We reported last week that the federal probe into Fox News’s payments to women claiming sexual harassment has broadened to include another federal agency. Don’t get too excited – it’s only the United States Postal Service.
The WSJ reported Thursday about the widening investigation but it was a bit one-sided. The article, ‘Scope of Federal Probe Into Fox News Broadens’, describes the investigation while rehashing the accusations against Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and Bill Shine that led to it without detailing the absurdity of some of the complaints. It also could be clearer about the seriousness of the probe.
The focus of the investigation is to determine if Fox News properly informed investors of the payoffs. Deep into the article, they write:
“…the prosecutors investigating Fox are in the securities unit of the U.S. attorney’s office, the people familiar with the probe said. To prove a securities-law violation related to the company’s financial disclosures, prosecutors would likely have to meet a high bar by showing 21st Century Fox intentionally misled investors by omitting or misstating information that a reasonable investor would have considered important, legal experts said.
If prosecutors believed settlement payments were falsely recorded as other types of expenditures, they could also bring criminal charges under a rarely used provision of the securities laws requiring public companies to keep accurate books and records, the lawyers said.”
The operative words are “high bar” and “rarely”. This is going nowhere.
The charges originally came from complaints by the left. This is the War on Fox – right-wing Fox – soon to be the new CNN.