Baltimore’s State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) accused a local Fox News affiliate of “racist” and “extremely dangerous” reporting and is pushing the federal government to step in.
The SAO filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against the local Baltimore television station WBFF Fox 45, claiming that the station was spreading misinformation and endangering the lives of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her family. Mosby, along with her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby, are reportedly under investigation by federal authorities for possible corruption charges.
SAO communications director Zy Richardson outlined the office’s disputes with Fox 45:
This is a formal complaint requesting an investigation into the broadcasting practices and media content distributed by FCC-licensed station WBFF, a Baltimore City-based Fox News-affiliated network, specifically the content distributed to the public about the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO), a government entity, and its lead prosecutor, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby that upon viewing could reasonably be categorized as blatantly slanted, dishonest, misleading, racist, and extremely dangerous. …
In my capacity at the States [sic] Attorney’s Office, I have noted that the news coverage of the WBFF persistently follows a disconcerting and dangerous pattern: beginning with a slanted, rigged, misleading, or inflammatory headline; followed by a conspiracy theory; and supported with guest commentary from disgruntled ex-employees or political opponents that lend false credibility to their biased coverage or omission of facts. Utilizing this pattern of practice in their broadcasts, citizens are not only consistently misinformed about the basis and intent of prosecutorial policies, additionally the merit of criminal convictions are distorted to detract from the public good championed by prosecutors. Most disturbingly, there appears to be an intentional crusade against State’s Attorney Mosby, which given today’s politically charged and divisive environment, is extremely dangerous.
Richardson said the “tone” of Fox 45’s coverage violates FCC rules and is against the “public interest.” She drew connections to Fox News and its conservative host Tucker Carlson, claiming that the network “is infamous for its bias against people of color.”
Richardson cited one instance where Fox 45 broadcast Mosby’s home address, and another in which the local station attempted to find out which schools Mosby’s children attended. Richardson said the reporting was “heinous” and “deliberately dangerous.”
Mosby’s house is under a $45,000 tax lien for three years-worth of unpaid federal taxes.
Richardson then cited a number of news stories critical of Mosby’s work and policies, as well as investigations digging into Mosby’s ties to progressive groups. The state’s attorney has received roughly $60,000 worth of free travel from Fair and Just Prosecution, a progressive justice organization.
Fox 45 covered the SAO letter to the FCC, hitting back at Richardson’s claims in its story.
“FOX45 News is committed to investigating corruption in public officials, asking tough questions and holding leaders accountable. Our award-winning investigative unit is a key part of delivering that commitment. While we understand that it may not be popular with the individuals and institutions upon which we are shining a light, we stand by our reporting,” the outlet said.