are appointed to the Kennedy Center board. Oh, no. Shit. That actually happened. Bad example.

Okay, they’ll apologize around the same time Eric Trump maps out the 11 dimensions of string theory on his Wooly Willy.

Of course, Fox News was one of the biggest offenders during those halcyon days three weeks ago when the usual assortment of dumbasses assumed the virus was going to magically wither beneath the icy, baleful glare of Donald John Trump.

And now the network is apparently worried that killing off its loyal viewers via wanton disinformation might somehow have a downside.

According to the redoubtable Gabe Sherman, whose reporting has frequently left him elbows-deep in the stinking viscera of the diseased carcass that is the Trump White House, Fox is actually concerned that it could get sued over its early coronavirus reporting.

Via Media Matters:

MSNBC’s JOY REID: You’ve had Fox anchors who are going, or as likely as anyone who is on this panel to know someone who gets sick with COVID-19. It’s interesting to have to watch them have to confront reality, that as you say, it is deadly reality, that they can’t cover for Trump on this. There’s no way they can keep doing it. I wonder if the same sort of dynamic is going to happen with Sinclair, which is ten times — it’s Fox times ten — and in your traffic and weather together and they’ve tried to also spin things in his favor. They do add commentary from people like former Trump officials. How are they handling it?

SHERMAN: Yea. I mean, this is the question, what’s more pernicious or deceptive about Sinclair is that their local newscasts are not labeled as a Sinclair channel. You don’t know that it has a right-wing ideology behind the owners of the local news station, so you’re absorbing it as if it’s just straight network news. I just want to get back to the Fox of it all real quick. When I’ve been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there’s a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I’ve heard Trish Regan’s being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus and The New York Times reported days ago that the Murdoch family was privately taking the coronavirus seriously. The Murdochs, of course, own Fox News. So, they were taking personal steps to protect themselves while anchors like Trish Regan and Sean Hannity were telling viewers that it’s a hoax and putting themselves in potentially mortal danger. So I think this is a case where Fox’s coverage if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions.

I’ll believe it when I see it, of course. Then again, I never expected Bill O’Reilly to be felled by a falafel, so anything’s possible.

If the Murdochs let this deadly vaudeville act go on while knowing how serious the COVID-19 threat really was, maybe they could be sued. Of course, Trump did the same thing — for weeks — while intelligence agencies were issuing grave warnings. Then again, it’s a lot easier for him to play dumb. He just has to point to his string of bankrupted casinos and the fact that he doesn’t actually read intelligence briefings.

That said — class-action suit, anyone?


Daily Kos: Fox reportedly worried about being sued for misleading viewers on coronavirus threat
Media Matters: Report: Fox News is worried about legal action after misleading viewers about coronavirus

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