Via The Agonist, I found this story of a journalist who sued Fox News after being fired because she was unwilling to participate in a false report about growth hormones. Allegedly, Fox won its case at the appellate level on the basis that the First Amendment included the right to lie (and presumably to force employees to lie).
I couldn’t find a confirming source for the story, which is in an Internet publication called the Sierra Times, and includes a mis-spelling of Rupert Murdoch’s name, and I must admit it sounds too good to be true -has anyone else among the Agonist’s legion of readers picked this up?
Almost instant update Me No No supplies a range of links, which led me to the Appeal Court’s judgement, available as a PDF file from this site, basically confirming the Sierra Times story (but not the original heading of my post, which I’ve now qualified). The crucial para is “We agree with WTVT that the FCC’s policy against the intentional falsification of the news – which the FCC has called its “news distortion policy” – does not qualify as the required “law, rule, or regulation” under section 448.102.” To clarify, the lawsuit was brought under a whistleblower protection act, and the judgement is that a reporter exposing lies by a TV station is not protected under the act. Fox does not admit that they were distorting the news, but chose to fight on procedural grounds rather than on the facts, which is pretty standard legal tactics.