Fox News Seeks to Criminalize Fact-Checking to Preserve Their ‘Right’ to Lie

It’s official! Fox News is declaring war on reality. They are so consumed with alternative facts and constructing phony scenarios to advance their ultra-rightist agenda that they have launched an all-out assault on {gasp} fact-checkers. Because the greatest threat to a dedicated purveyor of propaganda is the truth that is embedded in facts.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Lies

To a network like Fox News, facts are subversive agents of credible journalism. So in an effort to shield themselves from the embarrassment of being exposed to honesty, Fox has taken an aggressive stance against it. An op-ed that was published on their website asserts that fact-checkers are dangerous because “they have the power to censor what journalism Americans see and consume unilaterally.” Of course, a fact-check would reveal that that isn’t true. Fact-checkers merely hold the media accountable for mistakes and/or deliberate lies. The primary argument made in the article is that…

“Nobody is checking the fact checkers, and it is time that changed. It’s time for government to regulate the fact checking industry. […] We cannot be slaves to orthodoxy if that means Americans are subject not only to lies, but also the censorship of the truth.”

Lying and censoring the truth are long-time components of the Fox News mission statement. So naturally, the notoriously conservative pundits at Fox News, who abhor government regulations, are now advocating for “government to regulate the fact checking industry.” Even worse, they are exempting fact-checkers from protection by the First Amendment. While generously conceding that the Constitution shields the press, the article claims that “third party independent fact checkers are another story entirely.” Really? Most journalists would regard fact-checkers as members of the press.

Among the complaints outlined in the column is the provably false assertion that fact-checking “all occur[s] in one direction, towards the censorship of conservative ideas.” The author doesn’t offer any support for that claim and studies show that the opposite is true. But even if the article was right, it’s only because conservatives are known to be more dismissive of the truth. Their political and ideological leader, Donald Trump, has been documented telling more than 40,000 lies during his term in office. The occurrence of presidential misstatements has declined 85% in the first 100 days of President Biden’s term. Nevertheless, Fox News favors the sledgehammer of government regulation to pound down the fact-checkers. The article highlighted this solution to the imaginary problem:

“A new bill before the Michigan House of Representatives is a move in the right direction. The bill would require fact checkers to register with the government and carry insurance to cover payment to those who suffer financial damages as a result of a bogus fact check.”

Seriously? These are the same ideologues who staunchly oppose registering assault weapons and requiring gun manufacturers to carry insurance to cover those who suffer injury or death. Now they can’t wait for the the regulators to impose an entirely unconstitutional imposition on the press.

Another fundamental absurdity in the article is the author’s constraints on what constitutes a fact. If fact-checkers don’t adhere to his definitions then “they are no longer fact checking and should not be allowed to claim the service they are selling is doing so.”

Fine. Then can we also apply that logic to journalism, and if it doesn’t adhere to the truth then they couldn’t claim to be “news”? If so, Fox would have to drop “News” from their name (a good idea in any case). And to put a cherry on top of it, the article closed with this bit totalitarianism…

“There is nothing special about fact checkers that protects them from regulations requiring them to be fair and honest in their dealings. Those that refuse to operate objectively should be punished for misrepresenting their service.”

Meanwhile, Republicans are already pursuing this censorious agenda. Florida governor Ron DeSantis just signed a bill to punish social media firms (Facebook, Twitter, etc) that ban users who violate their terms of service. That’s the sort of control that conservatives seek over free press and thought.

And all the while they are disseminating blatant lies about election fraud (particularly Trump’s Big Lie), the Capitol Hill insurrection, and the COVID-19 “hoax.”. So it’s no wonder that they are desperate to shut down the fact-checkers. They’re tired of being held to standards of truthfulness that step on their “right” to deceive their dimwitted cult followers.

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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


4 thoughts on “Fox News Seeks to Criminalize Fact-Checking to Preserve Their ‘Right’ to Lie

  1. I wish cable companies would choke off these traitor. Just imagine how much it would cut down on the BS.

  2. Honest journalism has no fear of fact checkers. In fact they like them and if a fc shows a journalist is wrong about something the issue a correction. That’s how it’s always worked until Rupert Murdoch came along.

  3. “…to be fair and honest in their dealings. Those that refuse to operate objectively should be punished for misrepresenting their service.” {Hello, FauxSpewsNoNews!}
    *¿* The same can & should be said of any person or entity claiming to be “a news channel”/reporter of news! Fair, honest & objective, huh? Well, that would sure get rid of FauxNotNews & its 2 ugly cousins – oann & news-lax – right quick! ;-}

    “….Americans are subject not only to lies, but also the censorship of the truth.”
    {Yeah, by Faux +2 uglies!}
    Which is why we need fact-checkers to fix it!

  4. Once again, perhaps if fox spews and those other so called “networks” QUIT posting bulls*it, LIES, they might NOT be banned. It’s NOT hard to figure out.

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