Fox News is preparing for lawsuits to rain down upon them as a result of their misinformation and lies about the coronavirus crisis, and now the first such lawsuit has been filed in Washington state where the pandemic first showed itself in this country.
Following President Donald Trump’s lead, Fox News hosts across the network repeatedly downplayed the pandemic as nothing more than a “hoax,” with Sean Hannity leading the propaganda charge along with hosts Trish Regan, Jeanine Pirro, and Jesse Watters among others.
The propaganda caused their viewers to not take the virus seriously, and now over 300,000 have been infected and over 8,000 have died. The pandemic is poised to be even worse in red states because Republican governors also didn’t take the coronavirus seriously, and several still are not.
Filed by the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE) in King County Superior Court this week, the 10-page lawsuit condemns Fox for downplaying the virus and spreading misinformation that has resulted in deaths and skyrocketing infection rates.
“We are not trying to chill free speech here,” the group’s attorney Liz Hallock said in a statement. “But we believe the public was endangered by false and deceptive communications in the stream of commerce. There are a lot of people who listen to Fox News, and they’re not taking the recommendations of public-health officials seriously. This is not about money; it’s about making sure the public gets the message this is not a hoax.”
Of course, Fox News general counsel Lily Fu Claffee denied the allegations.
“Wrong on the facts, frivolous on the law,” she told the Times of San Diego. “We will defend vigorously and seek sanctions as appropriate.”
The group is not seeking money beyond legal fees. What they want is a public apology from Fox News and a retraction. WASHLITE leader Arthur West says the discovery will ultimately reveal the intent behind the propaganda campaign.
“We want to know when Fox News knew that the coronavirus was actually a dangerous thing, and we believe there is some evidence that … Mr. Murdoch and the staff running Fox News were implementing coronavirus protection measures for their staff … while at the same time they were broadcasting that it was a hoax,” he said.
Santa Clara University School of Law professor Eric Goldman certainly agrees that Fox put Americans in danger.
“Many thousands of Americans will die because they relied on the misinformation broadcast by Fox News,” he said. “Historians will harshly condemn Fox News’ irresponsibility and gaslighting on COVID-19.”
And the best evidence against Fox is the hours of video of their hosts engaging in misinformation and propaganda to downplay the seriousness of the virus, which the video below provides. The video also compares how Fox News is treating this very real and deadly pandemic with the overreaction of Fox News to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 in which only 11 people were infected and two died.
Play this video in court and it’s a slam dunk case, and more lawsuits should follow.
Featured Image: Screenshot