NEXT DEVELOPMENT:
  May 18 in Tampa
Pre-Trial Hearing Arguments on Motions To Keep Some Testimony, Evidence From The Jury

Report Archive:
ˇ May 5, 2000:
Court-ordered Mediation Is Brief and Unsuccessful
Trial set to begin June 12

ˇ April 28,2000:
Fox Challenges rBGH Experts At Depositions

Fox lawyers laying ground-
work to tell jurors experts are cancer scaremongers?

ˇ April 26,2000:
Walter Cronkite Testifies on Behalf of Akre & Wilson
Fox lawyers lodge objections

ˇ October 19:
Fox Lawyers Insist On Secrecy At Deposition
French TV Ejected

ˇ October 18:
FDA Wants Comments on G-M Foods
Public Meetings Start in November

ˇ October 13:
Judge Rules: Trial Will Proceed: Defense loses third effort to have case dismissed

ˇ September 24:
MSNBC: Gene-modified foods might get labels:
Industry weighs voluntary steps, U.S. studies options as well

ˇ September 20:
Trial Still Set to Start Soon: Busy Docket Delays foxBGHsuit

ˇ August 4:
MSNBC: Mutable Feast:
Will the fight over gene-altered food products leapfrog across the Atlantic?

ˇ June 30:
Consumers International:
UN Health Group Shuns BGH

ˇ June 1:
New York Times:
Farmers’ Right To Sue Grows - Food Warning Muzzle Likely

ˇ May 10:
Corporate Crime Reporter:
Monsanto Officials Join Leading Consumer, Environmental Groups

ˇ May 3:
Fox Deceives Viewers in Primetime, Too
Net Admits Staging after INSIDE EDITION Report

ˇ April 30:
Democracy Group Award to Akre/Wilson
Fired Reporters Cited for "Courage in Journalism"

ˇ April 29:
New Trial Date is October 11
Fox Piles On Big-Name Lawyers

ˇ April 17:
Clinton Lawyer Joins Fox Legal Team
David Kendall Involvement Confirmed in Letter to Monsanto

ˇ April 16:
Fox Pleads for Another Delay
Later Trial Date to be Set April 29th

ˇ April 1:
Judge Says BGH Case Will Go To Trial
Opening Gavel Falls May 10th

ˇ February 16:
PENTHOUSE Exposes BGH, Fox Coverup:
First-rate story of BGH situation and lawsuit against Fox TV (rated G -- no nudity, just the story)

ˇ January 25:
ENS Summary of BGH Developments

ˇ January 14:
How Fox Wanted to Slant News of Canadian Concerns
Canadian BGH Concerns Were Big Issue In Firing of Fox Reporters

ˇ January 14:
Canada Says NO to BGH!
Read the CBC Story or View-Listen to report with RealPlayer

ˇ January 14:
Health Canada Rejects Bovine Growth Hormone in Canada
Government News Release

ˇ December 16:
Akre & Wilson Win Courage Award
For Work On Story Which Cost Them Their Jobs

ˇ December 15:
ABC NEWS Catches Up on BGH
Read the ABC Story or View-Listen to report with RealPlayer

ˇ November 7:
FOX Legal (8/28) Answers
to Reporters' Complaint Now Available

ˇ November 1:
Monsanto and Fox: Partners in Censorship
PR Watch - Showcase Article

ˇ October 30:
Canadians Probe Coverup Claim
Read CBC Story or View-Listen to report with RealPlayer

ˇ October 24:
Reporters Get Top SPJ Ethics Award

ˇ October 22:
BGH Issue Explodes in Canada:
Read CBC Story or View-Listen to report with RealPlayer

ˇ October 7:
SECRET Canadian Study Leaked...
...BGH safety questions unanswered?

ˇ Sept 13:
Akre-Wilson Depos Start

ˇ Sept 10:
TIMES/St. Petersburg
SP Times covers NutraSweet flap

ˇ Sept 10:
Our Story: Fox Still Protecting Monsanto?

ˇ Sept 8:
Fox Pulls Plug on NutraSweet Foe

ˇ Sept 1:
Reporters Respond To Defense

ˇ READ story FOX-TV refused to air...
or View-Listen to report with RealPlayer

ˇ July 14:
Judge refuses to dismiss
all but one count of reporters' suit

ˇ July 5:
OBSERVER/London
Digger Still Plays Dirty

ˇ July 1:
Depositions Continue, Trial Date Set

ˇ June 7:
TIMES/St. Petersburg
Akre/Wilson Preparing FCC Complaint

ˇ May 26:
Judge rejects Defense motion
for Protective Order

ˇ May 25:
WEEKLY PLANET/Tampa:
Grazing A Stink - - -Don't Have a Cow

ˇ May 23:
NEW YORK TIMES:
(Silenced) Reporters... Post Web Site

ˇ May 21:
Wilson/Akre demand on-air correction

ˇ April 29:
FOX-TV asks court:
Dismiss case and Delay depositions
 RALPH NADER GIVES PRE-TRIAL
  DEPOSITION TESTIMONY IN D.C.

            By STEVE WILSON   
        WASHINGTON (May 8, 2000)—Saying the Federal Communications Commission has become “all about exon- erating broadcasters instead of holding them accountable,” America's foremost consumer activist Ralph Nader today


Nader Testifies for Akre/Wilson

became the latest witness to give expert testimony on behalf of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson.
        Nader took time to support the two journalists despite a hectic schedule that has taken him to more than 30 states in the last few weeks of his presidential campaign.  He has promised to give testimony at the reporters' trial set to begin June 12 in Tampa.
        As with Walter  Cronkite who testified last month on behalf of the plaintiffs, the lead attorney for defendant Fox Television has indicated he will object to Nader’s testimony being heard by the jury on the grounds that Nader is really not an expert on the FCC.
        The journalists have already won an initial round in that battle when the trial court judge decided not to block Nader’s testimony despite strenuous objections from Fox at a hearing February 14.  Plaintiff Wilson argued then that Nader should be allowed to testify about the FCC requirement that all stations be operated in the public interest so that jurors can better judge whether Fox violated that standard in its conduct that prompted the lawsuit. 
       
“As we told the judge, Ralph Nader is America's best expert on exactly what the public interest is," said Plaintiff Jane Akre.  "Following his testimony at trial, other witnesses will testify as to the particular facts of our case.  Then, the jurors can determine what interest was most important to WTVT, the public interest or it's own corporate interest in maximizing the profit it rakes in from use of the public airwaves."


Chamblee listens to  McDaniels' questions

        A key element of Fox’s defense strategy appears to be that even if some of the editing instructions given by lawyers and managers at WTVT might have slanted the story on rBGH, the broadcasting company is protected by the First Amendment and what the defendants say is the fact there is no law, rule or regulation to prohibit such distortion.

        Nader strongly disagreed with that logic at Monday’s deposition.  He cited an FCC case from 1969 when the commission said quite clearly that “rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest.”  The case stemmed from a CBS documentary.
Fox Lawyer Gary Roberts Worried About Losing? 

        “Can you point to even one single station which has been sanctioned by the FCC for any case of alleged distortion of the news?” asked Fox lawyer William McDaniels.
        Admitting the FCC has not investigated and prosecuted any such case, Nader said at one point, “We’re dealing with an agency going to extremes not to enforce the Communications Act.”  It is that law, adopted in 1934 and implement through FCC policy and actions, that requires all broadcasters to operate in the public interest.
       
Nader, a long and frequent critic of the FCC, added, “They haven’t killed the public interest standard, but they certainly have anesthetized it!”
        The Fox lawyer pressed Nader on his opposition to the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine, suggesting the FCC’s policy against news slanting and distortion may have died with it.  The doctrine was abolished during the Reagan administration to the delight of broadcasters who claimed a law which forced them to be fair actually stifled free speech.
        “That claim was an observation so preposterous it hardly deserves any rebuttal,” Nader said.
        Also present for the Nader deposition was Gary Roberts, one of Fox's senior attorneys for its television station group based in Los Angeles.   
        Following the decision to appoint McDaniels and his Washington firm of Williams & Connolly as the lead defense attorneys in the case, Roberts and his LA colleagues have kept a low profile in the case, seldom appearing at any proceedings.
        
"Not long after we filed this suit, Mr. Roberts once sneered at Steve and me that we'd never, ever even make it trial," said plaintiff Akre. "Now, whether he intended to or not, his star seems pretty well hitched to the outcome of the case Fox never wanted a jury to hear."  

Stories Posted in the Last 30 days:

MEDIATION IS BRIEF AND UNSUCCESSFUL

FOX CHALLENGES PLAINTIFFS' rBGH EXPERTS

CRONKITE TESTIFIES FOR AKRE & WILSON 

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