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Author Topic:   Liberal Media Conspiracy?
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 46 (247049)
09-28-2005 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Silent H
09-28-2005 11:12 AM


I appreciate your post. Thanks.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Silent H, posted 09-28-2005 11:12 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 17 of 46 (247061)
09-28-2005 6:39 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Silent H
09-28-2005 11:25 AM


quote:
Again yes and no. When the thing that gov't is trying to address is the violation of the freedom of the press due to essential monopolies (whether actual or practical) by citizens, then there doesn't seem to be a conflict.

Well, it depends on how gov't responds to media monopolies. Splitting them up is something I have no problem with. Forcing certain kinds of content on the press (with the "Fairness Doctrine") is something I find troubling.

Here's an example of part of the Fairness Doctrine rules, from WikiPedia:

quote:
The two corollary rules, the personal attack rule and the political editorial rule, remained in practice even after the repeal of the fairness doctrine. The personal attack rule is pertinent whenever a person or small group is subject to a character attack during a broadcast. Stations must notify such persons or groups within a week of the attack, send them transcripts of what was said, and offer the opportunity to respond on the air. The political editorial rule applies when a station broadcasts editorials endorsing or opposing candidates for public office, and stipulates that the candidates not endorsed be notified and allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

This is a quote from an essay on the Freedom of the Press:

quote:
The court went still further when it struck down a Florida statute requiring newspapers that editorially attacked a candidate for elected office to print the candidate's reply. In Miami Herald v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974), the Supreme Court held that compulsory publication is as much of a "prior restraint" as prohibiting publication would be. Although the justices acknowledged that the legislators' goal of encouraging the press to provide a forum for competing viewpoints was laudable, they found that the statute impermissibly usurped the rights of editors to express the views of their choice, and might even have the perverse effect of reducing political coverage. "A responsible press is an undoubtedly desirable goal, but press responsibility is not mandated by the Constitution, and like many other virtues it cannot be legislated," Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote.

http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itgic/0203/ijge/gj03.htm

From Miami Herald Publishing v. Tornillo

quote:
The monopoly of the means of communication allows for little or no critical analysis of the media except in professional journals of very limited readership....

The obvious solution, which was available to dissidents at an earlier time when entry into publishing was relatively inexpensive, today would be to have additional newspapers. But the same economic factors which have caused the disappearance of vast numbers of metropolitan newspapers, have made entry into the marketplace of ideas served by the print media almost impossible. It is urged that the claim of newspapers to be "surrogates for the public" carries with it a concomitant fiduciary obligation to account for that stewardship. From this premise it is reasoned that the only effective way to insure fairness and accuracy and to provide for some accountability is for government to take affirmative action. The First Amendment interest of the public in being informed is said to be in peril because the "marketplace of ideas" is today a monopoly controlled by the owners of the market....

IV

However much validity may be found in these arguments, at each point the implementation of a remedy such as an enforceable right of access necessarily calls for some mechanism, either governmental or consensual. If it is governmental coercion, this at once brings about a confrontation with the express provisions of the First Amendment and the judicial gloss on that Amendment developed over the years...


quote:
Faced with the penalties that would accrue to any newspaper that published news or commentary arguably within the reach of the right-of-access statute, editors might well conclude that the safe course is to avoid controversy. Therefore, under the operation of the Florida statute, political and electoral coverage would be blunted or reduced. Government-enforced right of access inescapably "dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate."

quote:
Even if a newspaper would face no additional costs to comply with a compulsory access law and would not be forced to forgo publication of news or opinion by the inclusion of a reply, the Florida statute fails to clear the barriers of the First Amendment because of its intrusion into the function of editors. A newspaper is more than a passive receptacle or conduit for news, comment, and advertising. The choice of material to go into a newspaper, and the decisions made as to limitations on the size and content of the paper, and treatment of public issues and public officials -- whether fair or unfair -- constitute the exercise of editorial control and judgment. It has yet to be demonstrated how governmental regulation of this crucial process can be exercised consistent with First Amendment guarantees of a free press as they have evolved to this time. Accordingly, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is reversed.

