Fox News Could Be Sued For Lying About COVID Vaccine

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Published on 31 Jul 2021, 19:00
There could be a simple reason why so many Fox hosts are softening their language about the COVID vaccines: They don't want to get sued. Yes, the law absolutely would allow for a media outlet to be sued for intentionally spreading misinformation about a public health crisis that led to personal injury, but the amount of hoops that a plaintiff would have to jump through in order to make that happen is mind blowing. But that doesn't mean it is impossible, and Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins explains what a lawsuit might look like against Fox or other media outlets lying about vaccines.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

There was a great article that came out in Slate this week and it also addresses some of the questions we've been getting here at Ring of Fire. The question is, can we sue Fox news for all of the misinformation they're putting out about the COVID pandemic, but most specifically the misinformation and lies about the COVID vaccine? And the answer, according to this Slate article, is yes. Yes, you can. But before everybody gets super excited about that, please understand that only under direct certain circumstances, could you actually have a viable lawsuit against Fox news. Okay. I don't even think you would have enough people that would qualify for this to even form a class action. So what would you have to do to be able to sue Fox news for their misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine? First and foremost, you would have to be able to prove that Fox knowingly and willfully lied about the vaccine.

So when Tucker Carlson is on the air, spewing his nonsense about the vaccine, you would have to be able to prove that he did that maliciously, that he knew what he was saying was a lie, but said it anyway. Second thing you would have to do is you would have to be able to prove that you relied solely on that information coming from again, let's use Tucker Carlson as the example, because he's one of the worst, that you used his advice and his advice alone on whether or not to get the vaccine. And then you would have had to have had a personal injury as a result of that decision, based on the misinformation that the Fox host willingly gave, which means you would have either had to have caught COVID and sustained a permanent injury from it or caught COVID and lost income due to medical bills or time lost from work. Still with me? Good, because we're not done yet.

Another hurdle you would have to face is that in some instances you would actually have to, in this lawsuit, prove that the Fox host or the Fox network or Tucker Carlson, whoever it is, intended for you to lose income as a result of their misinformation, because this would basically be uncharted waters, but legal experts say that you would most likely have to treat this like a fraud case. And in a fraud case, the thing you have to prove is that the party you're accusing of fraud intended for you to lose money or be injured as a result of their fraud. If it's just happenstance, if it's just a coincidence, you don't have a case. So yes, you can sue Fox news for lying about the COVID vaccine. You could, I mean, this isn't just Fox news. It could be, you know, any other media outlet, it could be any personality out there spreading lies about the vaccine. But only if you meet all of these criteria and unfortunately that is an uphill battle. The laws are basically designed at this point to protect the liars. And that's just the reality that we have to deal with.