The Media and Democracy Project (MAD) has submitted a comprehensive response to the filing by Fox Television Stations (FTS), urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to compel FOX to turn over key discovery documents from recent litigation. MAD reiterated its belief that obtaining these documents is crucial for the FCC to evaluate the numerous character violations relevant to the broadcast license renewal application for the FOX Corp-owned television station FOX 29 Philadelphia (WTXF).
The filing focused on dismantling FOXs attempt to shield the questionable conduct of FOX executives and hosts from thorough examination by the FCC. FOX's opposition to releasing these materials is an attempt to hinder the Commission from conducting a full and transparent assessment of the company's deliberate and willful promotion of false election narratives, which had dire consequences for the country.
- FOX has labeled the request a "fishing expedition," disregarding the fact that the motion for documents seeks only to enhance the record for evaluating WTXF's license application. It is a routine practice that is common during an FCC license review.
- FOX argues that its alleged misconduct falls outside the scope of FCC character policy, therefore, the request for documents is irrelevant to its renewal application. This fails to appreciate the gravity of the actions taken by senior FOX leadership following the 2020 election that shock the conscience and are well within the scope of the Commission.
- FOX's assertion that granting evidence from shareholder lawsuits contradicts Delaware law is baseless. This law pertains specifically to shareholder requests and does not apply to a license renewal proceeding where the FCC makes the request.
MAD's motion also requested information related to contracts between WTXF and political advertisers, as mandated by law to be filed with the FCC and made public. Rather than acknowledging any wrongdoing, FOX has chosen to double down on arguments made before the Commission that it did nothing wrong despite ample evidence of discrepancies, misrepresentations, and noncompliance to the contrary. This continues the pattern of mistruths noted by the judge in the Dominion case and demonstrates that FOXs penchant for lies does not stop with its regulator.
Access to nonpublic discovery material would further support what publicly available information has already establishedthat FOX and Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch lack the character required of public broadcast license trustees. Given that these documents have already been categorized, organized, and provided in various lawsuits, the FCC could request the same documents be provided to the petitioners with ease.
A copy of MADs response to FTS can be found here.
The Media and Democracy Project: MAD is a non-partisan, all-volunteer, grassroots organization focused on strengthening a free and independent media in the public interest. MAD aims to improve our national discourse so that American voters can engage in informed decision-making. As part of that goal, MAD has an interest in the responsibility of journalists and media to report fully, accurately, and fairly on the electoral process and the outcome of elections. Additional information is available at www.MediaAndDemocracyProject.Org.
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Media and Democracy Project
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