Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

FCC ‘Distortion’ Policy – Fade to Black

March 2018 Bar Bulletin

By Gene Barton

Donald Trump’s war against the “fake news” media, in which he has tweet-shamed CNN, NBC, The New York Times and other outlets, to the point of threatening — in violation of the First Amendment — to “challenge” NBC’s broadcast license (which he does not have the power to do), actually finds a principal battleground in a case involving Trump’s favorite news network, Fox, whose Tampa affiliate repelled an assault on alleged “news distortion” in 2003.

The case is New World Communications of Tampa, Inc. v. Akre,1 which involved the termination of a reporter and her husband, and their subsequent whistle-blower, retaliation claim against...

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