Smartmatic, a company that deals in election technology and became a key fixture in delusional conspiracy theories from the far-right about the 2020 presidential election, is standing by its defamation litigation against Fox News after a settlement in the media company’s dispute with Dominion Voting Systems.
Dominion operates in much the same market space as Smartmatic, and both companies sued the media giant for its role in helping spread nonsensical claims about imaginary fraud in that election and the tech companies’ supposed roles in it. These false claims were spread in part through spots on the network’s lineup of guests for figures like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, and some on the channel’s staff, like Lou Dobbs, were also rather supportive of the nonsense, although Dobbs himself has since left Fox. In the course of the Dominion case, much of what already emerged and became a key subject of coverage of the dispute concerned how high-profile personalities at Fox were either made aware of the falsity of what some were claiming about the election or themselves acknowledged that lack of evidence — although the lies continued.
“Dominion’s litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox’s disinformation campaign,” Smartmatic lawyer Erik Connolly said. “Smartmatic will expose the rest. Smartmatic remains committed to clearing its name, recouping the significant damage done to the company, and holding Fox accountable for undermining democracy.”
The settlement deal in the case against Fox from Dominion emerged soon before what would have been opening statements for the jury. The arrangement involves Fox paying three-quarters of a billion dollars, which is less than the total dollar amount Dominion had previously identified as its target for financial damages but is still obviously a lot. Dominion, where staff members have faced threats to their safety and lives amid the spread of lies about the company’s role in non-existent fraud, has also sued others involved in spreading the nonsense, like Powell and Giuliani.
The claims made by figures like Powell, including on air at Fox, were that there was an intentional plot to rig the presidential race involving non-existent cooperation between Dominion and Smartmatic, who are actually rivals. Powell doesn’t seem to be doing much these days, although when in office, Trump evidently considered trying to make the serial liar a special counsel to address some of the imaginary electoral malfeasance — theories he still pushes.
Smartmatic remains committed to clearing its name, recouping the significant damage done to the company, and holding Fox accountable for undermining democracy.” 2/2
— Ben Smith (@semaforben) April 18, 2023