Dominion's Suit Against Fox News Moving Forward.

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  • Nickdfresh
    SUPER MODERATOR

    • Oct 2004
    • 49260

    Dominion's Suit Against Fox News Moving Forward.

    Defamation Suit Against Fox Grows More Contentious

    Fox Corporation Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of News Corp Lachlan Murdoch (L) and his wife Sarah arrive in the Booksellers area of the White House to attend an Official Visit with a State Dinner honoring Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2019. (Photo by Alastair Pike / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images) (ALASTAIR PIKE via Getty Images)
    Jeremy W. Peters
    Sun, December 4, 2022 at 11:22 AM
    Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp., is expected to be deposed Monday as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News for amplifying bogus claims that rigged machines from Dominion Voting Systems were responsible for Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020.

    Murdoch will be the most senior corporate figure within the Fox media empire to face questions under oath in the case so far. And his appearance before Dominion’s lawyers is a sign of how unexpectedly far and fast the lawsuit has progressed in recent weeks — and how contentious it has become.

    Fox and Dominion have gone back and forth in Delaware state court since the summer in an escalating dispute over witnesses, evidence and testimony. The arguments point to the high stakes of the case, which will render a judgment on whether the most powerful conservative media outlet in the country intentionally misled its audience and helped seed one of the most pervasive lies in American politics.

    Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times

    Although the law leans in the media’s favor in defamation cases, Dominion has what independent observers have said is an unusually strong case. Day after day, Fox hosts and guests repeated untrue stories about Dominion’s ties to communist regimes and far-fetched theories about how its software enabled enemies of the former president to steal his votes.

    “This is a very different kind of case,” said David A. Logan, dean of the Roger Williams School of Law, who has argued in favor of loosening some libel laws. “Rarely do cases turn on a weekslong pattern of inflammatory, provably false, but also oddly inconsistent statements.”

    Dominion, in its quest to obtain the private communications of as many low-, mid- and high-level Fox personnel as possible, hopes to prove that people inside the network knew they were disseminating lies. Fox hopes to be able sow doubt about that by showing how its hosts pressed Trump allies for evidence they never produced and that Dominion machines were vulnerable to hacking, even if no hacking took place.

    The judge, Eric M. Davis, has ruled in most instances in Dominion’s favor, allowing the voting company to expand the pool of potential evidence it can present to a jury to include text messages from the personal phones of Fox employees and the employment contracts of star hosts such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, along with those of Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, and her top corporate managers.

    Dominion has conducted dozens of depositions with current and former network personalities, producers, business managers and executives. The people questioned come from the rungs of middle management at Fox News headquarters in Manhattan to the corner office in Century City, Los Angeles, where Murdoch oversees Fox Corp. and its sprawling enterprise of conservative media outlets.

    The fight over depositions has intensified in recent weeks as lawyers for the two companies sparred over whether Hannity and another pro-Trump host, Jeanine Pirro, should have to sit for a second round of questioning about messages that Dominion obtained from their phones as part of the discovery process. Fox lawyers have argued that the hosts should not be compelled to testify again, citing the legal protections that journalists have against being forced to reveal confidential sources.

    The judge ruled that Dominion’s lawyers could question both Hannity and Pirro again but limited the scope of what they could ask. Pirro’s second deposition was late last month; Hannity’s has yet to be scheduled.

    Fox has accused Dominion in court filings of making “escalating demands” for documents that are voluminous in quantity, saying it would have to hire a second litigation team to accommodate such a “crushing burden.” (The judge has largely disagreed.)

    In a sign of the simmering tensions between the two sides, Fox lawyers have asked the court to impose tens of thousands of dollars in sanctions against Dominion. Fox has accused the voting machine company’s CEO, John Poulos, and other senior company officials of failing to preserve their emails and text messages, as parties to a lawsuit are required to do with potentially relevant evidence.

    After Dominion filed its lawsuit in March 2021 — claiming that Fox’s coverage of its machines not only cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in business but “harmed the idea of credible elections” — many media law experts assumed this case would end like many other high-profile defamation cases against a news organization: with a settlement.

