Letters: HIllyer’s analysis of Fox’s legal exposure missed the mark

Letters: HIllyer's analysis of Fox's legal exposure missed the mark
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I read with some amazement Quin Hillyer’s March 5 column in which he contends the First Amendment should protect Fox News for their lies about, among other things, election denying, and also their false claims that Dominion Voting Co. helped rig the election.

Courts have said for years that the First Amendment is not absolute. There is an old saying that the right to free speech does not give one a right to yell fire in a crowded theater. It also does not give a right for somebody to intentionally or recklessly defame a company like Dominion without consequences.

Hillyer is right that it requires actual malice or reckless disregard of the truth in order to qualify as defamation, which allows for damages. In this case, emails that have come out over the last several weeks show not only did Fox know their stories about Dominion were false, they continued to air them because, according to the emails, they did not want to offend their “base.” In fact, this is the essence of reckless disregard, or intentional disregard of the truth.

The evidence is also clear that Dominion was seriously damaged by these allegations. Some of the states refused to use them in their voting process, and even Louisiana questioned whether they should be used in light of the false stories on Fox.

Finally, I would note that Hillyer overlooked the fact that Donald Trump, before he became president, owned the Miss USA Pageant. One of contestants in that pageant in 2012 stated that the pageant was “rigged.” Based on that allegation, one of the major sponsors withdrew a $5 million pledge.

It later turned out that those statements involved reckless disregard of the truth. Trump sued and was awarded $5 million.

H. BRUCE SHREVES

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About Mary Weyand 14483 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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