New York City’s pension funds and the state of Oregon have jointly filed a lawsuit against Fox Corporation, claiming that the media giant allowed Fox News to spread false information about the 2020 election
Fox: Election falsehoods?
The lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware, alleges that Fox Corporation knowingly amplified conspiracy theories surrounding the election, jeopardizing its financial stability and credibility.
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, responsible for managing the city’s pension funds, minced no words in accusing Fox of neglecting journalistic standards.
“Fox’s board of directors has blatantly disregarded the need for journalistic standards and failed to put safeguards in place despite having a business model that invites defamation litigation,” Lander stated firmly.
Ratings over shareholders’ interests
This legal action alleges that Fox’s board intentionally chose to propagate former President Donald Trump’s baseless election falsehoods in order to appease his supporters, fully aware that such actions could lead to legal repercussions. The complaint highlights that Fox Corporation prioritized ratings over responsible journalism and the financial interests of its shareholders.
The lawsuit, while not specifying the damages sought, underscores the financial risks that Fox Corporation undertook in its pursuit of a particular viewer demographic. New York City’s pension funds are valued at $28.1 million in Fox Corporation shares, while Oregon holds approximately $5.2 million worth of shares in the company.
Sensationalism vs. journalistic integrity
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum emphasized the breach of fiduciary duties by Fox, stating, “The directors’ choices exposed themselves and the company to liability and exposed their shareholders to significant risks. That is the crux of our lawsuit, and we look forward to making our case in court.”
The lawsuit against Fox Corporation signals a growing pushback against media entities that prioritize sensationalism and ratings over journalistic integrity, shedding light on the legal and financial consequences that can follow such decisions.
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