Smoking Gun Evidence Against ‘Fox News’ Revealed At Defamation Trial

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Filing a motion for summary judgment against Fox, the election technology company Dominion Voting Systems has released a sweeping trove of information about what personnel at the right-wing network actually thought about claims from Trump and allies of his of widespread fraud in the 2020 election — and it could majorly support their case.

“Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane,” Tucker Carlson said in a text on November 18, 2020. In a reply, fellow host Laura Ingraham applied the critical sentiments to Rudy, who is now facing expanding consequences of his own — like a potential disbarment in D.C. tied to his promotion of lies about the election. “Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy,” Ingraham remarked to Carlson. Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox Corporation will face trial alongside Fox News, was also commenting critically of the conspiracy theories, calling them “really crazy stuff.” Murdoch also referred to on-air comments from Powell and Giuliani as “Terrible stuff damaging everybody, I fear.” Murdoch was also appreciative of Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott sharing an article from the New York Post clamoring against Trump’s voter fraud claims among staff at the network.

The details show that since shortly after the 2020 presidential race concluded many inside Fox were consistently doubting — or just outright rejecting — the claims most prominently promoted by figures like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom nonetheless went on Fox as the country tried to move forward from the election and whose nonsense found an outlet there. With Lou Dobbs, who then had a Fox show, Powell explicitly claimed there were computer set-ups tied to both Dominion and another election technology company, Smartmatic, that allowed for changing the votes, which is just bunk. Federal authorities have confirmed it’s bunk, and one of those she named as ostensibly involved evidently didn’t even have any business role with either Smartmatic or Dominion, which were connected to each other in some of the conspiracy theories. (That businessman filed a lawsuit.)

This discrepancy between what those in top positions at Fox were saying and what the network was airing could help Dominion with proving actual malice or reckless disregard for the truth on the part of Fox at the trial, which will be taking place soon. Fox has consistently pointed to legal protections for free speech in trying to make its defense, with the apparent idea that their journalists were simply reporting on newsworthy allegations, and the case from Dominion sounds like it could come down to outlining some of these specific sentiments from top figures at Fox to the jury, contrasting with the specifics of what was actually aired. In some of these broadcasts, it could easily be said it wasn’t simply objective reporting, with little to no immediate push-back, even from, say, Sean Hannity, who claimed he never believed what were evidently the claims of election fraud but hosted Powell in seemingly approving terms anyway. It seems probably easy to see a level of promotion for the false claims in what Fox was doing.