Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Last Call For Outfoxed And Outnumbered, Con't

Things are going tremendously badly for Fox News in the Domain Voting Services defamation case against the network, and the more the proceedings go on, the worse things are getting for Rupert Murdoch and friends.
Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis on Wednesday sanctioned Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp., for withholding evidence in the Dominion defamation suit, and said he's considering further investigation and censure.

According to a person present in the courtroom, lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems played recordings Fox News producer Abby Grossberg made during 2020, which were not handed over to Dominion's lawyers during discovery.

Grossberg, a former producer for Fox hosts Maria Bartiromo and Tucker Carlson, has sued Fox News and said her deposition was coerced. In an amended filing Tuesday, she said she had recorded conversations with Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and others.

The sanction gives Dominion a chance to conduct another deposition, at Fox’s expense.

"As counsel explained to the Court, FOX produced the supplemental information from Ms. Grossberg when we first learned it," Fox News said in a statement Wednesday.

The surprise evidence and sanction comes days before the trial is scheduled to begin in the $1.6 billion defamation case Dominion Voting Systems filed against Fox News and Fox Corp. Davis also said Wednesday he was considering appointing a special master to investigate the Fox legal teams' actions.

In a statement, Grossberg's attorneys said she would be willing to speak with a special master if one is appointed.

“We are pleased that the Court recognized the very serious apparent discovery-related and other gross misconduct perpetrated by Fox News and its team of high-powered attorneys in relation to the Dominion v. Fox lawsuit that our client, Abby Grossberg, has courageously and repeatedly revealed in her lawsuits against the Network," Parisis G. Filippatos and Tanvir H. Rahman said Wednesday.

"Ms. Grossberg remains committed to speaking the truth in all appropriate forums, including before a Special Master appointed by the Court, while our firm will continue to ensure that she obtains the justice she deserves,” they added.

On Tuesday, Davis expressed frustration at Fox News for not being straightforward about Rupert Murdoch's role as a leader at Fox News.

"This is a problem," Davis said, according to a court transcript. "I need to feel comfortable when you represent something to me that is the truth
Fox News is going to get burned to the ground, and a better outcome for America couldn't be scripted. 

In all seriousness I expect this case to be tied up for years in appeals and courtroom drama, and in the end I expect a settlement that heavily favors Dominion.

But it does mean Fox News may have to apologies publicly, and denounce Trump's Big Lie as a result.

National Public Revolution

After being labeled as "state-sponsored media" by Elon Musk's Twitter (later changed this week to "state-affiliated media,") National Public Radio is leaving the social media service completely.

NPR will no longer post fresh content to its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform. In explaining its decision, NPR cited Twitter's decision to first label the network "state-affiliated media," the same term it uses for propaganda outlets in Russia, China and other autocratic countries.

The decision by Twitter last week took the public radio network off guard. When queried by NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn, Twitter owner Elon Musk asked how NPR functioned. Musk allowed that he might have gotten it wrong.

Twitter then revised its label on NPR's account to "government-funded media." The news organization says that is inaccurate and misleading, given that NPR is a private, nonprofit company with editorial independence. It receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

By going silent on Twitter, NPR's chief executive says the network is protecting its credibility and its ability to produce journalism without "a shadow of negativity."

"The downside, whatever the downside, doesn't change that fact," NPR CEO John Lansing said in an interview. "I would never have our content go anywhere that would risk our credibility."

In a BBC interview posted online Wednesday, Musk suggested he may further change the label to "publicly funded." His words did not sway NPR's decision makers. Even if Twitter were to drop the designation altogether, Lansing says the network will not immediately return to the platform.

"At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter," he says. "I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.
NPR is instituting a "two-week grace period" so the staff who run the Twitter accounts can revise their social-media strategies. Lansing says individual NPR journalists and staffers can decide for themselves whether to continue using Twitter.

In an email to staff explaining the decision, Lansing wrote, "It would be a disservice to the serious work you all do here to continue to share it on a platform that is associating the federal charter for public media with an abandoning of editorial independence or standards."
Elon Musk owns Twitter and makes the rules.
The rest of the world doesn't have to play ball, as Elon Musk is finding out.

Book Ban Bonanza

A federal judge earlier this month ordered that children's' books banned by county commission officials in Llano County, Texas's only public library be returned to shelves as county commissioners violated the Constitution. This week, the county commission is considering their response to the judge's order and will be voting on whether or not they should be permanently closing the county's library.
A small Texas county is weighing whether to shut down its public library system after a federal judge ruled the commissioners violated the constitution by banning a dozen mostly children's books and ordered that they be put back in circulation.

The Llano County commissioners have scheduled for Thursday a special meeting in which the first item on the agenda is whether to "continue or cease operations" at the library.

Leila Green Little, one of the seven local residents who successfully sued the county for banning the books, fired off an email Monday urging county residents to attend the special meeting and give the commissioners an earful.

“We may not get another opportunity to save our library system and, more importantly, the public servants who work there,” Little wrote.

In the message, Little also included a screenshot of a text message that Bonnie Wallace, who is vice chairman of the Llano County Library Advisory Board, sent to one of her supporters. It was obtained by the seven residents as part of the discovery for the civil suit they filed against the county on April 25, 2022.

It read, in part, "the judge has said, if we lose the injunction, he will CLOSE the library because he WILL NOT put the porn back in the kid's section!"

Wallace, who did not return a call for comment from NBC News, was referring to Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham, according to Little. The judge also did not return a call from NBC News. It was not immediately clear what books Wallace was describing as "porn."

The books that Llano County officials removed from the library shelves include Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”; "They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group" by Susan Campbell Bartoletti; the graphic novel "Spinning" by Tillie Walden; and three books from Dawn McMillan’s “I Need a New Butt!” series.

Last year, an assistant principal at a Mississippi elementary school was fired after he read “I Need a New Butt!” to a second-grade class. The reason? Because the book used words like “butt” and “fart” and included cartoon images of a child’s butt.

Also removed from the library were Maurice Sendak’s "In the Night Kitchen"; Robie H. Harris’ "It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health"; and four other children's picture books with "silly themes and rhymes," like "Larry the Farting Leprechaun," "Gary the Goose and His Gas on the Loose"; "Freddie the Farting Snowman" and "Harvey the Heart Has Too Many Farts," according to the complaint.

The Llano County emergency meeting was called after U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman ruled last week in favor of the seven local residents who sued Cunningham, Wallace, the Llano County commissioners, and the other library board members for removing the books.

"Defendants claim to be on a hunt to eradicate 'pornographic' materials," the residents said in their complaint. "This is a pretext; none of the books Defendants have targeted is pornographic."
So yes, we've reached the point where screeching conservatives afraid of kids reading about butts and white hoods would rather shut down libraries than allow kids to read.
Republicans are getting involved in local government to shut that government and its services down: libraries, schools, public transportation, social services, the whole thing. They're doing so in order to keep the populace ignorant, miserable, and under control.
Of course, those who can afford books and private schools and cars and don't need social service programs will be fine. The rest of us are screwed, because we don't count as human anyway. The cost of civilization and all that has become "I got mine, now I'm taking yours."
The GOP way.
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