Fox News Faces Lawsuit Over Perpetuated Lies About Election Fraud
Feb. 28, 2023 UPDATE: Rupert Murdoch acknowledges Fox News hosts promoted false election fraud claims in Dominion lawsuit
Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media mogul and chairman of Fox News' parent company, testified in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems, acknowledging that several hosts for his networks promoted the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald J. Trump. He disclosed that he was always dubious of Mr. Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud but could have done more to denounce it.
Mr. Murdoch’s remarks added to the evidence that Dominion has accumulated as it tries to prove its central allegation: that Fox knew Mr. Trump's claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false but broadcast them anyway in a reckless pursuit of ratings and profit. To prevail, Dominion must show not only that Fox broadcast false information, but that it did so knowingly. A judge in Delaware state court has scheduled a monthlong trial beginning in April.
Lawyers for Fox News, which filed a response to Dominion in court on Monday, argued that its commentary and reporting after the election did not amount to defamation because its hosts had not endorsed the falsehoods about Dominion, even if Mr. Murdoch stated otherwise in his deposition. The network's lawyers argued, Fox's coverage was protected under the First Amendment. However, the case is likely to revolve around questions about what people with the power to shape Fox's on-air content knew about the validity of the fraud allegations as they gave pro-Trump election deniers a platform.
Smartmatic's $2.7 Billion Defamation Case Against Fox News Moves Forward
On March 8th, a New York state judge said that Smartmatic, a multinational company that builds and implements electronic voting systems, could pursue its $2.7 billion defamation case against Fox News for falsely accusing Smatmatic of rigging the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
The Florida-based company claims that Fox News purposefully and willfully turned Smartmatic into a “Villain” in order to “boost ratings, cater to Trump supporters, and avoid losing viewers to smaller, right-wing networks Newsmax and One America News.”
In their motions to dismiss the case, Fox cited First Amendment protections. However, there is a legal division between Freedom of Speech and defamation.
The state judge specifically talked about statements made by Tucker Carlson, one of the most popular Fox News hosts, who had stated on his show that the allegations against Smartmatic were false. The state judge stated that many of Tucker’s comments were the most “strongly in favor of a possible finding that there is a substantial basis that Fox News acted with actual malice” against Smartmatic, on the basis that indicate that Fox News knew it was perpetuating fake news against the company.
Smartmatic became the second voting company to file a defamation lawsuit around the 2020 election back on February 4th, 2021. Dominion Voting filed a lawsuit against Fox News back in March 2021 for defamation over election conspiracy. A Delaware state judge also denied Fox’s motion to dismiss the case in December.
To read all the updates on both Smartmatic and Dominion Voting’s lawsuit, click Here