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Lawsuit Against Fox for Its Coronavirus Coverage

Added 04-03-20 09:21:02pm EST - “is apparently based on constitutionally protected expressions of opinion.” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Lawsuit Against Fox for Its Coronavirus Coverage”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

An obscure Washington state group has become the first in the nation to sue Fox News over its coronavirus coverage, asking a state court to keep the cable network from airing false information about the pandemic….

[The complaint] seeks an injunction to prohibit the conservative-leaning outlet from "interfering with reasonable and necessary measures to contain the virus by publishing further false and deceptive content."

I read the Complaint (Wash. League for Increased Transparency & Ethics v. Fox News), and watched the apparently relevant videos, and I'm quite confident the lawsuit is going nowhere. Certainly the injunction request is inconsistent with First Amendment law, and the other claims (for violations of Washington's consumer protection law, for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeking a declaratory judgment) are losers as well.

The Complaint unfortunately doesn't offer much details about exactly what statements it claims misrepresent matters. It does refer to Trish Regan's March 9 statement, but I watched it and it seems to express her opinion about the media and the Democrats' criticisms of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus situation. (She doesn't buy those criticisms.) She's not making a factual assertion that coronavirus is a hoax or isn't dangerous.

The Complaint also refers to a Sean Hannity March 9 segment, apparently the one where he said, "This scaring the living hell out of people—I see it, again, as like, let's bludgeon Trump with this new hoax." But in context Hannity seems pretty clearly to be expressing an opinion as to the magnitude of the danger, not denying the existence of the danger:

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