Fox News Issues Self Fact-Check After Threat Of Legal Action

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Fox News personalities like Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson have never had enough integrity to stop them from helping Donald Trump spread conspiracy theories, but a divide arose between them regarding Trump’s wild tales about massive fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Carlson issued an apology for false claims about dead people voting in November and has criticized former Trump attorney Sydney Powell for baseless fraud allegations. Hannity has alluded to possible election fraud in swing states but has never pinpointed specific instances. Dobbs, however, has taken the wildest of conspiracy theory claims about the 2020 election and run with them.

On Friday night, one of Dobb’s most common claims about the 2020 elections caught up to him, which relates to a conspiracy around Smartmatic vote counting machines due to their connection with Dominion vote counting machines because they have a connection to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Dobbs and others on Fox News and Fox Business have claimed that these machines changed votes in key states across the country in a widespread conspiracy to unseat Donald Trump.

Friday night’s broadcast featured Dobbs airing a segment debunking all of the conspiracies he’s promoted about Smartmatic vote counting machines. According to Mediaite, Dobbs began the segment by saying that:

‘There are lots of opinions about the integrity of the election, the irregularities of mail-in voting, of election voting machines and voting software. One of the companies is Smartmatic, and we reached out to one of the leading authorities on open source software for elections, Eddie Perez, for his insight and views.’

What follows is Eddie Perez, Global Director of Technology Development & Open Standards for the Open Source Election Technology Institute, saying that he had seen no evidence that any widespread inaccuracies in vote counting had occurred because of Smartmatic’s equipment, that the company has no connection to Dominion, and that it is not even possible for Smartmatic to change votes in swing states since they were only used in L.A. County. Dobbs did not make further comment when the segment ended.

The segment aired after news of a legal threat against Fox News due to comments about the company made by TV personalities like Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo as well as Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and ousted attorney Sydney Powell. In a letter from attorneys for Smartmatic USA Corp, the company responded to the claims made on Fox News and Fox Business:

‘Fox News has engaged in a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic. Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes. While Fox News holds itself out as a trusted news source, it has continually and repeatedly published demonstrably false information and defamatory statements about Smartmatic. Fox News used its anchors and on-air guests, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, to spread lies about a company that had absolutely nothing to do with the voting that took place in areas at the heart of the “conspiracies” discussed following the 2020 U.S. election.’

These claims are damaging to the country and unfairly put companies that sell vote counting equipment at repetitional risk. Undermining faith in American democracy will have long-lasting consequences, although Smartmatic may not be around to see those consequences. Antonio Mugica, chief executive of Smartmatic, which is based in Florida, told Reuters that Trump and his minions’ actions are harming the business he’s a part of, with smaller companies new to the industry “dead in the water” thanks to the blow to consumer confidence.

‘I don’t think there is one customer in the world that has not come back to us to tell us either that this is a problem and this could endanger our future relationship – for existing customers – or that this could endanger a potential new contract.’

Featured image screenshot via YouTube