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Fox News' use of 'Fair and Balanced' challenged legally

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peterh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:50 PM
Original message
Fox News' use of 'Fair and Balanced' challenged legally
http://www.ktvotv3.com/Global/story.asp?S=2059930

NEW YORK Two political advocacy groups say Fox News' use of the slogan "Fair and Balanced" is deceptive advertising.
Move-On-dot-org and Common Cause have filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission to force Fox to stop using the slogan.
The groups say Fox News reports are -- as they put it -- "deliberately and consistently distorted and twisted to promote the Republican Party of the U-S and an extreme right-wing viewpoint."
A Fox News spokeswoman calls the consumer fraud allegation a "transparent publicity stunt."

Meanwhile, a former F-T-C lawyer says he sees little chance for the petition -- saying the commission doesn't wade in political waters.
It could take months before the F-T-C decides if the complaint has merit.





While I believe it might have meritI doubt if it goes anywhere.if anything, it should be qualified.fair and balanced on the far right of the spectrum.and not very accurate.


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joefree1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sign the complaint here
From MoveOn.org
You can now ask the FTC to order Fox News to stop misleading consumers. The FTC's job is to protect consumers from deceptive advertising on the part of big media companies. Please enter your name, email address, zip code, and your personal comment below. We'll deliver these messages to the FTC and to other political leaders.

http://www.moveon.org/fox /

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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Signed it. Thanks for posting the link.
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mumon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. And the trademark's been challenged by alternet...
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candy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Waste of time.
It's the way it is. Just watch any ad for anything and catch phrases are used and claims are made.

Can't sue 'em all!
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joefree1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Uh, it's about publicity
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 06:39 PM by joefree1
You know, as in Fox sues Al Franken and his book becomes a huge best seller. Faux News hates this type of "news." Watch it get out.



Today this is what I got when I did a Google news search on Fox News (only partial listing out of 66 listings)

Fox News' use of 'Fair and Balanced' challenged legally
MLive.com, MI - 2 hours ago

More of the Same
The Weekly Standard (subscription), DC - 4 hours ago

`Outfoxed' an unfair, unbalanced and unsuccessful look at the ...
Chicago Tribune (subscription), IL - 3 hours ago

Activists Ask FTC to Take Action Against Fox News
Editor & Publisher (subscription), NY - 5 hours ago

Fox News critique goes directly to living rooms
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 13 hours ago

Fox News: UnFair and UnBalanced
AlterNet - 19 hours ago

Fox News has pro-Bush slant, film asserts
Chicago Sun Times, IL - Jul 17, 2004

Fair and balanced -- and maybe outfoxed
The Globe and Mail, Canada - Jul 16, 2004
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Dagaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. so it's about giving Foxnews more pub?
They lead in every cable catagory so why give them more audience?
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joefree1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. "Gee, I meant give Faux News bad pub"
Or MoveOn.org good pub. Sorry you didn't get that. :shrug:


Seating now available in the Smoking Section:
Politics, humor, death and the Devil - http://www.eDiablo.com
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Gothmog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. Alternet is also challenging the Fox trademark
Alternet is also challenging the fox "fair and balance trademark," See See http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/19265

Is the Fox News Channel about to lose its "Fair and Balanced" trademark? Nothing is more likely to make a serious journalist, or a concerned news consumer, gag than hearing the Fox News Channel smugly refer to itself, day after day, as being "fair and balanced." But what really rubs salt in the wound is this: Fox has actually registered those three words "fair and balanced" as its signature trademark. Does this mean that all journalists and news organizations in the world are legally forbidden to use those words not only to describe themselves but for virtually any purpose whatsoever?

As if to drive the point home, in August of 2003, Fox brought suit against the humorist Al Franken and his publisher, EP Dutton/Penguin, for allegedly infringing on Fox's three-word trademark. The offense? Franken's book, Liars and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (which attacked Fox), was subtitled "A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." However, when Fox appealed for a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin refused the request adding that he found Fox's lawsuit to be "wholly without merit, both factually and legally." The judge also said that Fox's right to such a trademark was not very strong, suggesting that, if challenged, it might well be revoked. "From a legal point of view," said Judge Chin, "I think it is highly unlikely that the phrase 'fair and balanced' is a valid trademark. I can't accept that that phrase can be plucked out of the marketplace of ideas and slogans." A few days later, instead of proceeding to trial as was its right Fox abruptly decided to drop its lawsuit against Franken. There was no follow up to Judge Chin's suggestion. So Fox was able to retain its trademark registration and the right to continue using it to mischaracterize its news product as "Fair and Balanced." But perhaps not for very much longer.

