Fox News-Dominion Case: Settlement Reached
[guest post by Dana]
Dominion Voting Systems, in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit, accused Fox News of knowingly pushing false conspiracy theories that the voting machine company rigged the 2020 presidential election in Joe Biden’s favor, in what Dominion claims was an effort to combat concerns over declining ratings and viewer retention. Fox defended its coverage, dismissing the suit as a “political crusade in search of a financial windfall.”
“Truth matters. Lies have consequences,” said Justin Nelson, an attorney for Dominion Voting Systems, as he announced details of the company’s settlement with Fox News during a press conference following the court’s adjournment.
“Today’s settlement of $787,500,000 represents vindication and accountability,” Nelson said. “Today represents a ringing endorsement for truth and for democracy.”
And pushing the company
lie, uh, line, but I repeat myself, are Fox News officials:
We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems,” Fox News officials said in a statement after an agreement had been reached. “We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”
“We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues,” the statement said.
It’s unfortunate that Fox News’ on-air and management hypocrites and liars will not have to testify, but regardless, what a settlement for Dominion Voting Systems.
I think we can be assured that no on-air personalities will be shuffled to another time slot, or even be let go as a result of this suit. After all, it didn’t impact the popular pundits when Rupert Murdoch confirmed under oath that he knew that Carlson, Ingraham, Hannity, Pirro, and Baritromo endorsed 2020 election fraud conspiracies. This is their business model. But still, $787,500,000 isn’t chump change either.
Overnight thoughts: It’s remarkable, in retrospect, that the Fox propaganda machine happily promoted the election fraud rantings of an obviously unhinged liar. Yet they did so because that’s what viewers demanded and that’s what pumped the ratings. And while that poor decision-making is now costing them an extraordinary sum of money, Fox News will continue to sell its soul to promote Donald Trump in the next presidential election. Nothing has changed fundamentally in their mindset or business practices, be they the Murdochs, management, or on-air personalities. If it had, there would have been an apology, not compelled by the court but by the Murdochs’ um, better angels… It was telling that no public apology was ever made. And while it’s an extraordinary settlement, the problem has been dealt with, and it will be business as usual: Fox News will do whatever it takes to keep the ratings pumped. As always. I think it will be all Trump, all the time if that’s what the viewers demand. And any bad news about him will be flat-out ignored, or spun into something more palatable. Even now, consider how Fox News has reported on the settlement news:
Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz reported the settlement during the 4 pm hour but claimed he did not know the settlement amount.
“A Dominion lawyer gave reporters a dollar figure for the settlement, but I have not been able to independently confirm that,” Kurtz said.
fox news' howie kurtz reports on the dominion settlement but refuses to give the dollar amount bc "i have not independently confirmed" the amount that was paid by the cable company that employs him pic.twitter.com/IVd0PplLwz
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) April 18, 2023
Daily Beast media reporter Justin Baragona reported that Fox News host Neil Cavuto did mention the settlement amount, citing the Wall Street Journal, another outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch.
“Really stands out that the in-house media reporter just refused to tell Fox audiences the hefty settlement figure,” Baragona tweeted.
Top Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity likewise did not reference the settlement at all during their broadcasts, according to Reuters. And Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake noted that “the Fox News website’s story on the Dominion settlement is only 161 words long.”
“It makes no mention of the dollar amount and little mention of the substance, which it summarizes as involving ‘coverage of the post-2020 presidential election,'” he wrote.
Next up for Fox: A $2.7 billion lawsuit from Smartmatic USA.
“Smartmatic now has a bargaining chip, and Fox has shown it is willing to take out its checkbook and write a big check,” said University of Tennessee, Knoxville media law professor Stuart Brotman. “From Fox’s standpoint, now that they realize they can get a successful settlement, they have a basis for a real discussion with Smartmatic.”
Hello.Dana (560c99) — 4/18/2023 @ 1:53 pm
dupert morlach settles leaves election deniers out in street!asset (a1b689) — 4/18/2023 @ 1:56 pm
Sad! What do I do with my bushels of popcorn?Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:10 pm
When I served on jury in a criminal trial in Los Angeles, we all sat quietly in the jury room for about an hour, and we got back into the courtroom, the defendant and his lawyer had gone, and the deputy DA was packing up his papers. He told us that the defendant took one look at us and plea bargained. We offered to the DDA our services to scare other defendants into plea deals. 😊.Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:15 pm
This is their business model. But still, $787,500,000 isn’t chump change either.
