The issue that the current pandemic brings up is if a news source
purposefully misleads their audience, and some of them die because of
the misinformation, should the perpetrators be held accountable? Free
speech only goes so far, and killing someone would seem to cross that
line. At the very least the "news" casters would have to prove that
they were that stupid and ignorant. Some might take the insanity
defense and claim some mental lapse due to pressures of the job.
My guess is that it would not be difficult to establish that the
misinformation about the pandemic that Fox news was and in some cases
still is responsible for has led to the deaths of thousands of members
of their regular audience. The thing about the pandemic is that people
that never watch Fox News are affected by the people that do watch and
believe what they are told.
You might claim that they did not know that they were misleading the
public, but after the first hundred thousand deaths, that would be hard
to establish as a credible argument.
You might argue that Fox news' contribution was negligible because only
2 or 3 out of a thousand of their audience has died, and they would only
be accountable for the higher risk that they put their audience in, but
that is likely still thousands of deaths at this time, and still
increasing. What have they done to undo what they are responsible for
As the comment above indicates Fox News is getting a pass because people
should expect to not get reliable information from that source. That is
no excuse for killing people with the misinformation.