Fox News and Dominion settle on coverage of the presidential election

Attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems speak to the press following the settlement of the case against Fox News.A.P.’s photo

Thus, the American news channel managed to avoid prosecution for spreading lies after the previous presidential elections.

In the morning there was a delay. Afternoon disturbances in the courtroom. The absence of lawyers, judge and jury is evident, while the world press was already ready to report on what promised to be a landmark trial. And then, hours after the first hearing was scheduled to begin, the case ended. “The parties have settled,” Judge Eric Davis said.

Fox News has pledged to pay a staggering $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine manufacturer. It is one of the largest settlements ever in a US defamation case. The order was $1.6 billion. No other terms of the settlement were disclosed.

About the author
Thomas Ruepp is the US correspondent for De Volkskrant. Lives in New York. He is the author of the book Laura H.

After the 2020 presidential election, Fox News, America’s largest news channel, aired a conspiracy theory that Dominion voting machines were used in fraud. Dominion then filed a defamation lawsuit. Such cases against US news channels are exceptional and rarely successful. However, experts considered the risks of losing Fox News to be significant.

Reporting is unfair

In late March, Judge Davis ruled that Fox News “failed to provide fair and independent reporting” and that “none of the statements made by Dominion regarding the 2020 election are true.”

Fox News appears to at least partially acknowledge the latter. A statement appeared online shortly after the announcement. “We are satisfied with the settlement,” the organization wrote. “We acknowledge the court’s finding that some of the allegations made about Dominion are false.”

It was up to the jury to decide to what extent this is punishable. It can be resolved again a few hours after installation on Tuesday. According to sources from New York times The newspaper stated that formal apologies or acknowledgment of wrongdoing are not part of the settlement. Fox News said in a statement that it hoped the settlement would “enable the country to move forward.”

Watch numbers take precedence

Even before its inception, the case against Fox News was controversial. Dominion was able to seize thousands of pages of internal communications through the courts. They expose what happened on the channel after the previous presidential elections. Hardly anyone at Fox News believes allegations of fraud made by then-President Donald Trump, who claimed that he — not Joe Biden — was the winner. Yet Trump and his lawyers were allowed to claim it on the channel for weeks, almost without contradiction. Concerns about ratings took precedence over facts at Fox News.

The reporting of news channels such as Fox News has had disastrous consequences for society. Donald Trump’s lies about electoral fraud are still believed by a large portion of the American people.

“The truth matters,” Attorney Justin Nelson said after the hearing on behalf of Dominion. “Lies have consequences.” Dominion said the Fox News broadcast is about to lose $600 million in future revenue. About twenty existing contracts have already been canceled due to lies about voting fraud.

More lawsuits

Fox News’ legal troubles didn’t end with this settlement. Smartmatic, another voting equipment maker, is seeking at least $2.7 billion in a similar defamation lawsuit. Last month, a New York judge gave the case the green light.

Dominion also has other defamation cases pending, including against Newsmax and One America News, which have aired similar allegations. They are also taking businessman Mike Lindell to court, who is often heard on Fox News as a political commentator.

The Fox News trial has been set for a maximum of six weeks. Judge Eric Davis ended the hearing by commending the professionalism of both teams of attorneys. “I will be proud if I become your judge again in the future.”

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