The political left, of all groups, has given us the way to hold dishonest media accountable. We can sue them.
The First Amendment prevents government from prosecuting the media (or at any rate it should), but it says nothing about what “We the People” may do. Enter the spurious lawsuit against Fox News (“Media distortions: What’s really going on in effort to silence Fox News,” web, March 7). With it, we now know how to punish dishonest news, and we have the legal precedent for doing so in court.
On what grounds could we sue? For abridging the people’s “right to know.” No such right exists, nor could it; freedom of speech, which enables not just the truthful but everyone, trumps it. Case dismissed.
News media — and others, such as teachers and doctors — have an obligation to inform. It’s an implicit contract they have with their paying customers. Unreasonable breach of it damages us. That should be actionable, and it’s high time we acted.
JOHN S. MASON JR.