Fox Fires Reporters For Telling the Truth About Milk
October 03, 2006
In 1997, a pair of reporters prepared a report for a Fox TV affiliate in Florida about the dangers of bovine growth hormone (BGH) in milk. Lawyers for Monsanto, a major advertiser with the network, sent letters promising "dire consequences" if the story aired.
After attempts by Fox to bribe the reporters to keep quiet failed, the station agreed to air a revised version of the report. An unheard of 83 edits later (including Monsanto insisting that the word "cancer" be replaced with the phrase "human health implications"), the report was shelved and the courts took over.
Although a lower court ruled in favor of the reporters for some $425,000, a Florida appeals court denied them whistleblower protection, claiming Fox, and the media in general, have no obligation to tell the truth, in effect, having the freedom to report what is fact and fiction as real news.