Miami Herald Publishing v. Tornillo

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/tornillo.html

But compare that to Red Lion Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission:

quote:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has for many years imposed on broadcasters a "fairness doctrine," requiring that public issues be presented by broadcasters and that each side of those issues be given fair coverage. In No. 2, the FCC declared that petitioner Red Lion Broadcasting Co. had failed to meet its obligation under the fairness doctrine when it carried a program which constituted a personal attack on one Cook, and ordered it to send a transcript of the broadcast to Cook and provide reply time, whether or not Cook would pay for it. The Court of Appeals upheld the FCC's position. After the commencement of the Red Lion litigation the FCC began a rule-making proceeding to make the personal attack aspect of the fairness doctrine more precise and more readily enforceable, and to specify its rules relating to political editorials. The rules, as adopted and amended, were held unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals in RTNDA (No. 717), as abridging the freedoms of speech and press.

SCOTUS upheld the Fairness Doctrine in Red Lion. Why does the ruling seem to be a 180 from newspaper editorials?

From the ruling:

quote:
(a) The First Amendment is relevant to public broadcasting, but it is the right of the viewing and listening public, and not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount. Pp. 386-390.
(b) The First Amendment does not protect private censorship by broadcasters who are licensed by the Government to use a scarce resource which is denied to others. Pp. 390-392.

(c) The danger that licensees will eliminate coverage of controversial issues as a result of the personal attack and political editorial rules is at best speculative, and, in any event, the FCC has authority to guard against this danger. Pp. 392-395.

(d) There was nothing vague about the FCC's specific ruling in the Red Lion case and the regulations at issue in No. 717 could be employed in precisely the same way as the fairness doctrine in Red Lion. It is not necessary to decide every aspect of the fairness doctrine to decide these cases. Problems involving more extreme applications or more difficult constitutional questions will be dealt with if and when they arise. Pp. 395-396.

(e) It has not been shown that the scarcity of broadcast frequencies, which impelled governmental regulation, is entirely a thing of the past, as new uses for the frequency spectrum have kept pace with improved technology and more efficient utilization of that spectrum. Pp. 396-400.


http://www.epic.org/free_speech/red_lion.html

Much of that reasoning is based on bandwidth issues in over-the-air broadcasting. In the US, this bandwidth has been considered public property and it is the purpose of the FCC to dole out operator licenses to users of this publicly owned commodity. Further, it is considered the right of the public that broadcast users of their bandwidth operate benevolently by affording 'equal time' to controversial issues.

FOX News is not broadcast television, it is a cable service, paid for by cable subscription, and transmitted along coaxial cable wiring that runs into homes and businesses. I think a strong case can be made that cable-based networks use privately-owned bandwidth and therefore are not applicable to the Fairness Doctrine. Therefore, attempts to censor FOX based on the old Fairness Doctrine logic are misguided.

Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage, and the other radio talking heads might ought to be worried, Howard Stern's banishment to Sirius proves that the FCC is still very interested in controlling the "public" airwaves. Of course, as I mentioned there is still an explosion going on avenues of broadcasting. In fact, since the Red Lion ruling there has been the marvelous invention of FM radio, which greatly increased the broadcast quality and bandwidth allocation space for radio networks. Future improvements may come along, like FM digital broadcasts that would have a smaller bandwidth footprint, further negating the necessity of a Fairness Doctrine for the airwaves.

I still think Crashfrog's point about media conglomeration is a good one, but it is discussed in Tornillo.

[ Quoting Holmes ]

quote:
And interestingly enough, along with obscenity (which is usually thrown at porn), there are other classes of speech not covered and they are commercial and libel/slander. It seems to me FOX could very well fit into both those categories.

I don't agree that libel is particularly relevant to the "Fair Doctrine" and Federally-mandated equal coverage. You are correct in saying that it isn't protected by the Constitution. However, to my knowledge it is not enforced against by the FCC, charges of libel are brought through the tort system.

