Big, big correction.

A friend of mine, another columnist, once observed that a doctor’s mistakes get buried; a lawyer’s go to jail, but a journalist’s run on Page One under the headline: Correction:

Due to a reporter’s error — or an editor’s, or whoever — the something of the something was misstated in Tuesday’s story. The actual facts are, etc.

It’s humiliating. No one likes to admit a mistake, particularly a careless or stupid one, let alone have it displayed to the world, usually on the front page, or at least on the page where the original boo-boo was published. But that’s how we roll, or did. You can’t expect the public’s trust if you can’t admit when you make a mistake. So we do, publicly. Mea culpa. It’s a strong motivator to get it right the first time, although it happens to everyone. To err is human, etc.

This, I should mention, is not true at Fox News. Alan has been monitoring how the fair ‘n’ balanced network is admitting their settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, and calling out how far it’s falling off the main page: “Ten pages in! After Gisele Bundchen doing something!” But that’s what we expect, right? Terrible people are terrible, and their terrible audience doesn’t give a shit that they’re going into the second quarter $800 million poorer. I’m a little disappointed; I was hoping for a settlement with a B in it, if they had to settle at all. I was, truth be told, hoping for a jury foreman who asks, like the one in “The Verdict,” “Are we limited to the amount the plaintiff is asking for, or can we go higher?” On the other hand, I know shit rolls downhill, and one of my former students works for the Wall Street Journal, and a squeeze at the top usually means a bigger one down below, so.

But it’s generally a very good day. Fox News had to take it in the shorts, and that’s just fine, because they’re terrible. A pox on all their houses. And I’m sure they all have several.

I was thinking of Fox before the settlement, reading about the old man in Kansas City who shot a black kid for the crime of knocking on his door. I said on Facebook that Fox, and others, many others, have made their profits on scaring the shit out of old people. For decades. I am absolutely no fan of Michael Moore, but the part in “Bowling for Columbine” where he points out the way TV news relentlessly, endlessly deals in fear? That part was dead-on. And Fox is the worst of the lot, so when that old man saw a black kid on his porch and just assumed he was there to do harm? That is something that can also be laid at the doorstep of Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, and many others.

Almost everyone I’ve ever known who keeps a loaded gun next to the front door? Lives in the country, where violence almost never happens, except when it’s perpetrated … by them.

But by and large, this was a good day. So let’s enjoy it.

Posted at 7:39 pm in Media |

29 responses to “Big, big correction.”

  1. David C said on April 18, 2023 at 8:04 pm

    Well, we still have Smartmatic. Dominion is also suing Rudy and others. So more fun to come, I hope.

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  2. Sherri said on April 18, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Sure, we all would have enjoyed the schadenfreude of a showy jury trial and Rupert Murdoch on the stand and a huge damages award, but defamation isn’t easy to prove, and that’s a good thing. The summary judgement established that Fox lied. Establishing malice was going to be more questionable, and expecting a private equity firm to risk that to satisfy our wishes for a complete Fox takedown was not realistic. Our best bet for a complete Fox takedown is that Rupert finally dies and the kids destroy it in the fight over who takes over. (Succession is not exaggerated, evidently, and Rupert’s divorce from Jerri Hall stipulated that she couldn’t talk to the Succession writers.)

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  3. Sherri said on April 18, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    And now we’ve got an old man who shot a young woman who accidentally turned into his driveway. I don’t think fear is really even the right word; I don’t believe that they’re honestly that afraid for their lives. I think it’s fear combined with anger that someone dared make them feel uncomfortable.

    There was a recent shooting in Seattle. A young black man was driving with his 9 year old nephew, and making a right turn, cut off a 35 year old white guy riding an electric scooter. Words were exchanged, the white guy tried to kick the passenger door, and then as the driver drove off, the white guy pulled out his gun and shot at the car five times, injuring the 9 year old and killing the driver. In the middle of the afternoon with lots of people around. The shooter didn’t run; just went back to his scooter and waited for the cops.

