In 1997, Wilson and Akre began work on a story regarding the agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a milk additive that had been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration but also blamed for a number of health issues. Wilson and Akre planned a four part investigative report on Monsanto's use of rBGH, which prompted Monsanto to write to Roger Ailes, president of Fox News Channel, in an attempt to have the report reviewed for bias and because of the "enormous damage that can be done" as a result of the report.
WTVT did not run the report, and later argued in court that the report was not "breakthrough journalism."
Here's where I'm getting really confused. If they never even ran the report, how did they lie?
Now, I'm seeing the thing at the bottom here:
An appeal was filed, and a ruling in February 2003 came down in favor of WTVT, who successfully argued that the FCC policy against falsification was not a "law, rule, or regulation", and so the whistle-blower law did not qualify as the required "law, rule, or regulation" under section 448.102 of the Florida Statutes. ... Because the FCC's news distortion policy is not a "law, rule, or regulation" under section 448.102 of the Florida Statutes, Akre has failed to state a claim under the whistle-blower's statute." The appeal did not address any falsification claims, noting that "as a threshold matter ... Akre failed to state a claim under the whistle-blower's statute," but noted that the lower court ruled against all of Wilson's charges and all of Akre's claims with the exception of the whistleblower claim that was overturned.
So it seems like they were trying to make the claim that the whistleblower thing didn't apply because the FCC news distortion policy isn't a law, rule, or regulation. If that's true, though, as is what you're saying, and they did decide that she was part of the whistleblower policy after all, wouldn't that mean that they lost? This doesn't make any sense...
Okay, found this old story: http://www.sptimes.com/News/081900/TampaBay/Reporter_wins_suit_ov.shtml
And the jury did not believe the couple's claim that the station bowed to pressure from Monsanto to alter the news report.
Seems like that the jury looked at the evidence and Akre and Wilson were full of crap,
They later sued, claiming they were wrongfully fired for refusing to include misleading information in their report, and because they had threatened to report the station to the Federal Communications Commission.
Fox 13 claimed they had been fired for insubordination and that the report the station eventually aired was fair and balanced.
Huge difference between that and claiming that there's no law against misrepresenting the truth.
Moreover, since we still have the FCC and these rules
, what do they even do if the news media is allowed to lie?Here's the court proceedings.
I'm not really understanding it via reading, but it seems like it's saying more that she wanted to use the FCC thing as a rule in order to back up her whistleblower thing, and they fought on the grounds that it wasn't a rule. Definitely shady, but different from a right to lie.
Maybe I'm just misunderstanding all of this, but there's a lot that doesn't make any sense to me.