The billion dollar defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News is getting closer to being played out in court. And with an April 17 trial date, there is still more evidence of Fox’s fraudulence coming out on a nearly daily basis. The extent of their ethical emptiness continues to astonish and disgust.
The latest exposure of Fox’s unscrupulousness came in the form of a “slide deck” that Dominion lawyers used at a March 28 hearing. Matthew Gertz of Media Matters posted images of the presentation by Dominion’s lawyers (in this Twitter thread). And while it contains some cringeworthy examples of deceitfulness, it is also all too reminiscent of what has been published previously.
Among the new disclosures are internal communications from Fox News executives and hosts. They show that these people have no regard for journalist principles or the welfare of the nation. What follows are some samplings from the hearing…
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott:
[Reacting to a reporter’s fact checking] “This has to stop now. This is bad business and there clearly is a lack of understanding what is happening in these shows. The audience is furious and we are just feeding them material. Bad for business.” […]
“I can’t keep defending these reporters who don’t understand our viewers and how to handle stories. The audience feels like we crapped on and we have damaged their trust and belief in us. We lost 25k subs from FOX NATION.
Fox News Host Maria Bartiromo:
“We have to go to a full on war. They have used all systems to defraud… Jared says he doesn’t want to hear about any conspiracy theory… The campaign is not doing shit.” […]
“The country needs to survive. We need to keep this president. Noone (sic) thinks anyway that people voted for Biden.” […]
“It was sophisticated funded and orchestrate & uses all areas of fraud including digital. We now know Nancy Pelosi has an interest in it. It’s directed also by Soros.”
Fox News Host Tucker Carlson:
“[Sidney Powell] is a psychopath. She’s getting Trump all spun up and has zero evidence. Same with Rudy [Giuliani].” […]
“[Mike] Lindell seems to really have gone off the deep end. He is definitely crazy… I agree there’s concern about Lindell being a conspiracy theorist now. But he has bailed us out loads of times when no one else would.” […]
“We can concentrate on cancel culture rather than his wild claims… If no one is buying him, he loses money to be able to advertise with us. And then we lose our biggest advertiser.”
[Note: After most major advertisers pulled out of Carlson’s show to avoid association with his racism and conspiracy theories, Lindell was indeed his biggest advertiser. Although he had problems of his own]
Fox News “Brain Room” staffer Leonard Balducci:
“Claims about Dominion switching or deleting votes are 100% false. Dominion systems continue to reliably and accurately count ballots, and state and local authorities as well as fact checkers, have publicly confirmed the integrity of the process.” […]
“Dominion has no company ownership relationships with any member of the Pelosi family, the Feinstein family, or the Clinton Global Initiative.”
These are the sort of statements that prompted the Society of Professional Journalists to respond to the allegations against Fox News in a damning statement by their Professional Standards and Ethics Committee. They found…
“…the allegations against Fox News deeply troubling. A fundamental ethical rule of journalism, set out in the SPJ Code of Ethics, is to seek the truth and report it. If a news organization knowingly spreads lies, either in news reporting or opinion, it has clearly breached this most sacred of principles. No responsible journalist can accept or excuse this behavior. […]
“[And that] responsible opinion hosts and commentators have a duty to use verified facts as the basis of their arguments and to not peddle what they know to be lies and disinformation. Many people use the information they get from their favorite hosts and commentators to form their own opinions.”
Indeed, that last line illustrates the problem that Fox News creates when they deliberately mislead their viewers. Of course, Fox doesn’t view it as a problem, It’s precisely the effect they intend to have on their audience. And the truly sad part of this is that it’s working.
If anyone still thinks that Fox should be considered a “news” enterprise, ask yourselves this question: Why havn’t any of the alleged “journalists” at Fox resigned after learning about just how corrupt and dishonest the organization is? How could anyone who regards themselves as an ethical reporter continue to work for such a company? Why won’t they even make a public statement of disapproval?
The answer, of course, is that there isn’t anyone at Fox with the integrity to take such a stand. They are all equally responsible and, thus, reprehensible. There isn’t one of them with an ounce of honor or professional decency.
UPDATE I: In a March 31 ruling on summary judgement, the judge found that “The evidence is ‘CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements [made on Fox News] relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.'”
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