Protected Speech

Judge Dismisses Misinformation Suit Brought by Watchdog Group Against Fox News

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A Superior Court judge in Seattle has tossed out a lawsuit brought by a watchdog group against Fox News for disseminating false information about COVID-19.

In the suit, filed on April 2nd in King County Superior Court in Washington, the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE) sued Fox News for violating the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

On May 27th, Superior Court Judge Brian McDonald called the suit “laudable,” but granted Fox News’ motion to dismiss. McDonald wrote, “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

WASHLITE plans to appeal the decision in state appellate court. “We have a lot of respect for the judge,” board member and spokesman Arthur West told The Hill . “It’s a well-reasoned opinion. It was thorough. We respectfully disagree.”

The Hill   Variety