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Did Fox News sue for 'the right to lie' in 2004?

The claim has been spreading online for years.

Cable news outlets in the US have often faced allegations of bias - from MSNBC & CNN on the left, to OANN & Fox News on the right.

The latter is nicknamed by its critics "Faux News Channel" or "Fake News Channel" with their opinion anchors - like Sean Hannity & Tucker Carlson - regularly sharing pro-Trump & right-leaning political opinions.

But one viral meme - believed to have originated on Facebook - claims that Fox admits to lying on-air, and even sued for "the right to lie."

"In February 2004, FOX News won a legal appear that declared that (they) had no legal obligation to be truthful in its reporting," the meme reads.

"The court agreed that FOX had indeed been untruthful but ultimately agreed with (their) argument that the FCC's policy against the intentional falsification of the news is not a legal mandate...and that FOX may falsify news reports."

Somewhat ironically, that itself is not true.

For starters, it's not about the Fox News Channel at all.

The lawsuit actually relates to WTVT-13 - a Fox O&O (owned & operated) affiliate - not linked to the FNC at all.

According to Politifact, the meme links back to a wrongful termination lawsuit between WTVT and 2 of its reporters.

"The heart of the suit was whether the Fox affiliate wrongly fired the reporters over a story about a synthetic growth hormone in Florida dairy cattle," they reported.

They go onto say that the station argued that it has the right to present the news as it chooses, but did not say they had a "right to lie."


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