NEXT DEVELOPMENT:
Trial Continues 

Plaintiffs Continue 
Presentation of
their Case in Chief"

Report Archive:

Ž August 5, 2000:
Guest Editorial


Ž July 27, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Days 8-9
Startling Admission from Fox
V-P Who Fired Wilson/Akre

Ž July 26, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Day 7
V-P News Lays Claim To
Insanity Defense

Ž July 24, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Day 6
Second week of trial begins

Ž July 21, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Day 5
Week one ends with a bang;
Fox seeks mistrial, Judge
says no

Ž  July 20, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Days 3 and 4 

Ž July 18, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Day 2


Ž July 17, 2000:
Trial Coverage: Day 1

Ž July 14, 2000:
Justice For Sale In Tampa?
Finally at the courthouse,
litigants can't afford to use
the courtroom facilities

Ž July 12, 2000:
Fox Loses Key Motion; Jury
Is Seated

Plaintiffs do not have to
prove Fox guilty of violating Communications Act

Ž July 8, 2000:
Potential Landmine Could
Derail Entire Case

Ž June 30, 2000:
Judge Steinberg Ready To
Get Case Back On Track

Ž June 26, 2000:
Another Judge Says 'No' to Hearing Wilson/Akre v Fox Case

Ž June 21, 2000:
Still No Judge To Hear Fox/BGH Case While Foxes Dishes More Distortion To WTVT Tampa Viewers

Ž June 16, 2000:
Trial Date Pushed Back Again; New Judge To Be Selected

Ž June 8, 2000:
Fox  Manager Who Fired Akre and Wilson In Tampa Gets Big Promotion 
David Boylan Flies Into The Sunset to Manage KTTV, Los Angeles

Ž June 6, 2000:
Fox Trial Will Start Sooner Than Expected
It will proceed in the heat of the summer, probably in July

Ž May 25, 2000:
Fox Trial Will Not Start June 12 as Scheduled

Ž May 18, 2000:
Fox Still Stalls on Testimony of Its president Mitchell Stern
Pre-trial hearing is otherwise uneventful

Ž May 8, 2000:
Ralph Nader Testifies About Broadcasters' Public Interest Requirement
Presidential candidate gives testimony at pre-trial depo 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ž 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)

Ž January 25:
ENS Summary of BGH Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ž October 24:
Reporters Get Top SPJ Ethics Award

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

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

Ž Sept 13:
Akre-Wilson Depos Start

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

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

Ž Sept 8:
Fox Pulls Plug on NutraSweet Foe

Ž Sept 1:
Reporters Respond To Defense

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

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

Ž July 5:
OBSERVER/London
Digger Still Plays Dirty

Ž July 1:
Depositions Continue, Trial Date Set

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

Ž May 26:
Judge rejects Defense motion
for Protective Order

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

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

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

Ž April 29:
FOX-TV asks court:
Dismiss case and Delay depositions

 In His Own Words
  STEVE  WILSON'S  REACTION
 
  “If you’re really looking for the truth, look for it where it is:
                        at the bottom of a bottomless pit.”

  ΎWR Grace defense attorney Jerome Facher to attorney Jan Schlichtmann suing on behalf of people harmed by Grace's pollution in Wordham, MA (in the 1998 film A Civil Action)


        Clarence Jones, an investigative reporter I've long admired, had lunch with us not long after we filed our whistleblower suit against Fox back in April of 1998.
        He told us we were crazy.
        He told us a courtroom is no place for two journalists to look for vindication, much less for justice.  
         Clarence Jones is one smart fellow.
        Please don't get me wrong.  I'm certainly not disappointed with the verdict those six conscientious people meted out last Friday evening (August 18, 2000).  I may not have gotten a dime in damages but Jane's victory is every bit my victory, too.  
        In her reaction story, Jane explains exactly what many believe happened in the secrecy of the juror room.  And the important point to remember is not who got money and who did not...we both got exactly what we went to court to get.  This was no partial victory.
        If, as Jane and others believe, I fell on my own sword to bring out the facts that helped the jurors reach the verdict they did, it was a sacrifice I was happy to make.  And we now have new information that the aggressiveness I showed interrogating witnesses in the courtroom--where they blurted out the truth that shocked even Fox's own attorneys--that aggressiveness was not a factor in the final decision, says a juror we promised not to name.    
       Here's the most likely scenario inside that jury room:  the jurors were instructed that opposition to producing a false and slanted news report--or threatening to blow the whistle about it--had to be the sole reason for the decision not to renew each of our contracts.  Fox repeatedly suggested other possibilities.  
        They claimed, and I admitted, that I was a difficult employee when asked to lie on the air.  They suggested I violated my confidentiality agreement when I asked other journalists for suggestions how to deal with the situation.  And if the jurors believed there was any other reason not to renew my contract, they could not have followed the instructions they were given and returned a verdict for me
        I have to laugh now when I see WTVT's News V-P trying to convince the audience--and himself--that Friday August 18th  was "a wonderful day for Fox 13."
        Being hauled into court and then ordered to pay nearly half-a-million dollars to a reporter you fired because she threatened to blow the whistle to the FCC about your bad journalism, that does not meet the definition of a wonderful day as measured by the yardstick of any professional journalists I know.
        And just when I was beginning to think these Fox folks couldn't get any more shameless, they put their own attorney on the air to say the verdict "does not have to do with distortion news.  It does not have to do with falsification of the news."
        Apparently, they not only think their viewers are stupid, they think they have lousy memories, too.  
        Anyone watching the same anchorwoman on the same station at 6 p.m. heard an entirely different and decidedly more- accurate report:  "Fox 13 management fired Akre back in 1997 and the jury found the station violated the state's whistleblower law when they did it."
        You'd think that television station just found guilty of distorting the news wouldn't go out of it's way to distort the news about how they just got nailed by a jury for distorting the news.  You'd think that only if you didn't know much about what news means in the corporate suites at Fox Television.  
        Anybody who walked into the courtroom and heard WTVT's former General Manager David Boylan testify might have gotten a pretty clear idea of what I'm talking about here.  
        I couldn't have been the only one who could see that this former salesman believes the actual news reports his station airs are really just the filler between all those commercials!          