As for what it takes to constitute libel, I again quote that essay:

quote:
Until 1964, under the common law of the United States, libel -- the publication of false and defamatory statements about an individual -- fell outside the protections of the Constitution. But in New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), a case decided during the height of the civil rights movement in the United States, the Supreme Court recognized that in order to avoid chilling robust discussion and commentary about the actions of government officials, news organizations must be given breathing space to make some errors, in good faith, without facing liability. The high court ruled that public officials who wish to sue for libel would be required not only to prove that statements were false, but that the publisher either knew they were false or published them with "reckless disregard" for their truth or falsity.

http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itgic/0203/ijge/gj03.htm

That would be a tough thing to do. Also with public figures, who are going to be libeled constantly (comes with the territory) it isn't practical to sue everybody and it tends to look bad politically.

As for commercial speech, I'm scratching my head at how FOXNews is commercial speech. Definitions of commercial speech:

quote:
Commercial speech doctrine. Speech that was categorized as "commercial" in nature (i.e. speech that advertised a product or service for profit or for business purpose) was formerly not afforded First Amendment freedom of speech protection, and as such could be freely regulated by statutes and ordinances. Valentine v. Chrestensen, 316 U.S. 52, 62 S.Ct. 920, 86 L.Ed. 1262. This doctrine, however, has been essentially abrogated. Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Comm. on Human Rights, 413 U.S. 376, 93 S.Ct. 2553, 37 L.Ed.2d 669; Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809, 95 S.Ct. 2222, 44 L.Ed.2d 600; Virginia State Brd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizen Council, 425 U.S. 748, 96 S.Ct. 1817, 48 L.Ed.2d 346.

And:

quote:
United States of America v. Thurston Paul Bell, D.C. Civil Action 02-cv-02159, heard January 25, 2005:

We have defined commercial speech as

“expression related to the economic interests of the speaker and its audience, generally in the form of a commercial advertisement for the sale of goods and services.” U.S. Healthcare, Inc. v. Blue Cross of Greater Phila., 898 F.2d 914, 933 (3d. Cir.1990).

To determine whether speech is commercial, courts should consider whether:

(1) the speech is an advertisement;

(2) the speech refers to a specific product or service; and

(3) the speaker has an economic motivation for the speech.

Bolger v. Youngs Drug Prods. Corp., 463 U.S. 60, 66-67 (1983); In re Orthopedic Bone Screw Prods. Liab. Litig., 193 F.3d 781, 793-794 (3d Cir. 1999). An affirmative answer to each question indicates “strong support” for the conclusion that the speech is commercial.


http://famguardian.org/TaxFreedom/CitesByTopic/CommercialSpeechDoctrine.htm

Except for maybe the "Fair and Balanced" moniker, an advertising claim of the service provided by FOXNews, I'm having trouble defining FOX coverage as any of the above.

Taken with that and the fact that commercial speech is now granted some First Amendment protection, I think the libel category has more potential.

This message has been edited by gene90, 09-28-2005 09:11 PM


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19819
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 18 of 46 (247097)
09-28-2005 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by gene90
09-27-2005 9:25 PM


I think that since we are talking about political bias in the news, it is fair to point out that this website you linked to as an information source on political bias in news, RAZD, is sponsored by MoveOn.Org and Center for American Progress, both of which are linked to at the bottom of the Outfoxed homepage.

This affects the facts that they present how?

You are assuming that these left wing organisations are just as eggregarious in their disregard for truth in reporting as Faux News, and this is demonstrable false when you compare the beliefs of people that {watch\listen} to the various shows with the actual facts of the cases in question.

Do you think sponsoring the disemination of truth alters the truth depending on the sponsoring organisation? Certainly it colors opinions that they present, perhaps the topics covered, but facts are without poitical boundaries.

I think it makes more sense to change the channel when you hear or see commentary you don't like.

But do people who see commentary that they like know that what they are being fed is a narrow view and ignores contradictory evidence?