The Independent Media Institute ( IMI), parent organization of AlterNet, filed a legal challenge with the U.S. Trademark Office that seeks to strip Fox of its "Fair and Balanced" trademark registration on the grounds that it was "merely descriptive" (making it ineligible for trademark registration) as well as "false and misleading."
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
6. Fair and balanced is a Hill & Knowlton meme rolled out
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 06:52 PM by teryang
...for psyche jobs on the public. Like "sound science" and "fair and balanced" press releases from the pharmaceutical industry, the terminology was used for decades to dupe the public about how cigarettes and other products nightmares like diet drugs weren't proven to harm public health.

The phrase has an innate but very false appeal when attached to any misrepresentation. It is usually connected to fraudulent or intentionally misleading reports of one kind or another. Factual content speaks for itself and doesn't have to identify itself as fair or balanced. It is for the observer of the object to decide what is fair not the subject.

Unhitched from humanistic perspective and judgement, in accordance with "fair and balanced" analysis one could say there were many "good things" about the Nazis. No matter could be weighed as being compellingly wicked or repugnant. There is always the balance of the other view. This has the deceptive appeal of the old cliche that "there is always another side to the story." If one doesn't believe this overly simplistic view of the dialectic process, the observer was skewed by "unbalanced" reporting and self indulgent liberal or progressive views characteristic of effete intellectuals and _________________ (fill in the blank.)

In the "fair and balanced" (pscyhological war for corporate rule) policies which favor the greater good are bad, those who are concerned about human rights are "whiners and complainers," and those who use the courts for redress of grievances for injuries inflicted or indemnified by corporations or governments are parasites seeking frivolous goals. The ironic thing is that the corporations themselves are the greatest employers of lawyers and users of litigation. They just don't want anyone else to have access.

"Fair and balanced" advertising or propaganda campaigns are characterized by Q & A protocals in which pre-defined answers to policy FAQs are furnished to all media outlets and a limited list of bullet point statements, with the main policy campaign points. No matter what the factual or policy question, the very limited number of unresponsive bullet points or Q & A answer protocols are delivered to coached or media trained sources to all comers. Jon Stewart has carefully documented this madison avenue technique being used by the bush government to hilarious results.



Don't think, just "do it."



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TroglodyteScholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. Fox News: Wholly Without Merit (eom)
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. done. n/t
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
10. A cabal defends non-war fix
Nixon faces fables and war
Fox: I canned war and fables
Fox: A few bin Laden canards
Screw bin Laden, FAA and Fox

All anagrams for "Fox News: Fair and Balanced." (Unless I screwed 'em up.)
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Snellius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. FOX is opening a new "sport's bar" in the local mall
I peeked in. It's huge with those water-fall walls. All the giant plasma TV screen were tuned to FOX News. God. Imagine O'Reilly's head the size of a house. Is this another one of Murdoch's none-too-subtle propaganda schemes? We distort. You decide.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
13. Kick!
:dem:
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 03:13 AM
Response to Original message
14. I call it "Harmless Puffery"
They could call it "All Republican, All The Time"--which it is--or "We're A Bunch of Lying Weasels," which is also true, and it wouldn't matter much. The people who love Fox News would love it even if they used "Anyone who watches this is a fucking dumbass" as their tagline.

I don't think this will go anywhere. It's a Republican station. The Republicans own the government. Until we get some Democrats in there, they'll still go on shilling for Republicans, calling Democrats traitors, and getting away with it.

I don't like it, but that's life.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. You can sign all the petitions you want
but this one is a dog. At best, Fox may eventually decide that this lawsuit has hurt their use of the term "fair and balanced" and they'll voluntarily change it to something else. In the end, is it this motto that gets people to tune in, or is the problem the garbage that they spew? This will do nothing to change the content of their stories.
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