Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement Tuesday in a defamation case brought by voting technology company Dominion that alleged the network knowingly aired false claims linking its machines to a conspiracy to undermine the 2020 U.S. election.
The agreement to end the case avoided what most experts suggested would have been a damaging, high-profile trial for the conservative channel in which owner Rupert Murdoch would have been compelled to testify in open court.
The funniest part about the Fox News / Dominion settlement is the people who haven’t realized that Dominion and Fox News are on the same team.
It’s all Kabuki Theatre.
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) April 19, 2023
Judge Eric Davis announced the last-minute agreement after the 12 jurors had been selected and the Delaware Superior Court was readying to hear opening arguments. Fox News said in a statement it was “pleased” to have ended the dispute and added: “We acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.”
Dominion CEO John Poulos told reporters outside the court that Fox had “admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees, and our customers. Nothing can ever make up for that.”
Fox News refused to have anything to do with the film, despite the fact it never mentioned voting machines or Dominion, and even though it offered the best evidence to date that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen https://t.co/Gg1rK7BgEq
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) April 19, 2023
The proceedings, trailed by the New York Times as “the defamation trial of the century,” had been due to test the limits of free speech rights for media in America when willfully broadcasting misinformation. Analysts had predicted it could be one of the most consequential libel hearings in US legal history.
The settlement, believed one of the largest in a defamation case ever, means star anchors, such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity will also avoid appearing on the witness stand.
Now the path is clear for voting machine companies to engage in future fraud because #Conservative news orgs will be fearful of reporting and it's not like left leaning orgs will expose the truth if the future fraud benefits the #democrats. https://t.co/UNWsDq3Ge4
— Andrew Wilkow (@WilkowMajority) April 19, 2023
US media reported that the agreement does not require Fox hosts to apologize on-air or admit spreading falsehoods.
Dominion sued Fox News for $1.6 billion in March 2021, alleging it promoted Donald Trump’s baseless claim that its machines were used to rig the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden.
Dominion argued that Fox aired the lies despite knowing they were untrue.
It said the network began endorsing Trump’s conspiracy because the channel was losing audience to smaller rivals after it became the first television outlet to call the southwestern state of Arizona for Biden, effectively projecting the Democrat would win the presidency.
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