Still, it’s a BM that works; from Investopedia:
The World’s Top Media Companies
Ranked 10: Fox (FOX): $21.06 Billion
https://www.investopedia.com/stock-analysis/021815/worlds-top-ten-media-companies-dis-cmcsa-fox.aspxDCSCA (e0fe1d) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:29 pm
Did he say they endorsed them?
Fox’s position was that t was hearing what they had to say.
The problem wasn’t that Fox endorsed election fraud claims, it was that they didn’t argue enough with the guests.
This avoids setting a precedent, I assume.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:37 pm
Maria Baritromo, I understand, went the furthest in accepting claims, Fox is considered responsible for everything.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:40 pm
Here:Dana (560c99) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:42 pm
Maybe you can eat popcorn while watching this:
Dominion hinted it may sue others.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:45 pm
Dana (560c99) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:42 pm
The more general narrative of a stolen election, but not so much one involving Dominion.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:48 pm
It’s a lot less then the Alex Jones verdict. But unlike Jones Fox will likely pay.
Pretty good outcome for people who care about the truth.Time123 (8e2273) — 4/18/2023 @ 2:50 pm
If Fox admits its whole approach to covering the Trump-backed election claims was wrong.
It treated all allegations extremely seriously. It did not explain why many claims had to be wrong.
Otherwise al Fox learns is that it should be careful about casually talking about likely false derogatory claims about a real national company.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/18/2023 @ 3:03 pm
It would have been kind of Dominion to have included Smartmatic in its settlement talks but this probably didn’t happen.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/18/2023 @ 3:03 pm
It’s about time I unsubscribed to YouTube TV, which carries all the usual cable channels, including Fox News.
Oh wait, I already did.
There’s enough on HBO Max to watch until the next college football season.norcal (15fce4) — 4/18/2023 @ 3:25 pm
Fox couldn’t fire people until this suit was over. Now, maybe they will as they surely don’t want to shell out the better part of a billion dollars again.
Their brand is now sewer-dweller fare. You would think they might want to change that. Then again, maybe their advertisers like selling to morons.Kevin M (f94f4f) — 4/18/2023 @ 3:47 pm
It’s about time I unsubscribed to YouTube TV, which carries all the usual cable channels, including Fox News.
There are other channels on YTTVKevin M (f94f4f) — 4/18/2023 @ 3:48 pm
Murdoch needn’t close his checkbook, because Smartmatic is next.
Dana, I would’ve bolded the part below, because it’s an admission that they lied, and it means their following sentence, the one with “highest journalistic standards”, to also be a lie:Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 4/18/2023 @ 5:20 pm
I wonder what scared Murdoch more, losing the case or having one FoxNews personality after the next testify under oath that they followed Trump’s orders and lied about Dominion and “massive fraud” and that the election was “stolen”. The depositions were bad enough, but court testimony in front of a jury is forever.Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 4/18/2023 @ 5:34 pm
It only gets worse (or better, depending on your point of view) for Fox:
Previously posted on the open thread.Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2023 @ 5:55 pm
Or being forced to testify himself.Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2023 @ 5:56 pm
@19: such funKevin M (f94f4f) — 4/18/2023 @ 6:43 pm
There are other channels on YTTV
Kevin M (f94f4f) — 4/18/2023 @ 3:48 pm
I know, but there isn’t much to like on them. HBO Max has many quality shows in addition to Bill Maher, who has become much more reasonable over the years.
When I had YTTV, I mostly watched college football, Dateline, and Turner Classic Movies. College football is gone for 4.5 months. HBO Max has plenty of true crime shows, and a selection of classic movies.
Plus, YTTV just jacked their price to $72 a month.
If my recent cancellation is construed to be a protest against Fox propaganda, so much the better. Besides, now I have a ready answer for my friend the Tuckerite.
I may resubscribe come September, or I might go to Dish. I dislike giving my money to the lefty behemoth that is Google.norcal (15fce4) — 4/18/2023 @ 9:44 pm
Fox/NewsCorp is laughing all the way to the bank.DCSCA (ce291a) — 4/19/2023 @ 12:57 am
@23 fox will have to sell a lot of my pillows.asset (a4ab0a) — 4/19/2023 @ 3:50 am
In my area (King County outside Seattle), you can get a library card and check out movies from the county’s very extensive collection. For free.Jim Miller (0e46f9) — 4/19/2023 @ 4:28 am
#18 Paul – I was expecting a settlement before the witnesses got on the stand and had to admit, one after another, that they lied. Great TV. As Murdoch would know.
