Baltimore, MD – The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday that claimed the local FOX station’s coverage of Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby was “blatantly slanted, dishonest, misleading, racist, and extremely dangerous.”
The letter of complaint against FOX-affiliate WBFF was written by Mosby’s communications director, Zy Richardson, The Baltimore Sun reported.
It alleged WBFF had engaged in what “appears to be an intentional crusade” against Mosby, “which given today’s politically charged and divisive environment, is extremely dangerous.”
The Baltimore City Inspector General also recently named Mosby in a scathing report on the state of the city.
Mosby’s husband, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby, is also the target of a federal criminal investigation, WBFF reported.
The couple’s house is under an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lien for unpaid federal income taxes.
The Baltimore FOX affiliate is owned by the Hunt Valley Sinclair Broadcast Group, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The FCC fined Sinclair $48 million in 2020 in an unrelated matter for actions it took while trying to win the commission’s approval for its $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media.
Sinclair has defended its reporting on Mosby and WBFF Vice President and General Manager Billy Robbins stood up for their news coverage of the Baltimore state’s attorney, The Baltimore Sun reported.
“FOX45 News is committed to investigating corruption in public officials, asking tough questions and holding leaders accountable,” WBFF said in a statement. “Our award-winning investigative unit is a key part of delivering that commitment. 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.”
Mosby’s office alleged in the complaint that WBFF’s coverage of Mosby and her office was “a 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 the biased coverage or omission of facts,” The Baltimore Sun reported.
The complaint noted the WBFF covered Mosby and her office much more frequently than other local news stations.
Richardson wrote that in 2020, WBFF ran 248 stories, WJZ ran 46, WBAL ran 26, and WMAR only ran 10 stories, The Baltimore Sun reported.
“While the frequency of the coverage in question by WBFF would give any reasonable person pause, it is the tone of coverage that violates FCC rules, the coverage by WBFF represents acts that are not merely against the public interest; they also represent acts that are inflammatory against the public safety of an elected official,” the complaint read.
Richardson alleged that WBFF “deliberately” broadcasted Mosby’s home address and tried to find out where her children went to school, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The complaint claimed the television station’s actions “rise beyond mere professional irresponsibility and become what can reasonably be deemed malicious, against the public interest, and a pointed threat to the State’s Attorney’s life and that of her family.”
Mosby has been in the hot seat since her failed prosecution of the six Baltimore police officers involved in the 2015 arrest of Freddie Gray.
Mosby’s office claimed that when officers arrested Gray, they put him into the back of a police transport van in handcuffs, without a seatbelt.
After the van ride, Gray was found unconscious with broken neck. His death a week later sparked some of the worst riots ever seen in Baltimore.
Mosby quickly brought charges against the six officers before an investigation and had them arrested when there was no apparent probable cause for the arrests.
Three of the officers were acquitted during bench trials, and Mosby was forced to drop the charges against the other three officers when it was apparent it would be impossible to convict the officers.
The officers’ lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution was eventually dismissed because Mosby’s position as a prosecutor makes her legally immune from malicious prosecution lawsuits. Since then, Mosby has infuriated more community members with her progressive policies regarding law enforcement and incarceration.
A year ago, she dismissed 600 criminal cases and announced her office would no longer be prosecuting drug offenses and other non-violent, quality of life crimes in Baltimore.