Well, let's see. FOX says it was poli-sci. Every other source I've seen so far says it was journalism. Let me dig around...oh...I found this:
Fox News Has a First Amendment Right to Lie – Updated
by Metavirus on 28 June 2009
I found out that a 2003 Florida appeals court case decided that Fox News has a First Amendment right to lie:
A Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court 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. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast.
It’s not like i disagree with the fundamental premise involved here. Fox Noise probably does have a First Amendment right to lie to its viewers. As a lawyer, it’s just interesting to imagine the oral arguments in the case. Here’s how my imagination frames it:
Judge: So, does Fox News lie in its coverage of the news?
Fox News Lawyer: Well, of course, your honor, have you watched our network!? But seriously, it’s not as if there’s anything legally wrong with that!
Man Droppings has some good thoughts on this:
[T]his cuts to the chase on the old, tired argument I get when I try to trash Faux News to true believers: ‘Oh, but all the news lies, it’s just a matter of their view.’
Yes, it is true, in the simplest sense of true, that all news is by definition biased. There can be no truly objective news, because it is presented by humans, who have biases. However, this court ruling shows that Fox News, and Fox News alone, as far as I know, deliberately sets out to distort the truth as a matter of course.
And the fact that so many people not only buy into these lies, but actually seek out these lies because they are simple, and straightforward, and don’t challenge the consumer to think for himself–this is what spells our doom as a species. We prefer comfort, we prefer simplicity, and we shy away from challenges. We are soft, in body and in mind, and in my more pessimistic moods, I see Fox News as a stalking horse for a future in which we are ever dumber, and ever more controlled.
That may sound a bit apocalyptic, but you have to admit, we are getting dumber. And it is also demonstrable that dumb people are easier to control than smart people, those who ask questions. So does it make sense, therefore, that those who seek to control might wish to deliberately seek out ways to make and keep people dumber?
Or maybe that’s just dumb…