Fact Check

Was Fox News Classified as 'Satire' by the FCC?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Sept. 22, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: The News Corp. building on 6th Avenue, home to Fox News, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, on March 20, 2019 in New York City, New York. Disney acquired Fox today in a $71.3 million deal. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images) (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Kevin Hagen/Getty Images
The FCC has classified Fox News as "satire" rather than a news source.

On 13 March 2012, the Free Wood Post website published an article ("Fox News Classified Satire by FCC") positing that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had reclassified Fox News "from a valid news source to that of satire" and that as a result the Fox News Channel would be running disclaimers along the bottom of viewing screens stating "This is not a valid news source":

A statement put out by the FCC says, "The decision to classify Fox News as satire has come after several years of evaluation regarding the sources of their reporting and the bias of their programming. While much of their content is based on legitimate news, it is spun is a way that cannot not be deemed newsworthy to the viewing public. If Fox News so chooses to report actual news stories of legitimacy without skewing the content we may overturn our decision and reclassify the network to a valid news source once again."

Shortly afterward links and excerpts referencing that article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a political spoof of Fox News from the satirical website Free Wood Post, whose disclaimer notes that:

Free Wood Post is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within FreeWoodPost.com are fiction, and presumably fake news.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.