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FOX sued for false report that led to harrassment and ridicule

Reported by Chrish - July 4, 2007 -

The ham sandwich parody that was reported on FOX and Friends April 24th as real news (multiple times, as noted by Think Progress) has lead to a lawsuit by a school administrator affected by the subsequent harrassment.

Boston.com reports:

"Lewiston School Superintendent Leon Levesque is seeking $75,000 in federal court in Portland to deter what his attorney Bernard J. Kubetz characterized as irresponsible reporting by Fox News Channel.

...The lawsuit contends that Fox reported the parody as fact on its "Fox and Friends" show on April 23. The show's anchors repeated a comment attributed to Levesque, that "These children have got to learn that ham is not a toy," and that there was an effort afoot to create an "anti-ham response plan."

..."It appears to me that Fox News acted in a grossly irresponsible way and took some information that was really not very plausible, did not do any substantial fact-checking, and put it out as hard news," Kubetz said.

Levesque said he was overwhelmed for days with phone calls and hate mail, including threatening calls to his home.

Fox did a brief on-air retraction, but Levesque called it unsatisfactory. A Fox News spokesman in New York said the company does not comment on pending lawsuits."

One can only hope that the Boulder Valley School District takes note and follows suit, for Bill O'Reilly's (a.k.a. Donald Duck) reprehensible and deliberate misrepresentation of a school assembly at Boulder High School. Bill O'Reilly (and Caplis and Silverman, who also smeared the school on their radio show) have been asked to respond to the Independence Institute's issue paper documenting the falsehoods; as far as I can tell neither has yet. If and when they do News Hounds will cheerfully let you know.