At what point does the power to speak to the masses demand the responsibility of not lying?


I agree. Sure, most of what Fox reports is a lie or at least intentionally deceptive. But using the law to try to force Fox or any other media outlet to tell the truth would be far more harmful to the country than any lie they could tell.

There should be a level of truth to be expected by broadcast organisations…

For example,

That Fox News lady that talked about el President personally funding the Museum, - something that is demonstrably false, should come with penalties.

Opinions should be sacrosanct however.

Many countries do have laws that can enforce “truth” in media - why is the US such a free for all?

he interesting thing is, there already *are *laws stomping all over free speech in order to prevent people from lying or deliberately misleading people with less than honorable intent in the US. They’re called “truth in advertising” laws. Meaning you can’t print or broadcast falsehoods in order to sell yoghurt, but if you just want to get elected, knock yourself out ! :stuck_out_tongue:

Joke aside, any reason not to apply the same sort of basic standards to political speech, news reporting and so on ?

I think one solution to the problem might be, not censorship, but more speech. Suppose we were to pass a law that any news organization, for every 45 minutes of content it broadcasts, must give over 15 minutes of air time to an ombudsman whose job it would be to challenge any lies – of either omission or commission – or misrepresentation or excessive spin that appears in that content.

Furthermore, to prevent the ombudsman from being unduly influenced by the network (call it the Colmes-Beckel effect) the ombudsman must be an employee from a rival network owned by a different corporation (hello, Time-Warner!).

I think this idea would be ENORMOUS fun and therefore MUST BE INSTITUTED! Rachel Maddow ombudsmaning Fox and Friends would be hilarious fun!

Know where I got the idea? From this message board, where anytime you tell a whopper or get a fact wrong you know the cries of “Cite!” will be thick in the air.

I want this to be.true, but I’m not very sure that it so obviously is.

The effect of spouting lies, or more to the point, systematically engaging in campaigns of lying to advance an agenda is exceptionally dangerous. There are reasons after all why people will spend large amounts of money and time in such activities.

I think that a major portion of what is currently wrong with out country and our ability to function politically and governmentally can be attributed to media-endorsed lying and disinformation.

The problem is that the two are not mutually exclusive and in fact one facilitates the other. As John Mace snarkily points out, once you have an arbiter of what can or can’t be said you have also introduced a point of weakness in the system whereby whoever controls that arbiter (by whatever means) controls the media to a far greater degree than the Murdoch family and their ilk do. Such enormous power would invite enormous corruption. Better to at least have opposing voices to the lies than a unified voice that may or may not be lying.

And general laziness. If the rest of the media were rigorous in their investigation and challenge of messages being presented by the disinformation sources, the country would be in a far better shape. But even the “objective” media are all about superficial feel-good (or feel-bad) stories designed not to tax the viewers’ brains too much, because viewers don’t like that very much.

All big media lies and they have for years and years and years. Many examples of that and here are two from years ago.

NBC showing cars bursting into flames upon an accident. Oops turned out they started the fire with a flare, and had to admit that.

Dan Rather and CBS news on Bush the 1st and the fake military records from the 1970’s that turned out to be in computer fonts not available till the 1990’s. Dan Rather held onto that lie for a long time, might still be now for all I know.

Why are you so surprised now?

As for current times. Why is it only Fox the only one being cited here.

Everyone here thinks MSNBC, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc are all without sin ?

No other major media organization openly operates as the propaganda arm of one political party or political orientation.

I dunno. MSNBC is pretty much in the bag for Obama. They fired Cenk Ugyar because he wouldn’t toe the line.

Really ?

So then, MSNBC is not to be considered a new organization that supports one party over the other ?

I am saying that it might as well be a Democratic Party organ. THAT SAID I do not think they play nearly as fast and loose with the facts as Fox News.

I think this whole line of discussion has been prohibited in this thread. It’s also been done to death here, and is just tired.

If defending Fox is your interest, perhaps another thread is warranted?

Do you realize how often news sources report things that are “demonstrably false”? Should news sources that report about “assault weapons” used in mass shootings when no “assault weapon” was used be subject to penalties?

Yes - in an ideal world they would be subject to the penalty of reduced credibility and whatever costs are associated with that. Right now, there are no costs, and there is very little manifest concern for credibility.

Given that, I think it’s very necessary to manipulate the process somehow to reduce the harm it causes. I don’t know what that is. It’s clear from shitheads like those who do the pants on fire ratings that private commercial arbitrators are not the solution.

No. But a neutral media source would be nice. Instead of having 612 headlines on the same story with each being more inflammatory than the last (from all media sources), put up a page that goes “Here are the facts about Incident X” and update that one page about facts as they are reported relating to that incident. It’s much more useful to see “Jim James, victim extraordinaire, said he heard something with a large caliber was fired.” instead of a headline going “An AR15 is being used.” and then reading 37 paragraphs of pointless filler, which is often retreads of the data that same news organization has already put out.

Outside of this, I sometimes dream about owning a pony. :slight_smile:

Yes. I think we should have a national news organization called “Truth” that we can all trust.

I am not defending the long legged blond Fox news ladies here, nor anyone else. I am in the middle, and with a lot of views on both sides of a lot of many arguments.

The news questions always amuses me.

The news, in the broadcast world, today is vast ocean of news from PBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC that are all basically left of center to one degree or another. And let’s face it. They ALL lie to one degree or another. Either by omission of what they do not report, or skewing the news to their view in some way.

Then, there is this one island of Fox that is basically right of Center. All the folks on the left side of the aisle get their panties tied up in knots over them. I mean the hatred and venom directed to them is way out of proportion to what they are.

And all broadcast is free, you not like their brand of news change the channel.

Media lies and distortions are a huge problem. What we need are some people who will stand up for truth and make sure no one can tell lies to the American people. These people who make the decisions must be honest, honorable and above reproach. They must have sterling reputations for truth regardless of the consequences. There must be no hint of scandal, self seeking, or corruption.
This sounds like a job for a politician.
Personally, I nominate Sarah Palin, I think she is free.