In general, however, I think one should avoid watching TV news, if you want to be well-informed. And it is not just a matter of bias. The data rate is simply too low. As I recall, there is about 20 minutes of actual news in a half hour program – and that 20 minutes would cover less than a full page of a good newspaper. (If, in a half hour, you can’t read more than one page of a newspaper, you need to work on your reading.)Jim Miller (0e46f9) — 4/19/2023 @ 4:39 am
I’ve just added some thoughts to the post that I had last night about the settlement news.Dana (560c99) — 4/19/2023 @ 7:28 am
fox will have to sell a lot of my pillows.
Considering who is watching Fox, they could probably sell anything. Pan flute recordings for example.Kevin M (f94f4f) — 4/19/2023 @ 8:03 am
I subscribe to YTTV for sports, local news and other current events. TV shows and movies I find elsewhere, such as Netflix. I also subscribe to MLB.Kevin M (f94f4f) — 4/19/2023 @ 8:09 am
Fox is now like a Brinks truck overturned on the highway.Kevin M (f94f4f) — 4/19/2023 @ 8:12 am
I think that Fox would have no legal problem firing several anchors for cause. They would probably take their sewer with them, though. One America News is hiring.Kevin M (f94f4f) — 4/19/2023 @ 8:13 am
Wanted Dead or Alive, you know, the TV western with Steve McQueen and the funny gun, averaged 28 million viewers in 1958.
What does Fox News average? The answer will surprise you!
Plus a picture of a kitten.nk (48a779) — 4/19/2023 @ 8:20 am
Here is the problem. Trump drives ratings. So Fox has to have im on, cater to him and his friends, because the audience demands this. And the $$ from doing that is more than what they may pay out in lawsuits filed well after the fact.
This is not a unique problem to Fox — the New York Times falls to the woke mobs because their readers want to be told that all Republicans are evil and the wokesters are good.
There’s nothing wrong with news being biased — because it is always going to have a slant. The ideal, though, is that the news services tell what they see as truth, and leave pandering to the mobs to politicians. What happened at Fox is only going to encourage the demagogues of the future.Appalled (ed04c7) — 4/19/2023 @ 8:27 am
Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/18/2023 @ 5:56 pm
Rupert Murdoch was going to be one off the first witnesses called by Dominion this week.
Fox avoided making any kind of an on-air apology or acknowledgement – and it only said that some of the allegations it aired were false.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/19/2023 @ 2:11 pm
This explains what the judge said about news coverage. Fix had argued it news coverage.
I don’t think Fox’s defense has to rest on the claim that it was disinterested, but rather on that it was not promoting lies. (which may not be the case)
Excluding that from comsideration provides grounds for appeal I would think.
The question is: Did they?
And does allowing them to go on the air constitute by itself a reckless disregard for the truth?Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/19/2023 @ 2:34 pm
Murdoch did, after all, tell his people to treat what Giuliani said with a grain of salt.
Giuliani eventually dropped Sidney Powell because she was not giving him any evidence.
On the other hand I think Fox probably forced an employee to delete a tweet that disputed claim.
They told people to respect the audience, but a Fox executive told a writer for the New York Times that meant not to sneer at them.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/19/2023 @ 2:37 pm
Two things I’m reading: Fox is planning on deducting the settlement expense and that Dominion was planning on calling Rupert Murdoch as the second witness if it had gone to trial.
On either point, no wonder they settled.Dana (560c99) — 4/19/2023 @ 5:45 pm
Yesterday, Inside Edition reported that Fox News made no mention of the lawsuit and settlement – or at least Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham said nothing about it.
Which, I suppose is par for the course.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/20/2023 @ 3:36 pm
Challenges like this have been upheld before as binding contracts.
Dominion is also suing Newsmax, OANN, Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11990417/Dominion-suing-six-defamation-including-Rudy-Giuliani-Newsmax-OANN.htmlSammy Finkelman (02a146) — 4/20/2023 @ 3:44 pm
37. There’s no reason Fox should not be able to deduct the entire cost of the settlement.
Although I got the idea that maybe that depends on the fact that it is a settlement, which, by its nature, does not concede any actual wrongdoing.Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 4/20/2023 @ 3:47 pm