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  New Trial Judge To Be Named; Pre-trial Motions To Be Heard

TRIAL START DATE NOW JULY 10 OR LATER !
Report Archive:

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

 


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New Judge Still Unknown; Fox Dishes More Distortion on rBGH
By STEVE WILSON

        TAMPA (June 21, 2000)—While the presiding judge in the Tampa state court continues to shop for a retired jurist to hear the case of Wilson and Akre v Fox Television, the station under fire has aired yet another "investigative report" which distorts the truth about synthetic bovine growth Hormone (rBGH).
         When word spread late last week that the trial might begin Monday, the management at WTVT apparently decided it was good time for another update on the controversy surrounding rBGH.   The report, produced by the station's current investigative reporter Glenn Selig, aired on the station's 10 p.m. newscast last Friday night (June 16, 2000). 
        WTVT anchorman John Wilson (no relation to plaintiff Steve Wilson) introduced the report as part of "an on-going Fox 13 investigation."  It appears to have been only the fourth time in more than three years that the station has reported anything on the subject, a fact which could well hurt the broadcaster's case at trial.

        Selig, who got his big break in Tampa in 1997 after working in small markets in California, Michigan and the Texas dust bowl for eight years, pegged his story on the opening of Monsanto's new Posilac manufacturing plant in Augusta, Georgia.
        Although he referred to "this brand new $100 million dollar facility," Selig never mentioned the fact that the plant actually opened nearly a month ago, leading to speculation Fox may have   


Glenn Selig
Damage Control?

held the story to air primarily as damage control just before the start of the trial.  Such a decision would be consistent with Fox's strategy of claiming it has aggressively covered the story since firing Wilson and Akre. 
        Pre-trial testimony has confirmed the station did nothing to produce any story about the  rBGH issue until nearly six months after the journalists were fired--and then rushed a story together a few weeks after the dismissed reporters filed their whistleblower lawsuit against Fox.  Selig's report was the third follow-up report known to have aired on WTVT in the last two years, all of them apparently timed to influence potential jurors or help support a defense motion pending before the court.  
        Selig's story last Friday also featured a Monsanto spokesman who not only claimed milk from rBGH-injected cows is "the same as normal milk" but also that use of the artificial hormone actually provides "a better milk for the consumer."
        rBGH experts say they know of no scientific evidence to support a claim that using the artificial hormone actually improves the quality of milk.  
        The Fox reporter did not immediately respond to a request that he comment on the quality of his most-recent rBGH reporting.     
        Although Selig relied upon  much of the video and other material gathered by Wilson and Akre, it was not immediately clear why he failed to include information from a pile of documents the fired reporters left behind, including studies by Monsanto and statements from FDA officials who have said the milk is not the same.
        "These Fox people are shameless," said co-plaintiff Jane Akre.  
        "Not only do they ignore this issue until their defense case needs a boost, what they do report is either deliberately dishonest, incredibly naive, or produced by people who desperately need to go back to journalism school to learn some basics about ethical reporting,"  Akre added.
        "Is it just an accident that Selig's report is filled with inaccuracies and undocumented assumptions parading as uncontested facts?" asked Wilson.  
        "This is exactly the kind of dishonest journalism that Jane and I stood up against.  Fox advertises Selig's investigative reports as 'tough, thorough and fair.'  What aired Friday night was none of those things and not an 'investigative report' by any stretch of the term.  Tampa Bay area viewers deserve better," he said.  
       Fox attorney Patricia Anderson promised Monday to provide a videotape copy of the Selig report but has since refused to acknowledge her commitment and now simply ignores repeated requests to produce the tape she promised.   
        Editor's Note: Shortly after this page was posted, Fox
attorney Patricia Anderson faxed a note saying the tape was
ready to be picked up. The tape was provided the following
day.

Stories Posted Recently:

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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