Fox News is now facing a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over their role in spreading the conspiratorial lie that the company was involved in a non-existent plot to rig the election for Biden. No court anywhere in the country ever even partially accepted the idea that fraud was in any way responsible for Biden’s victory, and yet, Fox — like certain Republicans in Congress — consistently treated the issue as an open question. During an appearance on CNN over the weekend, Dominion lawyer Stephen Shackleford laid out the voting technology company’s defamation case against Fox.
In short, claiming that Fox News was somehow unaware of the truth while they spread the lies about Dominion is ridiculous. Dominion itself repeatedly got in touch with Fox in an attempt to set the record straight, and officials of both major parties from multiple levels of government across the country publicly reiterated that the election was secure. In the wake of Trump’s defeat, Fox didn’t stop.
As Shackleford explained:
‘As you know, part of proving that a statement is defamatory is to prove that it was made either knowing the statements were false or with reckless disregard for the truth. You pointed out to your viewers that our complaint lays out in gory detail [how] over days and days and weeks in November and December of last year, Fox kept spouting these lies about Dominion, these devastating lies about Dominion on their airwaves even while they were being told the truth over and over again. And yes, they were told the truth by Dominion. Dominion sent multiple emails and letters and retraction demands — but there was also a chorus of bipartisan officials explaining how these lies were false.’
As host Brian Stelter subsequently noted, Fox has already claimed in response to a similar defamation lawsuit from the Smartmatic voting technology company that they were merely reporting on matters of public concern in a manner to respect both sides. That, Shackleford noted, is nonsense. The network routinely presented the debunked claims as credible.
As the lawyer put it:
‘Fox was not reporting the news with these reports that are outlined in our complaint… Fox was repeatedly stating as fact, putting on Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and also with their own anchors endorsing what Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani were saying, all of these lies about Dominion and they were stating them as fact and… they did have a Dominion spokesperson on at one point. It was much smaller viewership for that show and Fox did not promote it like they promoted… [Maria] Bartiromo and… [Lou] Dobbs… But… you can’t get away with defamation by saying the truth in the morning and then lying through your teeth in the afternoon… If that were the case, then all any media organization would have to do is issue a retraction demand after they’d done all the damage.’
Watch Shackleford’s comments below: