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Thom Hartmann: Why Fox News has the Right to Lie to Us
Ever wonder why it is that Fox News can lie over and over again – yet continue to call itself “News”? It’s because Fox News is a corporation – and ever since that 1886 Supreme Court case of Southern Pacific Railroad versus Santa Clara County when a rogue court reporter named JC Bancroft Davis slipped corporate personhood into the legal record – the courts have ruled time and time again that corporations – since they have all the rights that actual people have – could also lie just like people can.
Except for one time. Back in 1998 – a political activist named Mark Kasky sued Nike alleging that Nike was lying to its customers by publishing in the San Francisco Examiner a letter assuring everyone that the corporation’s workers around the world enjoy basic labor rights like a minimum wage – health and safety regulations – and equal opportunity employment. Kasky knew this claim wasn’t true. A 1996 audit of the Nike revealed that workers in Vietnam were routinely exposed to cancer-causing chemicals that were illegal in the United States. And a Mothers Jones article later cited a Nike-funded study that found, “evidence of physical and verbal abuse and sexual harassment at nine of its contract factories in Indonesia.” After realizing he and thousands of other Nike customers were lied to and were buying Nike products under false assumptions – Kasky took the corporation to court. And in 2002 – Kasky won his case before the California Supreme Court which ruled that Nike did indeed break laws against unfair competition and false advertising…