Fox v. France

Fox News lies.  That’s a plain, cold fact.  Well over half of their regular viewers believe that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq whereas, in fact, they were not.  They mislabel countries on maps, they identify congresspeople with a D rather than an R if, as so often happens, they are an R who is involved in a scandal, and they call people ‘experts’ who are, in fact, just loudmouths with an ax to

Generally, nobody calls them on it.  Liberals just shrug and say “Eh, there goes Fox News lying again” and conservatives actually think they are telling the truth.  They get away with it because lying is not, in fact, illegal.  It is totally covered in the concept of ‘free speech.’

Slander, however, is illegal.  Or libel.  I always get those two confused because it seems to me an irrelevant distinction.  One is spoken and one is in print, but either way it is the crime of lying, and damaging somebody’s reputation by lying.  Also, I’m not sure where Fox News sits on that spectrum.  They are not print media but, they speak to millions of people at a time, and their words do get written down and spread around in print.  They are like a virus that can be transmitted in more than one way.

So, finally, somebody is suing their lying asses, and it’s not just some random Democratic congressman.  It’s the city of Paris.  Fox said that some neighborhoods of the city were off limits to non-Muslims, which is obvious bullshit to most normal people, but Fox viewers would probably believe it.  ‘France’ and ‘Muslims’ are both foreign, so it makes sense.

I don’t know how this is going to work out.  A foreign municipality suing an American network raises all sorts of questions of jurisdiction and which laws to apply, but it’s going to be fun to watch.  I hope they ask for a gazillion dollars, and win.


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