Stopping Fox News

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    Jeffrey Kopp

    Critics of networks like Fox News and Newsmax argue that the outlets fueled uncertainty about election results and should be dropped by cable providers, just as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. have begun to more aggressively police their content. After this month’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, they say, telecom giants should rethink the programming they beam to millions of homes.

    Deane Johnson

    I agree, the conduct of the Conservative channels has been despicable.

    But do you really want big brother deciding what information you can have or cannot have? Wouldn’t it be better if people voted with their dial choice.

    I’m a moderate Conservative who hasn’t watched a bit of Fox News in 7 or 8 years, same with Rush Limbaugh, no listen to for the same amount of time. I realized I was being fed a bunch of garbage and made a choice to leave their clutches.

    Or, are you suggesting it would be better if the government decided what we should and shouldn’t consume information wise?

    Be careful what you wish for!


    Congress shall make no law but can Comcast delete Fox News being a “private” company…?


    Might need to drill down and discuss FOX’s non-news opinion spewers, like Sean Hannity. Should they be removed from the network? Should FOX and other networks be required by FCC to run a chyron or something clearly stating to viewers “THIS SHOW REPRESENTS THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS OF THE HOST AND NOT NECESSARILY OF FOX NEWS”. Oh wait, everyone knows that would be another of their lies.

    I got nuthin.

    Deane Johnson

    Yes Broadway, they certainly can.

    Now, I’ll ask the next question. Do you want Comcast, or any other company, telling you what information you can see and hear, or do you want to make that decision.

    Shall we then apply it to religion? Where should it stop? Don’t we have enough “thought police” in this world already.

    How about people just acting a bit more intelligently themselves.


    Fox and other right wing channels have been very UN-american in my book. However, do we really want someone dictating what channels are allowed or not? I am a moderate and Fox news is not my thing,. nor is Rush, but I know there should be some liability if they spout constant lies.


    Everything comes down to the elimination of the fairness doctrine. It just took awhile longer than expected. The real issue is when private enterprise joins forces with a corrupt government entity, to spread disinformation! Hopefully, we can make laws that prevent the government from ever doing this to us again!

    Andy Brown

    Tabloid journalism has been around as long as the printing press. It’s not going away anytime soon, if ever.

    That said, and in light of what everyone posting is saying, it is still illegal and dangerous to stand up in a crowded theater and yell “Fire!”

    So, is faux news standing in a crowded theater and yelling fire? No.

    Is Sean Crappity standing in a crowded theater and yelling fire? No.

    Are they collectively trying to foment violence? No.

    What they ARE doing is disseminating false information.

    When you go through the checkout at the grocery store (you may not be doing that as much but still) and you see a headline on a tabloid that Lady Gaga was once kidnapped by aliens from Venus, do you even stop for a moment to consider the truth of that headline? No. Is that rag disseminating false information? Yes.

    That no one with even a modicum of common sense considers faux news a legitimate source of information is not a defense, although FOX corp has tried to use that to defend their entertainers already.

    Do you see where this is going? It’s not crystal clear but it should be somewhat evident that only the most heinous of information creates legal liability. If faux news goes on air and gives false information about an invasion from a foreign power, they would be liable.

    I believe that is tantamount to what they have done by allowing their entertainers to project and amplify the delusional rantings of a mentally ill individual, the former president du jour.


    You can’t stop tabloid journalism. You can parse it out, discuss its motivation$ and lack of value but you can’t make it illegal for it to exist.

    You can, and we have in the past, regulate it. It already is regulated. I think Reagan did us all a great disservice when he eliminated the Fairness Doctrine. We need to have a newer, updated for the electronic age of communication, stronger regulatory framework that applies to broadcast AND internet providers.

    Example: It is not illegal to stream pornography from your own server, but you can’t make it available to anyone who is not a consenting adult. Comcast has that, too, as well a faux and hackity. No, I’m not suggesting faux be a pay channel, just showing that regulations do exist. They must be strengthened to include propagating lies and dangerous information.

    Ultimately it’s the bottom line that will or will not cause broadcasters/cable/internet providers to clean up their act. If, for example, faux wasn’t free OTA or part of low level cable packages, would it have anywhere near the reach it now has? Clearly, not.

    One other point to be made is that in a sense we brought some of this onto ourselves when we lowered the bar with respect to foreign ownership of media. Not just Rupert and the faux machine, all the other foreign money that politicians love to have came with a price.

