for more than two years Donald Trump has been sobbing about the 2020 presidential election that he pretends to believe was “rigged and stolen” from him. Never mind that he hasn’t been able to produce a shred of evidence of it more than sixty court cases. And for all of that time his official Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) has supported his “Big Lie” even when such support resulted in a violent insurrection in Washington, D.C., that Trump incited, and for which he may soon be indicted.
As a result of Fox News serving the seditious aspirations of Trump, the network is being sued for more than a billion dollars by Dominion Voting Systems for defamation. They allege that Fox News knowingly aired false stories that Dominion purposefully designed their voting machines to switch votes for Trump to Joe Biden.
Critical to the success of a defamation suit is the plaintiff’s ability to prove that the defendant knew, or should have known, that their defamatory statements were false and were made with malicious intent. And Dominion is apparently meeting that criteria according to reports of testimony given during deposition.
Specifically, testimony provided under oath reveals that Fox News Senior Trump-Fluffer Sean Hannity knew that Trump’s claims of election fraud were untrue, even a he was reporting on and endorsing them. When Hannity was asked by Dominion’s lawyer about Trump’s unfounded claims, he replied that “I did not believe it for one second.”
That’s about as clear a confirmation of deliberately defamatory speech as any court will ever hear. And unfortunately for Fox News, it isn’t the only example of it in this case. In September, a Fox News producer sent out a memo warning that the network must stop “pulling conspiracy theories from dark corners of the Web to justify then-President Donald Trump’s lies that the election had been stolen from him.” And Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott made similar warnings about Trump’s “Big Lie” purveyors and election deniers saying that “We can’t give the crazies an inch.”
The Dominion trial, which is scheduled to commence next April, is still just in its preliminary phase, conducting depositions and discovery. They have yet to present this evidence to a jury. And we still don’t know how much more evidence has been obtained, or will be obtained, through the acquisition of documents and depositions. But suffice to say that at this point Fox News must be extraordinarily nervous.
If the pretrial particulars continue to unfold as they have been thus far, look for Fox News to beg for a settlement. Dominion, however, has said that they won’t settle for anything that doesn’t include a confession of guilt by Fox News and an unqualified apology and retraction.
However, even if Fox News concedes to Dominion’s demands and they settle, Fox still has to deal with another election related billion dollar lawsuit by Smartmatic. And a judge in that case has already issued an opinion that “actual malice” is evident in statements by Fox’s Senior White Nationalist, Tucker Carlson. So 2023 looks to be a, let’s say “interesting” year for Fox News.
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