When half the people think WMDs were found and that there was a link between Al Quieda and Iraq -- and they watch Fox news --

Versus the population with the most accurate facts at hand -- watch\listen to pbs stations and use the internet to look at multiple sources.

Are we seeing bias being fed to the gullible an honest truth being found by those willing to look for it?

Edited by RAZD, : .


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This message is a reply to:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 19 of 46 (247099)
09-28-2005 9:42 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by RAZD
09-28-2005 9:34 PM


quote:
This affects the facts that they present how?

Since part of the topic is FOX's right-wing bias, I think it's fair to point out the left-wing bias of Outfoxed.

quote:

Do you think sponsoring the disemination of truth alters the truth depending on the sponsoring organisation?

It doesn't necessarily (it would be the Genetic Fallacy if I claimed otherwise), but it pays to know where your facts are coming from.

Your use of MoveOn would be like me using Newsmax.

quote:
But do people who see commentary that they like know that what they are being fed is a narrow view and ignores contradictory evidence?

I don't know--are they intelligent adults that can reason for themselves? Or does the government need to run over the First Amendment to protect them from themselves?

Should we censor Art Bell while we're at it? He has his followers...

quote:

When half the people think WMDs were found and that there was a link between Al Quieda and Iraq -- and they watch Fox news --

And if I polled CNN viewers to see what percentage think Hurricane Katrina was a direct result of Global Warming, do you think I would get a higher percentage or a lower percentage than amongst FOX News viewers. (See the Global Warming thread).


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 604 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 20 of 46 (247102)
09-28-2005 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by gene90
09-27-2005 9:25 PM


FOX addiction
Is FOX like pornography, in that you can start watching it while meaning not to, and become addicted? Is there a need to protect people from it beyond telling them not to watch--hence making it necessary to cut it off before entering the home? Hmm...

Well, I'll tell ya. My 80-something Grandmother watches Fox news exclusively and as a result has a very skew view of what's happening in the world.

We all can agree that there is a great deal of debate on a lot of topics, but she's come away from FOX with information which is simply wrong.

"Osama is in Iraq" "We found weapons of mass destruction" "Iraq attacked us on 9/11" Those kind of things.

You could say she's a little batty, but she's been pushed there by Fox


This message is a reply to:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 21 of 46 (247103)
09-28-2005 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Nuggin
09-28-2005 9:49 PM


Re: FOX addiction
quote:
"Osama is in Iraq" "We found weapons of mass destruction" "Iraq attacked us on 9/11" Those kind of things.

You could say she's a little batty, but she's been pushed there by Fox


Okay. When did FOX claim those things? And can you prove that FOX caused her to believe this, and not senility?

I readily believe you that people who believe that Iraq attacked us on 9/11, and that bin Laden is hiding out there, are more likely to watch FOX than CNN or MSNBC--because these misunderstandings are common in right-wingers and FOX appeals to a right-wing audience.

But correlation does not prove causality. I am sure that there are some people with similar misunderstandings (but different political alignments) that watch other networks.

This message has been edited by gene90, 09-28-2005 09:56 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 604 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 22 of 46 (247104)
09-28-2005 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by gene90
09-28-2005 9:49 PM


Re: FOX addiction
I'm not claiming that FOX said those things, though I suspect even a little amount of digging with find Hannity spouting that garbage.

What I am saying is that people that watch FNC tend to ONLY watch FNC. It's the only source of info they have. So addictive like porn? Ya.

As to good old grams, she's batty. But she's getting these opinions from someplace


This message is a reply to:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 23 of 46 (247105)
09-28-2005 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Nuggin
09-28-2005 9:54 PM


Re: FOX addiction
quote:
I'm not claiming that FOX said those things, though I suspect even a little amount of digging with find Hannity spouting that garbage.

/Maybe--I wouldn't completely rule that out.

quote:
What I am saying is that people that watch FNC tend to ONLY watch FNC. It's the only source of info they have. So addictive like porn? Ya.

