Thom Hartmann: Why Fox News has the Right to Lie to Us

Ever wonder why it is that Fox News can lie over and over again - yet continue to call itself "News"? It's because Fox News is a corporation - and ever since that 1886 Supreme Court case of Southern Pacific Railroad versus Santa Clara County when a rogue court reporter named JC Bancroft Davis slipped corporate personhood into the legal record - the courts have ruled time and time again that corporations - since they have all the rights that actual people have - could also lie just like people can. Except for one time. Back in 1998 - a political activist named Mark Kasky sued Nike alleging that Nike was lying to its customers by publishing in the San Francisco Examiner a letter assuring everyone that the corporation's workers around the world enjoy basic labor rights like a minimum wage - health and safety regulations - and equal opportunity employment. Kasky knew this claim wasn't true. A 1996 audit of the Nike revealed that workers in Vietnam were routinely exposed to cancer-causing chemicals that were illegal in the United States. And a Mothers Jones article later cited a Nike-funded study that found, "evidence of physical and verbal abuse and sexual harassment at nine of its contract factories in Indonesia." After realizing he and thousands of other Nike customers were lied to and were buying Nike products under false assumptions - Kasky took the corporation to court. And in 2002 - Kasky won his case before the California Supreme Court which ruled that Nike did indeed ...


LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 6 years 12 weeks ago

Thank you Thom for connecting the dots here...

Fox and NewsCorp sued to win the right to lie. Although the right to lie is protected nder the First Amendment very few of us would defend it publically, much less proactively go to court to defend our right to lie. It certainly wouldn't work as a defense in a criminal fraud case brought against one of us - a real, natural person has no willy-nilly right to lie for personal gain. Yet Fox has every right to lie about one of their advertisers in order to win their 'affection' in the form of continued business. Cha-ching!.

Now Fox is pushing the fakey BBA (Balanced Budget Amendment) which would establish constitutional debt and budget limits and make it harder to raise taxes than it is to go to war. In this ginned up budget crisis we are all living with the consequences of going to war and failing to pay for it: It means reduced care for the poor and elderly. And thanks to Foxy fear-mongering over the past decade our 'defense' spending has almost tripled and is more than the rest of the world combined. And people buy into it for reasons that are false... The WMDs are in the US - not in Iraq. Islamic terrorists are not an existential threat to our democracy - corporate financed elections are.

We don't need the BBA -- We need to Abolish Corporate Personhood!

He who lies down with the foxes ~~~ Gets up confused with empty pockets.

pianist91439 6 years 12 weeks ago

Thom, you have a degree in psychology, am I correct? I'm wondering...Why is it that the political figures on the Right are the most strident in their proclomations of "Moral Superiority", "Christian Virtue" and "Family Values", yet they are also shameless liars? I feel that there has to be a connection. Just like the "Anti-Gay" Right-Wing has so many closet homosexuals. I'm a long-time listener of your radio show. I respect your intellectual, yet passionate approach to achieve clarity on the issues. I also find the the fact that so few "Conservatives" call in to your show very fascinating. The truth doesn't leave much room for ideology, one way or another. Thanks for what you do...