    I don’t get it.

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  4. Deborah said on April 18, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    I don’t think the shooters that maimed/killed the teenagers were afraid, I think they were delighted, they thought they finally had a good excuse to shoot someone. Trigger happy.

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  5. Carter Cleland said on April 18, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Hey Jeff Borden @ 21 of last thread. I’ve got another nickname for DeathSantis and Puddin’ Boots that I’ve been mentally workshopping: PiSsantis.

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  6. susan said on April 18, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    My favorite is still Rhonda Santis. That’s his drag name.

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  7. Mark P said on April 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    Actual malice would have been easy to prove. In fact, they admitted it. They admitted they knew their stories were lies and still went on air and told them. That’s the current legal definition of actual malice.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on April 19, 2023 at 2:46 am

    I intently watched and listened to Lawrence O’Donnell and his guests because I knew he would explain the settlement over trial reasoning. First, what I assumed was to be a slam dunk jury award of $1.6B was not a slam dunk at all. Fox claimed the whole thing was legitimate reporting.
    This is the largest settlement in media claims history, and is making headlines as such an enormous amount, even as Fox has ready funds in the $4B range. It’s confusing, because this award is roughly what Bruce Springsteen is worth, and many movie stars and uber-wealthy Americans have that kind of wealth. Patrick Mahomes the quarterback signed a $450M contract and he is just 27 years of age. In the scheme of things, seeing how a whole bevy of shareholders will eventually get some the the settlement dough, it pales with the $1.6B. I was disappointed; I wanted Fox to get closer to bankruptcy.

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  9. Dexter Friend said on April 19, 2023 at 3:03 am

    portal to get your Facebook claim money.

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  10. Jim said on April 19, 2023 at 5:03 am

    Fox will now be getting smaller pay checks .

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  11. David C said on April 19, 2023 at 6:02 am

    I read an article this morning that added this bit of information. The settlement gets Dominion 20 years worth of revenue. Sure they sued for 1.6 billion but it would be hard for a jury to find 1.6 billion worth of damages for a company that takes in only 20 million a year. Everyone, me included, wanted there to be some on air admission that they lied but that wasn’t going to happen because of the upcoming Smartmatic suit. This story isn’t over yet.

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  12. Dorothy said on April 19, 2023 at 7:16 am

    What are the chances that there might be a person being interviewed on Fox and they start to talk about what Fox lied about, and viewers get to hear part of it before they shut down the interviewee and head to a commercial? I doubt that could happen but we can dream, right?

    When we lived in Dayton a co-worker told me about an older retired couple who did doggy care in their home, and we needed to use them when we got pissed at whatever kennel we had used a couple of times. So we drove them down to this couple’s home, and the dogs seemed happy to be there. We asked to see where they had the crates and the kennel and were satisfied that it was clean and safe. My friend Lori took her St. Bernard there and had used them for years so what could go wrong?

    Then when Trump was running for President, one time when we were dropping off our two dogs so we could go into Pittsburgh for the weekend, they had Fox News on and I was horrified by the 3-4 minutes of b.s. I got to overhear while we dropped off the dogs. For some reason that’s when I realized that Fox was poisoning the minds of its viewers. I knew, I FELT how brainwashed they were becoming! No one in their right minds could possibly believe all the b.s. Fox was pushing. And that was the last time we used them for the dogs. I swear to God I did not want even my dogs to be overhearing any of that Fox shit, never mind the fact that they wouldn’t understand it. I didn’t want them exposed. Call me crazy but I was glad we never went back there. And I talked to the kennel that pissed us off and got things settled and went back there again.

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  13. Jeff Gill said on April 19, 2023 at 7:40 am

    Not sure about 20 years: looks more like three quarters to me?

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  14. David C said on April 19, 2023 at 9:14 am

    Twenty years of Dominion’s revenue, not Fox’s. Sorry, I wasn’t very clear on that.