    Specifically in the short term, the FCC should step up their policies about reporting false news on broadcast. Getting some regulatory control over cable news is a harder slog. I don’t see a quick fix for that, but in the end if we don’t clamp down on the broadness of the “freedom of the press” aspect, dangerous actors like faux will continue to provide bad information from which they draw a huge audience of folks that boost ratings and ergo profits.

    The large group of undereducated, easily misled folks are here to stay. Decades of ignoring the lack of quality education for all Americans as a result of underfunding the needs of the public education system is truly to blame here, and that is largely a result of Republican malfeasance. That issue sits on their laps alone.

    All the other problems are just the blocks of a democracy still under construction. They aren’t partisan. When you have a representative government, you have to expect that responsible elected politicians would represent their constituency. It’s questionable whether that is even close to the case anymore.

    This brings me to conclude that until the population at large becomes wise to the Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Lindsay Graham and Kevin McCarthys of the political world and reject them at the ballot box, we are the ultimate problem.

    That’s the more eloquent way of saying you can’t fix stupid.

    Deane Johnson

    Andy Brown, I don’t usually agree with your viewpoint, but the post you made just above seems to hit most of it right on the head as being right. Especially the last two paragraphs in summation.

    One area of confusion that several may be making is the Fairness Doctrine. That only applied to over the air decementation. It was under the guise that the airways belonged to the public, therefor it was intended that what was broadcast was in the public interest and so regulated.

    It never applied to cable programming and still doesn’t. The FCC has nothing to say about programming content on cable.

    It would be a mistake to think we now need a bunch of new laws and regulations because of the Trump episode. He’s gone and he won’t be returning to the White House ever.

    In addition to Trump being booted out of the White House, Fox News ratings are in the dumper. Top executives heads are about to roll. Revenue is way down. Who needs government regulation, or an attempt at it. Nature is taking care of the problem. That’s the better way.

    Andy Brown

    Me: “We need to have a newer, updated for the electronic age of communication, stronger regulatory framework that applies to broadcast AND internet providers.”

    Deane: “It would be a mistake to think we now need a bunch of new laws and regulations because of the Trump episode.”

    It isn’t just the recent attack on the Capitol that needs to be addressed. I personally believe that the deregulatory pendulum has swung a little too far to the “no regulation” side. My main point here, however, is that if broadcasters can be held accountable for what they broadcast for free, so should internet providers and cable system operators even though people have to pay for access. I am not saying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine but I do think that a new set of operating guidelines for all information casting needs to have a framework that includes restrictions on the dissemination of false information, specifically information that is highly dangerous to public safety. If you can’t stand up in the theater and yell “Fire!” when there is none, you shouldn’t be allowed to broadcast/cablecast/net stream fantasy stories like Covid is a hoax or the election was totally rigged, or use any public platform to plan an attack on the Capitol without some heavy disclaimers that aren’t currently required. Shit, Deane, if an industry won’t regulate itself, then the people must demand that the government regulate them. If everyone ignored the traffic laws and we didn’t have those laws to regulate it and police to enforce it, it would be total chaos. Some would say that’s where we are, already.

    But again, only when the population at large demands some kind of policing of dangerous content will the politicians take it as a cause.

    Frankly, if it was up to me, I’d make faux news run a notice at the beginning of all their newscasts that said “The Following Program is Rated ‘Fail’ for accuracy of content. It is meant for entertainment only.”

    Edit add: Even then, there needs to be some kind of line that can’t be crossed with information detrimental to the public safety. Even the legitimate porn sites have limits as to what they will show. There has to be a limit to repeating lies that are dangerous to the public interest. If faux news runs a story afoul of that line, they should be liable for a huge financial fine imposed by the government. I don’t care if it’s the FCC or another agency that enforces that limit, but there has to be some accountability.

    Too much regulation is not good. Too little regulation is dangerous to the public. Manufacturers have been dealing with that for decades. You can’t make a dangerous product and then sell it to consumers without repercussion. The same should apply to programming. I’m not saying to ban murder mysteries or death metal music, even though public health is affected. Music distribution has a content rating system as do movies, all based on sex, profanity and violence. What’s so different about a content rating for lies and distortions?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Andy Brown.

    The only real issue is when a government official spews disinformation. That needs to be prevented and for 143 years, people thought it was because it never occurred to anyone that a large band of corrupt politicians would take over federal, state and local government and nearly wipe out our system of checks and balances!

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