Network of The Damned

Published: April 18, 2023

By Jim Lichtman
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Barring a last minute settlement, today is D-day for the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News Corp.

Dominion is suing Fox for $1.6 billion alleging that the cable network and its “news” hosts spread misinformation and lies propagated by former President Trump and his allies regarding the results of the 2020 presidential election while knowing the truth. When the votes were counted, Joe Biden won, and Donald Trump lost.

But as is his wont, Trump went on a rampage claiming fraud. One of the swing states cited was Michigan.

In December 2020, John Poulos, the company’s chief executive, told Michigan’s State Senate Oversight Committee that the company is a victim of “a dangerous and reckless disinformation campaign aimed at sowing doubt and confusion over the 2020 presidential election,” The New York Times reported.

When asked by committee members if the machine count could be manipulated, Poulos said (now listen carefully class, as it may take a few seconds for some to understand):

“If there was any manipulation of the system, those paper ballots would not match the machine totals.”

Guess what? They matched.

A statement released by Michigan’s Secretary of State Joycelyn Benson reads in part:

“Beginning on Wednesday, November 4, several inaccurate claims were made about the conduct of the 2020 Election. In general, these claims were either entirely fabricated, based upon misunderstanding of election processes, or the result of incorrect inferences that human errors were intentional misconduct. Post-election audits conducted by the Bureau of Elections and county clerks found no examples of fraud or intentional misconduct by election officials and no evidence that equipment used to tabulate or report election results did not function properly when properly programmed and tested.”

After numerous Fox hosts challenged the results based on information provided by Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and others, Dominion filed a defamation suit against Fox alleging that Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and others knew the truth and continued to air interviews with Giuliani and Powell allegedly spreading election misinformation and lies. Emails between the hosts represent part of the evidence that will be presented at trial.

What do Fox attorneys say about the lawsuit?

“Fox has said the $1.6 billion that Dominion is seeking is a “staggering figure that has no factual support’ and was ‘pulled out of thin air.’ There has been no evidence of Dominion’s laying off employees, closing offices, defaulting on credit obligations, or suffering canceled contracts as a result of Fox’s coverage, the network said,” The New York Times reported.

Note: attorneys have not commented on Fox hosts knowing the truth they shared in emails.

However, skipping over the legal argle-bargle from Fox, the case comes down to one point: Fox hosts were aware of the truth about the results of the election and complicit in allegedly spreading lies.

That’s it!

If Dominion wins its case, there are likely to be long-term consequences for all media organizations.

For now, however, absent a last-minute settlement, the two parties are going to court, and Carlson, Hannity, Bartiromo, Ingraham and a raft of others including Fox executives including owner Rupert Murdoch are going to be put on the stand to testify about the truth they knew of the Big Lie.

What makes Dominion’s case even more damning for Fox are statements from Murdoch himself, as reported by National Public Radio.

“Asked by a Dominion attorney whether ‘Fox endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election,’ Murdoch demurred, saying, ‘Not Fox, no. Not Fox. But maybe Lou Dobbs, maybe Maria [Bartiromo] as commentators.’

“The lawyer pressed on. Did Fox’s Bartiromo endorse it?

“Murdoch’s reply: ‘Yes. C’mon.’

“Fox News host Jeanine Pirro? ‘I think so.’

“Then-Fox Business Network host Dobbs? ‘Oh, a lot.’

“Fox News prime-time star Sean Hannity? ‘A bit.’

“Pressed whether they endorsed the narrative of a stolen election, Murdoch finally gave in: ‘Yes. They endorsed.’”

Your honor, I rest my case.

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