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  15. Mark P said on April 19, 2023 at 9:22 am

    I have a friend I’ve known since the early 1970’s who has turned into a right-wing nut job. He’s smart but you wouldn’t believe it to hear him talk. He started listening to Rush Limbaugh many years ago, and I’m pretty sure that’s what eventually poisoned his mind.

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  16. FDChief said on April 19, 2023 at 10:26 am

    The payout is worth it to FAUX since it lets them keep pushing their Hitler Projekt.

    I know I keep banging this drum, but…we – those of us not all in on White is Right and the new Gilded Age – are kinda screwed. FAUX and the other wingnut hothouses (InfoWars, Newsmax, QAnon) will keep unscrewing the bolts in these gomers’ heads. The combination of stupid (Empty G), rapacious (Trump) and vicious (DeSantis) will continue to whip them into a drooling froth.

    You can’t run a republic like that.

    But you can run a theocracy. Or kleptocracy. Or a dictatorship.

    And that’s the projekt.

    And how do us normies fight that? It would take a literal fight with people who already believe we’re evil pedophile commie traitors with which compromise is unacceptable.

    So it’s kind of hard to bask in the joy of Rupe losing a buck or two on the way to the Reichstag…

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  17. Jeff Borden said on April 19, 2023 at 10:33 am

    This nation hasn’t been the “home of the brave” for a very, very long time. Some 400 million guns in a nation of 332 million people only underscores the blanket of fear that lies over us. . .fear of everything but especially “the other.” Black and brown people, non-English speakers, LBGTQ, immigrants, non-christians, well-educated experts haunt many of our fellow citizens and, boy howdy, are gun manufacturers, doomsday prepares and right-wing news outlets are just so damned happy to keep that anxiety at high boil.

    I’ve read some pretty logical reasons for Dominion to settle with the most compelling being how Fox would use one appeal after another to prevent any payoff, which could stretch for many years and drain Dominion. There was also speculation a huge settlement would be appealed and greatly reduced. Dominion took the bird in the hand and ignored the two in the bush.

    What really, truly stings for me is that none of the on-air liars will be required to tell the mopes who watch them they lied and lied and lied. The White Power Hours will not have to look into a camera and confess they are highly paid propagandists for a twisted and corrupt world view.

    So. . .on to Smartmatic and the individual defamation suits against other perpetrators of this fraud. But at the moment, I’m pretty disappointed.

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  18. FDChief said on April 19, 2023 at 11:21 am

    And let’s not let our “local paper” off the hook.

    While the state of Oregon is waving something like $90M at counties and municipalities to “deal with the homeless CRISIS!”…but no one – not the governor, not the lege, not the mayors or county commissioners – in authority has publicly come up with anything but nonsense (“build huge camps! To concentrate the homeless! But let’s not call them concentration camps!”)…is the Oregonian all over the story, pressing these mooks for answers, digging up ideas and examples from other places of how this might be spent wisely?

    I’ll give you a hint.

    The top five stories at the Oregonlive site?

    Three murders, one prison break, and a dude who was creeping on kiddies.

    Way below the fold?

    The Gov greenlights using some of the state funding for concentration camps.

    This as most people here consistently list the huge visible homeless population as one of their biggest concerns.

    So no. It’s not FAUX. It’s the whole damn shitshow.

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  19. Scout said on April 19, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    I’ve lost sleep for weeks after accidently running over a rabbit. I cannot fathom the deadness of soul it must require to kill another person.

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  20. Sherri said on April 19, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Fox News is poisonous, but I also think it’s easier to blame Fox News than to realize that people we thought of as friends and neighbors just needed permission to become what they’ve become. Read this interview with Jeff Sharlett, and ask yourself, where does this come from?