Hah hah-okay. Is it so addictive though that left-leaners need to install filters? (I'm not really serious with this question, I was poking a little fun at the comparison earlier. I presume the point of the filters is to give the boycott of FOXNews more weight with cable providers and advertisers).

quote:
But she's getting these opinions from someplace

And obviously you suspect a causation between viewing FOX and having those incredibly erroneous views. I'm not surprised by a correlation but especially in this case I see a causative relationship as being unsubstantiated.

This message has been edited by gene90, 09-28-2005 10:11 PM


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 604 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 24 of 46 (247140)
09-28-2005 11:40 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by gene90
09-28-2005 9:59 PM


Re: FOX addiction
in this case I see a causative relationship as being unsubstantiated.

Except that if you ask her why she thinks these things, she'll say she saw it on Fox


This message is a reply to:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 25 of 46 (247142)
09-28-2005 11:46 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Nuggin
09-28-2005 11:40 PM


Re: FOX addiction
quote:
Except that if you ask her why she thinks these things, she'll say she saw it on Fox

You also said:

quote:
I'm not claiming that FOX said those things, though I suspect even a little amount of digging with find Hannity spouting that garbage.

I could use a little clarification. Are you arguing that that came from the FOX Network or not? (And should we include the talking heads like O'Reilly and Hannity with that or not?)

This message has been edited by gene90, 09-29-2005 12:26 AM


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 604 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 26 of 46 (247167)
09-29-2005 2:57 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by gene90
09-28-2005 11:46 PM


Re: FOX addiction
I'm differentiating FOX News (Hannity, O'Reilly et al) and FOX (Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle)

FOX News is force feeding the falsehoods.

FOX Broadcast network is much the same as ABC NBC or CBS


This message is a reply to:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3931 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 27 of 46 (247194)
09-29-2005 5:09 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by gene90
09-28-2005 6:39 PM


That was a lot of info, and I assume took some time to put together, so I appreciate the effort.

Splitting them up is something I have no problem with. Forcing certain kinds of content on the press (with the "Fairness Doctrine") is something I find troubling.

First of all let me say I have troubles with the gov't passing anything which could be called a "fairness doctrine" and do not like the idea of forcing content. And indeed I do think that splitting monopolies (or better yet restricting media ownership to a reasonable level) is a preferable method.

I do agree that issues have begun to change now that bandwidth is becoming less of an issue with expanding media forum. And I do agree that cable is selective and so less open to regulation than broadcast over airwaves (though I disagree with your assessment that FOX is only cable, they certainly have a broadcast channel in Chicago and it is as odious a news propaganda tool as the cable version).

However, I think what is being lost in this theoretical discussion is what is being addressed. Its too easy to argue it away by looking at the effects, as if that is all that is happening. I guess its sort of missing the forest for the trees kind of thing.

Public media, particularly mass public media (though we can leave conglomeration out for this discussion), is a resource. It is a public knowledge resource. The ease with which it can be used for misinformation (propaganda) and character assassination (gossip), is vast and can have real world effects.

One could view this almost as a well of public drinking water owned by a private company. How much contamination would we allow before setting in controls.

Opinions are one thing (and frankly I don't care so much what O'Reilly and Hannity says as they are editorial/opinion), but facts are another. The public does tend to assume a "purity" in the facts they are getting from a news source. And shouldn't they to some degree?

I think libel here is very much an issue, leading almost to the level of incitement. FOX, as an example, is very fast and loose with facts, and even when it does get the story straight by mentioning the truth somewhere, it is treated more of as a caveat to an avalanche of misinformation. And when it gets that bad, the people are themselves affected by the libel.

And I want to make something else clear as well, from the wiki article on FD...

The personal attack rule is pertinent whenever a person or small group is subject to a character attack during a broadcast. Stations must notify such persons or groups within a week of the attack, send them transcripts of what was said, and offer the opportunity to respond on the air. The political editorial rule applies when a station broadcasts editorials endorsing or opposing candidates for public office, and stipulates that the candidates not endorsed be notified and allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond.

