November 16, 2020
Counter Point to Fox News’ “Reasonable Viewer” Defense.
United States District Court Civil No. 1:20-cv-4466-AT.
Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D., a bitter and disenfranchised liberal academic, fed up with the abuses of cable news, has filed a novel and provocative law suit against both sides of the polarized and polarizing networks, both parties for Free Speech and multiple Civil Rights violations.
Not surprising at all, perhaps even a bit trite and in the opinion of most, or just another in a long series of futile efforts by one man against monstrous corporations with legal and financial resources that could dwarf an army let alone a sole, even though quite capable, individual trying to make a point. But what makes Dr. Bralich’s approach most novel and most provocative is that it just might work.
Fox infamously won a legal victory against both a civil complainant and the reasonable viewers of the nation, when it defended one of its bilious and fuming, ever-outraged on-air talents by arguing that a “Reasonable Viewer” would not take Fox News on-air personalities seriously. Dr. Bralich’s approach however is to address this issue head on, arguing that the reasonable viewer is the last viewer that Fox wishes to attract and nurture and that they actively and consciously mitigate against such viewership while cultivating an audience of the slow, the uneducated, the highly neurotic, and the foolish in order to have their intended effect, which is to gather audience share and sell advertising while advancing the careers of themselves, their guests, and the wealthiest members of the right wing at the expense and to the great detriment of the audiences they cultivate.
The viability of Dr. Bralich’s complaint, even in the face of such overwhelming and daunting opponents, lies in his argument that the networks and the parties have consciously and deliberately abdicated their responsibilities as mature, educated adults and U.S. citizens to realize their aims and, acting under the color of law through a carefully orchestrated parade of politicians, lawyers, judges, and law enforcement representatives, convince their target audience of the veracity of the opinions they propagate. In short, they line their pockets through the disaffection of the reasonable viewer and the cultivation of the unreasonable.
Good luck to Dr. Bralich.