The lines between news and entertainment on television have blurred so much, perhaps “news” should be struck from some of the cable stations. Fox News became the megaphone for the ultra-right Republican Party years ago. Its hosts continue to spew out lies nearly as frequently as the last resident of the White House. But there may be severe consequences in store for Fox.
The election technology firm Smartmatic has sued Fox News in the New York State Supreme Court for $2.7 billion. The company refuted the cable station’s claim that it had covered the 2020 election “responsibly.” In addition, the media company claimed that Fox anchors just “played along” when its guests espoused election-related conspiracy theories.
Smartmatic attorney J. Erik Connolly filed the brief filed in Court. It read, according to The New York Times:
‘The First Amendment does not provide the Fox defendants a get-out-of-jail-free card. The Fox defendants do not get a do-over with their reporting now that they have been sued.’
Three of Fox Corporation’s present and past hosts have been named for defaming the voting system company in the suit. They are Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs.
These Fox hosts attacked Smartmatic and another voting company Dominion Voting Systems. According to the lawsuit, the aforementioned hosts spread baseless conspiracy theories after the presidential election. These three claimed that the companies “manipulated vote totals in contested states.”
The hosts amplified Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani’s and attorney Sidney Powell’s conspiracy theories. The lawsuit claimed that these conspiracy theories ruined Smartmatic’s reputation, which is vital for its continuing business.
It seems that the company only provided election technology in only one Georgia county during the election.
Dominion sued Fox News, too, for $1.3 billion. Altogether, the companies’ lawsuits, if won, would mean a multi-billion-dollar loss for the media company. After Smartmatic filed the suit, Fox canceled Dobbs’ business program.
Fox News released a statement that read:
‘The filing only confirms our view that the suit is meritless and Fox News covered the election in the highest tradition of the First Amendment.’
Fox’s filed a motion along with the anchors. It argued that talking about Smartmatic was an integral part of “newsworthy” reporting. Fox had no choice but to cover news related to the company during the election:
‘A president’s refusal to concede an election and his insistence that his opponent’s victory was not legitimate.’
Smartmatic responded when it filed its 120-page brief with the Court on Monday. It argued that Fox’s claim was merely “wishful thinking.” It added that Fox’s argument did not cover Systematic “objectively or fairly,” Yahoo News reported:
‘The Fox defendants wedded themselves to Giuliani and Powell during their programs. They cannot distance themselves now.’
The Court has given Fox several weeks to argue against Systematic’s response. At that time, the judge will take into consideration whether to let the company’s case move forward.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.