DAVID BOYLAN

        And where can thinking like that get an executive at Fox?  Promoted.  In a hurry.  After just three years at WTVT where he let lawyers make news decisions, Boylan has been rewarded with the manager's job at KTTV in Los Angeles, Fox's second-biggest station. 
        I hope the trial opened some eyes that people like Boylan and his news director Phillip Metlin are what is wrong with television news today.  They know the fastest path or personnel success is to put the corporate interest ahead of the public interest.  And while that may be fine at the Bank of America, it shouldn't be that way at a television station that uses the public airways to make piles of profits.  
        As Ralph Nader told the jury, it's not just a good idea for broadcasters to operate their stations in the public interest, it's the law!

        And now that they've been shamed and defeated, Fox lawyers will go to work to convince the judge that he should just set aside the jury's decision on some legal technicality.  
        It could happen, despite the five weeks those jurors  

WILL HE SET ASIDE VERDICT?
labored hard to listen and weigh all the evidence.  Despite the six hours they so carefully considered the right thing to do.  Even despite the fact the Judge Steinberg assured them that they and juries like them are the cornerstone of our democratic justice system.
        And if they cannot get the trial court judge to reverse the jury's finding, they'll no doubt be off to Florida's Second District Court of Appeals with a pile of paperwork aimed at convincing a three-judge panel that Steinberg made reversible errors.   
        But six honest people have spoken.  They spent more than a month looking at all the evidence.  They unanimously reached a conclusion that Fox retaliated and fired its own reporter who threatened to blow the whistle about a news report those six honest people have agreed was "false, distorted or slanted." 
        No matter what happens from here on out, that decision will stand on the public record.  And for an outfit that calls itself an honest news organization, that is a stain that no reversal on any legal technicality will ever wash away.   

[If you or your group would like to learn more about "Winning with the News Media," you can learn more about investigative reporter Clarence Jones, his book, and his wisdom and experience in this area by visiting his website at:
http://www.winning-newsmedia.com]

CLICK HERE to return to "Victory" Page

CLICK HERE to read Jane Akre's reaction to the verdict

Stories Posted Recently:

GUEST EDITORIAL:  WAKE UP, YOU WATCHDOGS

TRIAL COVERAGE:  STARTLING ADMISSIONS FROM FOX V-P WHO FIRED WILSON/AKRE

TRIAL COVERAGE:  INSANITY DEFENSE FOR FOX?

TRIAL COVERAGE:  SECOND WEEK BEGINS

TRIAL COVERAGE:  WEEK ONE ENDS WITH BANG

TRIAL COVERAGE:  DAYS THREE AND FOUR

TRIAL COVERAGE:  DAY TWO

TRIAL COVERAGE:  DAY ONE


JUSTICE FOR SALE AT THE COURTHOUSE?

FOX AIRS ANOTHER DISTORTED STORY ON rBGH

TRIAL DELAYED; NEW JUDGE TO BE CHOSEN

FOX MGR WHO FIRED JOURNOS GETS PROMOTED TO FOX'S SECOND-BIGGEST STATION

TRIAL TO START SOON, LATE JUNE/EARLY JULY

TRIAL DELAYED AGAIN WILL NOT START 6/12

FOX STALLS ON TESTIMONY OF ITS PRESIDENT

RALPH NADER TESTIFIES RE PUBLIC INTEREST

MEDIATION IS BRIEF AND UNSUCCESSFUL

FOX CHALLENGES PLAINTIFFS' rBGH EXPERTS

CRONKITE TESTIFIES FOR AKRE & WILSON 


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