Fox News is now battling a hefty defamation lawsuit of $1.6 billion filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems, a company that was relatively unknown before the 2020 U.S. Presidential elections. The company has asserted that the cable news network intentionally “broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies” which includes claiming that it rigged its software to ensure that former President Donald Trump lost the elections.
Deadline reported that the lawsuit, filed in Delaware Superior Court, specifies that Fox News “sold a false story of election fraud” in order to perk up its faltering ratings and ended up injuring Dominion as well as its staff’s reputation in the process.
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences,” the lawsuit said. “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not rise to the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing does.”
The 441-page lawsuit further adds that Fox News “took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire” by deliberately customizing facts to cater to those who were not satisfied with the election results. The lawsuit adds that Fox not only distributed fictionalized information but also republished it many times, effectively influencing its massive audience, something that “deeply damaged Dominion’s once-thriving business.”
“The buck stops with Fox on this,” attorney Stephen Shackelford told the Associated Press. “Fox chose to put this on all of its many platforms. They rebroadcast, republished it on social media and other places.”
Attorney Justin Nelson stressed that Fox News’ decision to perpetuate fake news about the election was a “conscious, knowing business decision to endorse and repeat and broadcast these lies in order to keep its viewership.”
In its lawsuit, Dominion has stated that it tried to contact Fox News and clarify the matter numerous times but the network simply ignored them. Before the lawsuit was even filed, Fox News had already taken steps to fight back – it has filed four motions in order to counter any legal actions taken by anyone against its coverage of the 2020 elections.
“Fox News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and we will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” a Fox spokesperson said in an email.
Before Dominion sued Fox News, it had taken legal action against Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell as well as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. All three of them had appeared across several channels, including Fox, for months and made misleading claims that the election results were fabricated after Trump lost to Joe Biden. Fox News also continued reporting that Dominion had rigged the election and tampered with the votes by changing the algorithms in its machines.
Even though many legitimate sources confirmed that President Joe Biden had indeed won the elections, fair and square, Trump and his supporters continued claiming otherwise. This continued dissemination of false news resultant in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. The riot and the subsequent siege ended with the death of five people and a second impeachment for Trump.