“Suing Fox News –
The case: WASHLITE v. Fox Corporation, No. 20-2-07428-4, King County, California”
The Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE) claims that Fox News and other defendants “willfully and maliciously engaged in a campaign of deception and omission regarding the danger of the international proliferation of the novel Coronavirus.” The core of the group’s argument is that certain Fox News segments downplayed the danger the virus posed and therefore allowed the virus to spread in a less checked manner than might otherwise have occurred and is suing Fox News under the consumer-protection law. WASHLITE wants the court to order the network to stop making false statements about the virus.
Fox News was faced last week with a judge who was skeptical of its claim that the US Constitution’s First Amendment bars lawsuits alleging that a hose on the network downplayed the danger by calling it a “hoax.” WASHLITE states that cable networks aren’t afforded the same First Amendment protections as print media. The Fox News attorney states that the network is protected by the First Amendment and that the lawsuit is “absurd and unconstitutional.”
WASHLITE’s claim also took exception to Fox News referring to itself as a “news” broadcast.
Arthur West grew up in Madison Wisconsin in the 1960s. Since then he has lived in Japan, Germany, Ethiopia, Santa Cruz and Escondido. For the last 25 years he has lived in Olympia Washington, and has litigated numerous cases against large organizations, including Intel, Weyerhaeuser, the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia, and the State Associations of Counties and Cities. West is currently litigating a records case with Tacoma over records of their Stingray equipment, and an OPMA case with Seattle over their clandestine decision to withdrawal the EHO Tax. From 2011-2012 West collaborated with Fairfax County on a successful NEPA campaign to challenge and force amendments to the Bush Administration’s 2 Billion Dollar Hot Lanes Project. He has over a dozen published opinions in open government and environmental law.