The plaintiff’s attorney said US station Fox News had reached a settlement with voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems in a defamation case against that company. The station will pay $787.5 million in connection with spreading lies about Dominion about alleged fraud in the 2020 election.
In a lawsuit, Dominion Voting Systems, the company that makes voting machines, is seeking $1.6 billion in damages from Fox News allowing conspiracy theories, including those of Donald Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. They accused the company of being involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy involving “communists from Venezuela, Cuba and China” over Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election.
The settlement was announced before the long-awaited first court hearing began in Wilmington, Delaware. The settlement states that the station will pay $787.5 million in connection with the reproduction of Lies About Dominion.
Dominion attorney Justin Nelson stated, “The truth matters, lies have consequences.” “Over two years ago, a storm of lies swept the Dominion and election officials across America into an alternate realm of conspiracy theories, causing massive damage to the Dominion and the country,” he said during a news conference. The details of the settlement are unknown, attorneys for the company do not officially answer the question of whether Fox News will apologize publicly and whether the station has committed to internal reforms.
“We recognize the court’s ruling that certain allegations about Dominion are false. The settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest standards of journalism,” the station said in a statement.
Reuters notes that the settlement would allow Fox to avoid the “risk” of being subpoenaed and questioned by some of the most senior figures, including Fox owner and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Fox News CEO Susan Scott, as well as the station’s top stars – Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Janine Pirro.
The decision to reach the settlement was preceded by a court ruling last month that concluded that Fox could not invoke her defense of the right to free speech guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Lies about the election on Fox News
The case attracts huge media attention across the country. As a result of the lawsuit, right-wing television was forced to reveal internal conversations and emails of senior figures in the channel, including Murdoch and prominent columnists. The news showed that both journalists and Murdoch knew that conspiracy theories about election fraud promoted, among other things, by Rudy Giuliani were bogus and ridiculed them. However, they let Giuliani and others make it on the air without correction from the hosts.
Among the leaked messages, Carlson, who is known for his fondness for Donald Trump, the presenter of the station’s most popular program, stated that he “deeply hates” the former president, adding that “everyone should pretend” and praise the accomplishments of his presidency “because acknowledging a disaster was too hard to swallow.”
In addition to Fox News, Dominion sued for defamation other right-wing television networks — Newsmax and One America News Network — for spreading conspiracy theories about the election. She claimed over a billion dollars in damages against all of them.
This is not the end of Fox News’ problems
Although Fox ended its dispute with Dominion, the TV still faced a similar lawsuit brought by another company that produces voting machines. Smartmatic is seeking $2.7 billion in damages from the station for spreading lies about election fraud.
Also, in March of this year, Fox News producer Abe Grosberg filed two lawsuits against the company. In them, the station was accused of creating a hostile and discriminatory work environment and forcing them to tell lies about the Dominion issue. She was released after the charges were brought against her.
Reuters, PAP, New York Times
Main image source: Justin Lin/Pap/Eba
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