Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office files FCC complaint against Fox station for bias

Their official complaint cites multiple cases of biased news stories and indecent probes into state's attorney Marilyn Mosby.

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The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission about the local Fox News affiliate television station, WBFF Fox 45. The complaint claims the station’s coverage of the office — and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in particular — is “slanted,” “misleading,” “racist” and “extremely dangerous.”

The complaint, filed by Baltimore City SAO Communications Director Zy Richardson, cites FCC guidelines stating that “rigging or slanting the news is [deemed] a most heinous act against the public interest.”

Marilyn Mosby
The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office has filed an FCC complaint claiming its local Fox News affiliate’s coverage of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby (above) is “misleading” and “extremely dangerous.” (Getty Images)

Richardson also asserts “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.” 

In addition to the substance — or lack thereof — of the station’s reporting, the Baltimore City SAO filing underscores concerns about threats to Mosby’s safety. It alleges that WBFF revealed Mosby’s home address during one of its live broadcasts in 2020, and last month, the station attempted to find out what schools Mosby’s two young  children attended. 

The complaint reads “when the WBFF network and its administrators willfully publicize the State’s Attorney’s home address, and when they take further steps to facilitate the publication of where her young children attend school, their acts rise beyond mere professional irresponsibility and become what can only be reasonably deemed malicious.”

On Thursday, the state’s attorney herself amplified the FCC complaint on Twitter. “Most disturbingly, @FOXBaltimore deliberately broadcast my home address,’ and made a ‘formal inquiry attempting to find out the schools’ my children attend,” Mosby tweeted.  “It’s ridiculous and it’s dangerous.” 

Read More: Legal team for Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby, husband call federal investigation a ‘witch hunt’

The same day, WBFF published a story about the Baltimore City SAO’s FCC complaint against them stating “FOX 45 News is committed to investigating corruption in public officials, asking tough questions and holding leaders accountable… 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.” 

In March, federal prosecutors launched a probe into the finances of Mosby and her husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby. Over the past year, she has faced criticism concerning spending related to her international trips and private travel business but has denied having done anything illegal. 

Read More: Baltimore to end nonviolent criminal prosecutions

Last month, Mosby appeared on the radio station WBAL to talk about the investigation. 

“I’ve received hate mails, death threats that have described how my husband would be killed coming out of my house and how no police would respond,” she said. “Yet despite these attempts to rattle me, I still continue to fight for reform of a broken system that dehumanizes people of color.”

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