Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems reached a resolution of the latter’s $1.6 billion lawsuit filed in Delaware Superior Court on Tuesday, 10 hours after the trial began. The details of the settlement have yet to be made public. Dominion claimed Fox’s coverage caused it “enormous and irreparable economic harm.”
Superior Court Judge Eric Davis dismissed the jury on Tuesday afternoon as he announced the settlement.
Lawyers for the Fox News Channel had begun to claim that former President Donald Trump’s claims about the rigging of the 2020 election and accusations against Dominion Voting Systems made covering those assertions newsworthy. Consequently, they argue that the allegations were not libelous or motivated by malice.
U.S. Supreme Court precedent requires proof of “actual malice” in order to recover damages in a libel case. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant had doubts about the truth or falsity of a story.
Dominion’s legal team contended that Fox News acted with such “actual malice” continually and not in one or two cases. Its February legal brief cites internal emails from Fox personalities including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Dana Perino, and Maria Bartiromo believed the claims being made by Sidney Powell were false.
Carlson expressed skepticism, telling Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis that the evidence for the claims that Dominion’s software had been manipulated to the then president’s disadvantage was circumstantial and that it was “shockingly reckless” to claim otherwise. He also slammed former Fox host Lou Dobbs saying he was “reckless” for taking the vote-rigging claims seriously. These claims cost Dobbs his job.
Bartiromo called the claims “kooky.”
Fox executives, however, claimed that having people like Ellis, Powell, and former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani on was “ratings gold.” The fact Trump kept repeating these falsehoods that Fox’s own hosts believed to be questionable shields the network from liability, Newsweek reported that Fox’s attorneys are claiming. Trump has not let go of the accusations and has stuck to his guns.
“IF FOX WOULD FINALLY ADMIT THAT THERE WAS LARGE SCALE CHEATING & IRREGULARITIES IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, WHICH WOULD BE A GOOD THING FOR THEM, & FOR AMERICA, THE CASE AGAINST THEM, WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE EXISTED AT ALL, WOULD BE GREATLY WEAKENED,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Monday.
“FOX NEWS IS IN BIG TROUBLE IF THEY DO NOT EXPOSE THE TRUTH ON CHEATING IN THE 2020 ELECTION,” Trump wrote in a second post. “THEY SHOULD DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR AMERICA. WHEN RUPERT MURDOCH SAYS THAT THERE WAS NO CHEATING IN LIGHT OF THE MASSIVE PROOF THAT WAS THERE, IT IS RIDICULOUS AND VERY HARMFUL TO THE FOX CASE. PERHAPS HE SHOULD SAY THAT ‘HE JUST DIDN’T KNOW,’ BUT THAT IS HARD TO BELIEVE.
“RUPERT, JUST TELL THE TRUTH AND GOOD THINGS WILL HAPPEN, THE ELECTION OF 2020 WAS RIGGED AND STOLLEN…YOU KNOW IT, & SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE!”
Newsweek reported that Fox attorneys claimed on Sunday night that Dominion had reduced the damages it was seeking to $600 million, down from $1.6 billion. The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal had reported that Fox was looking to settle the suit out of court.
In the end, both sides settled for $787,500,000.
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John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.
April 18, 2023 at 11:21 pm
Finally, Fox admits they were lying to their audience about trump’s “Big Lie”. They knew he lost the election, yet pushed the lies for fear of losing viewers to the far right Newsmax. The big question now surrounds the idiots that have believed trump all this time…will they continue to isolate themselves by putting their heads in the sand? Are they even capable of understanding and believing the truth? It takes courage to abruptly change one’s beliefs. I’m betting many find a way to reject facts.
April 19, 2023 at 7:26 am
It’s time for the idiots who supported Trump to come to terms with the simple truth. There weren’t enough of you in 2020 to get Trump re-elected. It wasn’t stollen. You just didn’t have the numbers. You may have thought Trump was a genius, but most of us knew better.