Simply using the word “news” in “Fox News” has been declared a “deceptive practice” by the FTC.
In a surprise noontime press conference, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused Fox News of consumer fraud, and ordered it to remedy the illegal practice within 30 days or face substantial fines until it comes into compliance with existing consumer protection laws.
FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons stated that, “The FTC has completed an extensive review of Fox News broadcasts from January through December 2019 and found that having the word News in its name is misleading consumers into believing that what they receive each day are factual accounts of events occurring across America and throughout the world.
“In truth, we found that an overwhelming number of stories aired by the network have little relationship to what is actually happening in the real world. Hence, we consider being identified as Fox News to be a deceptive practice, which must be corrected expeditiously. We suggest a more appropriate name for the network might be Fox Fantasies or Fox Fabrications or, even, Fox Fictions.”
Less than a half hour after conclusion of the FTC’s press conference, Fox News broadcast a story that described the FTC as having issued a “glowing report” of the station’s operations, one which recognized its continued leadership in bringing high quality news to the public amidst a stream of dubious stories promulgated by competitors known collectively as the “fakestream” media.
In a brief aside, the Fox newscaster did acknowledge that the FTC threatened to fine Fox if it continues to include the words news in its moniker. “However,” he continued, “Fox has been contemplating changing its name for quite some time, and probably would do so in the coming weeks to better reflect its incredible brand quality, which has risen to a level unprecedented in all of broadcast history.”
Less than five minutes after this story was aired, President Trump tweeted, “FTC praise of Fox News is SUPER GREAT! However, its threat to fine them IS BIGLY BAD!!!! As such, I have just called Chairman Simons and said to him ‘YOUR FIRED!!!!!’ I have also appointed Kelley Ann Conway as acting CHAIRMAN based on her extensive experience with DECEPTIVE practices that the FTC protects US against.”
Ten minutes later, Ms. Conway appeared on the White House lawn before a phalanx of reporters to deliver the following statement. “As acting commissioner of the FTC, I have thoroughly reviewed the report released this morning concerning Fox News and found it to be flawed in the extreme. Consequently, I have rescinded the threatened fine in favor of a proclamation praising Fox News for its unerring efforts to bring the real news to its loyal audience.
“Furthermore, I have determined that CNN is actually the broadcaster guilty of the charges unfairly leveled at Fox News, and, thus, must immediately be renamed FNN – the Fake News Network – or face the wrath of the FTC’s enforcement sledgehammer. I am also ordering that all thesauruses add the following terms, rumor, innuendo, hoax, canard, conspiracy and scuttlebutt to their list of synonyms for news. Failure to do so in a timely manner will result in a tweet storm of Biblical proportions by my boss.” Ms. Conway then turned and headed back toward the White House.
A flustered CNN correspondent Jim Acosta then called out at the top of his lungs to a retreating Ms. Conway, “Why has CNN alone been cited for having a fraudulent name when many networks have shows that include news in their names?”
Ms. Conway deftly spun around, smiled widely, and said, “Sorry Jim, but I can’t answer your question until you get a White House press pass under your new employer, FNN.”