Fox reaches settlement with Dominion Voting Systems
At the last minute, Fox News reached a settlement in its $1.6 billion lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion alleged Fox News made spurious claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential race. Judge Eric Davis of the Delaware Superior Court announced the settlement just ahead of when the trial was to start. The parties settled for $787,500,000—about half of Dominion’s original $1.6 billion ask.
We were joined by Professor Joseph Russomanno of the Cronkite School and Professor Gregg Leslie of the O’Connor College of Law to discuss the recent update.
Were you surprised this happened today?
“Surprised and disappointed. Disappointed because I think like so many people, I wanted to see this play out in court. I think if the truth matters, if good journalism matters, accurate and factually based, then it would’ve been a very good thing to see this come out in court and be on the record,” said Russomanno.
Leslie said, “Not really only because lawyers for the last few weeks have been talking about how, of course, Fox has to settle, they just have to. I think going through a trial for all the reasons Joe just said is a good idea for the public, it’s a bad idea for Fox.” Leslie added, “If they have the money, they have the ability to buy their way out of a trial.”
What do you expect will come out of this?
“I think it will certainly depend on what was stipulated in the settlement agreement,” Russomanno said. “If that is not addressed in that agreement, I would imagine that Fox will go on with business as usual largely paying no attention to this at all. They’ve been wanting to ignore it to begin with; I don’t know that things will change.”
Is this a win for Fox?
“It’s a win in the sense that they get to avoid a lot of embarrassment,” Leslie explained, “So in that sense, if I were Fox, I would think this is a win, we got out of it, and all we had to pay was a tiny amount of money compared to what we have in our corporate treasury.”