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Archive for Tuesday, July 20, 2004

FTC petition challenges Fox slogan

July 20, 2004

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— Fox News' use of the slogan "Fair and Balanced" constitutes deceptive advertising, two political advocacy groups claimed today in a petition filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

Liberal MoveOn.org and historically nonpartisan Common Cause assert that Fox News' reports are "deliberately and consistently distorted and twisted to promote the Republican Party of the U.S. and an extreme right-wing viewpoint."

Alleging consumer fraud, the complaint calls for the FTC to order Fox News to cease and desist from using the slogan.

Irena Briganti, a Fox News spokeswoman, said that "while this is clearly a transparent publicity stunt, we recognize all forms of free speech and wish them well."

James Kaminski, a former FTC lawyer, sees little chance for the petition, noting that the FTC does not wade in political waters. "Whether (Fox is) biased or not ... it's a freedom of speech issue," he said.

After announcing the petition, members of MoveOn.org and Common Cause marched to the Fox News Headquarters to hand out DVDs of the recent documentary "Outfoxed," which alleges a pattern of right-wing biases in the network's reporting, citing statements by former Fox employees and internal memos.

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