Well, the $64,000 question has been answered. Fox News (Fox Propaganda is more like it) and its pundits and broadcasters, all the way to owner Rupert Murdoch, knew that the falsehoods they pushed and continue pushing to this day – that Joe Biden “stole the election” – are false. Despite knowing the election was not “stolen,” Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and their “talking head” Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy “the ridiculous” Giuliani continued spreading the conspiracy that Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic (two different companies) “rigged” their voting systems to convert votes for Trump into votes for Biden. I’ve always wondered when these guys put out their blatant voting falsehoods, do they actually believe what they are saying – that the systems were rigged – or are they just placating their viewers to keep them watching Fox News? Now we know the answer.
FOX NEWS SUED
As you already know, Fox News was sued by Dominion for $1.6 billion and by Smartmatic for $2.7 billion. These cases are still alive despite challenges brought by Fox News, Rudy and Powell along with MyPillow® guy Mike Lindell, a fervent Trump wacko.
The judge ruled, “The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true. Therefore, the Court will grant summary judgment in favor of Dominion on the element of falsity.” Wow. The Dominion trial is scheduled for this month.
FOX NEWS KNEW THEIR ELECTION CLAIMS WERE FALSE
As a result of the discovery done in the Dominion and Smartmatic lawsuits, we’ve seen emails and statements on the record that Carlson, Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Giuliani, Powell and Maria Bartiromo knew the conspiracy theories they were throwing out were not true. You may recall that my March 18, 2022, column was titled “Fox News, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani Going Down.” I stand by that statement.
BOGUS LEGAL DEFENSES
The Fox team is grasping at straws as it comes up with defenses to the lawsuits. Sidney Powell claims that no one really believed what she said. And she says that with a straight face. The Fox Team defends, claiming they are mere conduits of information. In fact, what we now know is that the Fox hosts knowingly deceived their viewers because there were afraid that if they stopped putting out the Big Lie narrative they would lose their audience to more far-right media competitors.
Tucker said in his deposition: “I hate him [Trump] passionately …I do not believe it [the Big Lie] for one second. Powell was “lying.”
Even Fox Corporation chair Rupert Murdoch said he “never believed” the lie. The election rigging claims were “really crazy.” Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal interestingly told the truth.
HIGH BURDEN OF PROOF
Dominion and Smartmatic have a high burden of proof. They need to prove Fox News and its false storytelling guests acted with “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth,” when they knowingly peddled reckless and crazy falsehoods. With the deposition testimony confirming that they knew their stories were false, the burden of proving malice or reckless disregard for the truth should be met. As Smartmatic wrote in its lawsuit: “Enough. Facts matter. Truth matters. Defendants engaged in a conspiracy to spread disinformation about Smartmatic. They lied. And they did so knowingly and intentionally.”
I’m betting the Fox News team will go down, down, down. Deservedly so.
Jim Porter is a retired attorney of Porter Simon licensed in California. Porter Simon has offices in Truckee, California and Reno, Nevada. These are Jim’s personal opinions. Jim’s practice areas included: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at email@example.com. Like us on Facebook. ©2023