This is specifically addressing character assassination. I am uncertain how attacking persons is a contribution to POLITICAL discourse. That is really about issues and not about the people presenting them to be enacted. Given the power of gossip, I don't quite see the harm in requiring media which target the person, to allow a response by that person.

If FD restrictions will have the chilling effect you eluded to, which is a stifling of political reporting which focuses on the person rather than the issue because some editors would like to have a policy of unchallenged rumour-mongering, then I am less than worried about its effects.

it is not enforced against by the FCC, charges of libel are brought through the tort system.

This is true, and some might consider not using the courts as a form of prior restraint. But again, I go back to the well analogy. There is no sense that water quality testing or required purification processing to reach a certain level of purity is untoward constraining to business if it involves public health. And such regs are better than waiting around for people to sue each and every time they get sick.

I don't want to see everyone under the gov'ts thumb when they voice an opinion, even in mass media. But the factual inerrancy, or twisting of facts, especially in regard to personal attacks are something that can be dealt with. (On top of the other issue, which is monopoly of message in media).

published them with "reckless disregard" for their truth or falsity

Whether for sales figures or from an actual political agenda, I think this is a fair statement regarding FOX. They certainly have a reckless disregard in how they present the material, which appears to drive people to conclusions sometimes opposite of what factual evidence they have to deliver on a subject.

(2) the speech refers to a specific product or service; and
(3) the speaker has an economic motivation for the speech.

I'm baffled how you don't see these as fitting FOX. Politicians are products, or supplier of services, which FOX has interest in and does have an economic motivation for supporting.

Essentially their news programs are advertisements for politicians. And they get payback with support (interviews/access) from those politicians, which allow them more material so they can sell more of their own product.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)
This message is a reply to:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 28 of 46 (247198)
09-29-2005 6:48 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Nuggin
09-29-2005 2:57 AM


Re: FOX addiction
quote:
FOX News is force feeding the falsehoods.

And, is FOX News the source of your grandmother's odd views?


This message is a reply to:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 1934 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 29 of 46 (247202)
09-29-2005 7:31 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Silent H
09-29-2005 5:09 AM


quote:
First of all let me say I have troubles with the gov't passing anything which could be called a "fairness doctrine" and do not like the idea of forcing content.

Wisely so, I think. In a system such as ours governments should not lightly interfere in how issues are portrayed in the media. It opens doors to state control and voter manipulation.

quote:
Public media, particularly mass public media (though we can leave conglomeration out for this discussion), is a resource. It is a public knowledge resource. The ease with which it can be used for misinformation (propaganda) and character assassination (gossip), is vast and can have real world effects.

One could view this almost as a well of public drinking water owned by a private company. How much contamination would we allow before setting in controls.


I see the analogy, but in this case the private owners of the well have a Constitutional right (upheld by SCOTUS) to put whatever they want in the water.

This interpretation of the First Amendment tends to negate the perceived public benefit of such regulation as being fairly irrelevant.

True, there are limitations on the First Amendment, but if we were to begin further limiting it whenever it was seen to advance the public good, there are lot of organizations promoting pernicious doctrines that would be silenced long before we got to FOX News.

From Justice White's concurring opinion in Tornillo:

quote:
The Court today holds that the First Amendment bars a State from requiring a newspaper to print the reply of a candidate for public office whose personal character has been criticized by that newspaper's editorials. According to our accepted jurisprudence, the First Amendment erects a virtually insurmountable barrier between government and the print media so far as government tampering, in advance of publication, with news and editorial content is concerned. A newspaper or magazine is not a public utility subject to "reasonable" governmental regulation in matters affecting the exercise of journalistic judgment as to what shall be printed. We have learned, and continue to learn, from what we view as the unhappy experiences of other nations where government has been allowed to meddle in the internal editorial affairs of newspapers. Regardless of how beneficent-sounding the purposes of controlling the press might be, we prefer "the power of reason as applied through public discussion" and remain intensely skeptical about those measures that would allow government to insinuate itself into the editorial rooms of this Nation's press...

I mentioned the difference between the distinction between print media and broadcast media, based on the public ownership of EM spectrum bandwidth.

