Dominion Voting Systems files defamation lawsuit against Fox News
Thousands of pages of recently released documents related to Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox for its post-election reporting. The pages offer insight into how Fox’s leadership responded at a time of high anxiety and how giving its audience what it wanted to hear took precedence over reporting uncomfortable truths. The revelations bolstered critics who say Fox News Channel should be considered a propaganda network rather than a news outlet.
Joe Russomanno and Julia Wallace, of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, discussed the lawsuit.
“This is based on programming that Fox News had in the aftermath of the 2020 election, in which, what some people have come to call various conspiracy theories, various attempts to find fault or blame, implicated Dominion Voting Systems,” said Russomanno.
Dominion Voting Systems manufactured some of the voting systems in place during the 2020 election. As Russomanno pointed out, Fox News seemed to place blame on the organization for the election results.
“When the reputation of an individual or a corporation is falsely diminished, that individual or corporation has the option of filing a libel or defamation claim against the defendant, so in this case, that is Fox News,” said Russomanno.
Recent documents have revealed that some Fox executives and on-air talent did not agree with Fox’s political claims.
“They are very critical of Trump,” said Wallace. “On the air they’re saying one thing, and in person, they’re saying something else, that’s what the documents tell us.”
According to Wallace, these documents reveal that Fox News has established itself as a partisan press. However, partisan press is not a new concept. As Wallace points out, partisan press has existed in the U.S. since the Revolutionary War.
“What this shows is partisan press with a twist, which is about making money,” said Wallace. “Part of their whole balancing act was should we call Arizona or not, well, how are we going to make more money.”