In their complaint, MoveOn.org claims that:
A MoveOn.org study of the interview show "Special Report with Brit Hume" for the last six months of 2003 concluded that conservative guests outnumbered progressive guests five to one; and a similar study of the program in 2002 concluded that conservative guests outnumbered progressive ones, 14 to one.
MoveOn.org also presents quotes from a series of memoranda from John Moody, Fox News' senior vice president for news and editorial, to Fox News employees, they say demonstrate FNC's policy of support for the Bush Administration. A few examples include:
Memo dated 05/09/2003:
"Lets spend a good deal of time on the battle over judicial nominations, which the President will address this morning. Nominees who both sides admit are qualified are being held up because of their POSSIBLE, not demonstrated, views on one issue abortion. This should be a trademark issue for FNC today and in the days to come."
Memo dated 3/23/2004:
"The so-called 9/11 commission has already been meeting. In fact, this is its eighth session. The fact that former Clinton and both former and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not what did he know and when did he know it stuff. Dont turn this in to Watergate."
Memo dated 04/06/2004:
"Kerrys speech on economy at Georgetown is likely to move onto the topic of Iraq. We should take the beginning of Kerrys speech, see if it contains new information (aside from a promise to create 10 million jobs) and see if other news at that time is more compelling. It is not required to take it start to finish."
Memo dated 04/28/2004:
"Lets refer to the US marines we see in the foreground as 'sharpshooters' not snipers which carries a negative connotation."
Memo dated 05/06/2004:
"The pictures from Abu Ghraib prison are disturbing. They have rightly provoked outrage. Today we have a picture aired on Al Arabiya of an American hostage being held with a scarf over his eyes, clearly against his will. Whos outraged on his behalf?"
Fox News has acknowledged that the network holds copyrights and trademarks to protect their use of "Fair and Balanced."
FTC Not Impressed by Complaint
In a press release dated July 19, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy J. Muris clearly indicated that the Commission had little interest in pursuing MoveOn.org's complaint.
"I am not aware of any instance in which the Federal Trade Commission has investigated the slogan of a news organization," wrote Muris. "There is no way to evaluate this petition without evaluating the content of the news at issue. That is a task the First Amendment leaves to the American people, not a government agency."
The complete text of MoveOn.org's complaint against Fox News Channel can be found in .pdf format at: http://cdn.moveon.org/content/pdfs/ftc_filing.pdf