I don't think the ruling applies only to editorials, either:

quote:
The choice of material to go into a newspaper, and the decisions made as to limitations on the size and content of the paper, and treatment of public issues and public officials -- whether fair or unfair -- constitute the exercise of editorial control and judgment. It has yet to be demonstrated how governmental regulation of this crucial process can be exercised consistent with First Amendment guarantees of a free press as they have evolved to this time. Accordingly, the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida is reversed.

In effect, if you own a newspaper you are protected by the First Amendment to say whatever you want, and to cover or not cover whatever issues you want.

quote:
The public does tend to assume a "purity" in the facts they are getting from a news source.

Right, but public assumption of unbiased news sources does not give the government authority to ensure "equal coverage" of everything.

quote:
And shouldn't they to some degree?

Given the fact that media has always been more or less colored by the opinions of the media's owners and cater to different readerships, I don't think so.

That is not to say that good journalism is not desirable. However, to expect that the media give totally unbiased coverage of everything is unrealistic. Further, to expect the government to step in on this has been ruled un-Constitutional, except where bandwidth ownership applies.

quote:
I think libel here is very much an issue, leading almost to the level of incitement. FOX, as an example, is very fast and loose with facts, and even when it does get the story straight by mentioning the truth somewhere, it is treated more of as a caveat to an avalanche of misinformation. And when it gets that bad, the people are themselves affected by the libel.

In that case, the victims of libel should sue. Libel, as I said before, is not a regulatory issue, but a tort issue.

quote:
This is specifically addressing character assassination. I am uncertain how attacking persons is a contribution to POLITICAL discourse.

It's still protected speech.

Further, we have:

[Quoting WikiPedia]

quote:
The political editorial rule applies when a station broadcasts editorials endorsing or opposing candidates for public office, and stipulates that the candidates not endorsed be notified and allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond.

Which has Tornillo all over it.

quote:
This is true, and some might consider not using the courts as a form of prior restraint. But again, I go back to the well analogy. There is no sense that water quality testing or required purification processing to reach a certain level of purity is untoward constraining to business if it involves public health. And such regs are better than waiting around for people to sue each and every time they get sick.

But in this case it is not water we are filtering, but speech.

The First Amendment means that freedoms of speech exist, even when it is not perceived to be in the public good. It's easy to enjoy that freedom when your speech is protected, the real test of belief in that freedom is whether or not you recognize that all the pinheads out there get the same priveliges.

quote:
I'm baffled how you don't see these as fitting FOX. Politicians are products, or supplier of services, which FOX has interest in and does have an economic motivation for supporting.

Essentially their news programs are advertisements for politicians. And they get payback with support (interviews/access) from those politicians, which allow them more material so they can sell more of their own product.


FOX does this, and not CNN or MSNBC?

Isn't that how the media has always worked? It's how FDR kept the press from running pictures of him in a wheelchair.

However, if politicians are selling us a service, then it makes *all* political speech commercial, doesn't it? I am having a hard time seeing a court sold on that. What it does is invite government regulation into political stumping--just imagine Bush-appointed FCC types policing every word issued by John Kerry in the 2004 election.

Ultimately this has potential for greater harm than simply letting the media be what the media always has been: an outfit, sometimes grossly opinionated, that has Constitutional protections against gov't meddling of their content.

This message has been edited by gene90, 09-29-2005 09:42 AM

This message has been edited by gene90, 09-29-2005 09:49 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Silent H, posted 09-29-2005 5:09 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Silent H, posted 09-29-2005 9:56 AM gene90 has responded

  
Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 46 (247210)
09-29-2005 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Silent H
09-29-2005 5:09 AM


holmes writes:

Essentially their news programs are advertisements for politicians.

Which raises the question: Should consumer protection laws similar to those restrictive of false advertising be put in place to regulate political advertising?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Silent H, posted 09-29-2005 5:09 AM Silent H has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by gene90, posted 09-29-2005 8:19 AM Funkaloyd has not yet responded

  
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