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  21. Jeff Borden said on April 19, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    When I worked at the Charlotte Observer from 1985-89, corrections were run on the same page where the error occurred including –on rare occasions– the front page. Five or more errors in a year affected your pay increases. Now, this sounds like a very good policy, but there was no sense of proportion. I once transposed the call letters of a TV station from WBTV to WTBV. It counted the same as if someone who called a person guilty instead of innocent. The point, which would be invisible to those who run crapola like Fox, was to admit error, take responsibility and correct it. Fast.

    The sum paid to Dominion is about 7% of Fox’s revenues. I see nothing changing. Nothing. The morons who watch will still get the same lying shit. Fox will keep counting the money. Democracy be damned. Profits uber alles.

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  22. Sherri said on April 19, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    You can’t expect that a for profit company owned by a private equity firm is going to turn down a settlement that big in order to pursue an even larger jury award, with the risk that a jury might not buy their case. If they did win a huge jury award, then it would be tied up in appeals, probably reduced, and would take years to resolve.

    Remember the Exxon Valdez? The jury awarded $5 billion in punitive damages a couple of years after the spill. After appeals, remands, more appeals, more remands, appeals to SCOTUS, more remands, the punitive damages were cut to $500 million, eventually paid out 20 years after the spill. Exxon is still around, still profitable, and even bigger.

    There’s not some cathartic moment when our civil legal system fixes everything. It awards damages for harms done. Punitive damages to change behaviors of corporations work out less well.

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  23. Suzanne said on April 20, 2023 at 7:47 am

    This is depressing but not surprising

    Ludwig said his grandfather had been immersed in “a 24-hour news cycle of fear and paranoia.”

    “And then the NRA pushing the ‘stand your ground’ stuff and that you have to defend your home,” he said. “When I heard what happened, I was appalled and shocked that it transpired, but I didn’t disbelieve that it was true. The second I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, I could see him doing that.’”

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  24. Alan Stamm said on April 20, 2023 at 8:31 am

    Dominion v Fox “is a fitting lesson for the world from the American justice system. There’s a price to pay for lying to the American people, and if you can afford that price, go for it!” — James Corden

    “It’s not clear if insurance will cover some of Fox’s liability. Of course, Fox has to have liability insurance to insure their ability to lie.” — Stephen Colbert

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  25. Icarus said on April 20, 2023 at 10:01 am

    The guy in Kansas has been charged with First Degree Murder. The person in NY with Second Degree. Both have pleaded Not Guilty. How do you plead not guilty?

    Are they trying to say they are not guilty because they technically didn’t intend to murder/harm anyone?

    I just don’t get it.

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  26. Deborah said on April 20, 2023 at 10:11 am

    It’s easy Icarus, they simply tell themselves, I did it but I’m not guilty, you (the victim) made me do it. They feel they have a right to do it and they would be happy to do it again. Their dear leaders tell them to do it. And on and on. I doubt that they feel any remorse for the life of the person, only sorry that they got in trouble for it, if even that.

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  27. Deborah said on April 20, 2023 at 10:26 am

    If you think Melania is disgusting, wait until you get a load of this creep

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  28. Julie Robinson said on April 20, 2023 at 11:24 am

    Icarus, I refer you to Suzanne @22. Poison ingested, poison spewed. Stand Your Ground laws that allow shooters to skate when they say they felt frightened. Rinse and repeat.

    And in Floriduh the Don’t Say Gay rules have been extended all the way from pre-school through high school. I’m imagining kids emerging from the state like Kimmy Schmidt from her bunker. No sex education or discussion of the sexual spectrum, no black history, etc. How are they going to be prepared for life?

    Feeling foul after reading the newspaper, I went out to the clothesline and stepped on a load of dog crap camoflaged on the dark rug. It’s never fun to do that but today is made me vomit. The dog’s owner will be on clean up duty.

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  29. alex said on April 20, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Fox may have gotten off easy, but the My Pillow Guy was just ordered to pay up on his $5 million challenge to anyone who could disprove his election fraud data purportedly proving Chinese interference. A computer forensics expert took him up on it.

    And he’s still getting hauled into court by Dominion and Smartmatic too.

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