We filed a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on July 3, 2023 to ask for an FCC Hearing on whether FOX is qualified to remain an FCC broadcast licensee based on its intentional distortion of news broadcast to the public.
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For more information see the PRESS RELEASE below or visit our website: https://www.mediaanddemocracyproject.org/fcc-license-renewal-challenge
FCC Petition Seeks to Deny Renewal of FOX’s Broadcast License for its Philadelphia Station, WTXF on 30-Month Anniversary of the Capitol Insurrection
The Media and Democracy Project Seeks an FCC Hearing on Whether FOX is Qualified to Remain an FCC Broadcast Licensee based on its Intentional Distortion of News Broadcast to the Public
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 6, 2023 — The Media and Democracy Project (MAD) announced its filing of a petition to deny the broadcast license renewal application for Fox Corp-owned television station FOX 29 Philadelphia (WTXF-TV). MAD filed their objection before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), alleging that senior management of Fox Corporation (FOX) manipulated its audience by knowingly broadcasting false news about the 2020 election. Its intentional and chronic news distortion further divided the country, sowing discord that was a contributing factor to the attack on our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021.
As an FCC broadcast licensee, WTXF-TV, one of 29 FOX subsidiary broadcast stations, has a basic statutory duty to conduct its operations in the public interest. MAD believes it has not done so, relying on the court decision in Dominion v. FOX, which found that FOX’s broadcasts leading up to January 6 repeatedly were false and held that FOX had defamed the voting machine company. The intentional distortion of news, authorized at the highest levels of FOX’s corporate structure, and fabricated by management and on-air personalities, represents a severe breach of the FCC’s policy on licensee character qualifications. MAD claims that FOX’s activities shock the conscience.
Owning a broadcast station is more than a business—it is a public trust. Never before has the Commission been confronted with so much evidence attached to a petition that clearly shows that an FCC broadcast licensee undermined that trust.
MAD is calling on the FCC to initiate an evidentiary hearing into FOX’s conduct. The FCC has the duty to hold FOX accountable and send a strong message that intentional, knowing news distortion will not be tolerated on America’s airwaves.
MAD’s petition is supported by a declaration from former Fox Broadcasting executive Preston Padden. Padden describes from firsthand experience Rupert Murdoch’s ultimate decision-making authority over every aspect of FOX operations. He also includes personal email exchanges with Rupert Murdoch. Some or all of those email exchanges were produced by Fox into the public record of the Dominion litigation without Mr. Padden’s knowledge or consent.
This landmark petition seeks to safeguard the integrity of the broadcasting industry and uphold the public’s trust in accurate and responsible news reporting. By holding FOX accountable for its deliberate dissemination of false narratives about the 2020 election, the petitioners aim to protect the foundation of our democratic society.
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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