    Fox News has a history of settling sensitive lawsuits before they reach a jury. In the past several years alone, it has paid tens of millions of dollars in claims: to women who reported sexual harassment by its former CEO, Roger Ailes, and by prominent hosts including Bill O’Reilly; as well as to the family of Seth Rich, a former Democratic Party staff member who was killed in a robbery that some conservatives tried to link to an anti-Clinton conspiracy theory.

    But a settlement with Dominion appears to be a remote possibility at this point. Fox has said that the broad protections provided to the media under the First Amendment shield it from liability. The network says it was merely reporting on Trump’s accusations, which are protected speech even if the president is lying. Dominion’s complaint outlines examples in which Fox hosts did more than just report those false claims, they endorsed them.

    “This does not appear to be a case that’s going to settle — but anything can happen,” said Dan K. Webb, a noted trial lawyer who is representing Fox in the dispute. “There are some very fundamental First Amendment issues here, and those haven’t changed.”

    In a statement, Dominion said the company was confident its case would show that Fox knew it was spreading lies “from the highest levels down.”

    “Instead of acting responsibly and showing remorse, Fox instead has doubled down,” the statement said. “We’re focused on holding Fox accountable and are confident the truth will ultimately prevail.”

    The judge has set a trial date for April. A separate defamation suit against Fox by the voting company Smartmatic is not scheduled to be ready for trial until the summer of 2024.

    Part of the reason Fox executives and its lawyers believe they can prevail is the high burden of proof Dominion must reach to convince a jury that the network’s coverage of the 2020 election defamed it. Under the law, a jury has to conclude that Fox acted with “actual malice,” meaning that people inside the network knew that what they were reporting was false but did so anyway, or that they recklessly disregarded information showing what they were reporting was wrong.

    That is what Dominion hopes to show the jury with the private messages it obtained from a several-week period after the election from Fox employees at all levels of the company. Very little is known publicly about what those messages could contain.

    In addition to arguing that its coverage of Dominion was protected as free speech, Fox argues it was merely covering statements from newsmakers. “There is nothing more newsworthy than covering the president of the United States and his lawyers making allegations of voter fraud,” a spokesperson said.

    Fox’s lawyers are also planning lines of defense that they hope will dent Dominion’s credibility, even if that means leaning into some of the conspiracy theories that are at the heart of Dominion’s case. They may argue, for example, that it was plausible that the machines had been hacked, pointing to questions that were raised by at least one independent expert about whether the software was secure.

    As part of their fact-finding, Fox lawyers sought information from a University of Michigan computer scientist who wrote a report this year saying there were vulnerabilities in Dominion’s system that could be exploited, even though there is no evidence of any such breach.

    Webb said the intent would be to show that the fraud allegations “were not made up out of whole cloth.” But it was not his plan, he said, to pretend that Trump’s voter fraud falsehoods — which were the same as many of the falsehoods uttered on the air at Fox — were true. “The president’s allegations were not correct,” Webb said. He added that he planned “to show the jury that those security concerns were there and were real and added plausibility to the president’s allegations.”

    After Murdoch’s deposition Monday, lawyers on both sides of the case said they expected one additional senior executive to be questioned by Dominion’s lawyers: Rupert Murdoch, chair of Fox Corp., who founded Fox News with Ailes more than 25 years ago.

    © 2022 The New York Times Company
  • silverfish
    Foot Soldier
    • Mar 2007
    • 555

    #2
    Judge rules that Fox News lied
    The judge in the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News has issued a summary judgment that Fox did, indeed, lie about Dominion's voting machines: In his ruling, Davis determined that the conservative cable-news network had undeniably broadcast falsehoods when it allowed allies of Donald Trump to float baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion supposedly rigging voting machines to boost Joe Biden. However, Davis said


    In his ruling, Davis determined that the conservative cable-news network had undeniably broadcast
    falsehoods when it allowed allies of Donald Trump to float baseless conspiracy theories about Dominion
    supposedly rigging voting machines to boost Joe Biden.

    However, Davis said he will leave it to a jury to decide whether Fox knew the statements
    were false when they aired them or acted recklessly in doing so — the “actual malice” standard
    required to prove a case of defamation.

    This means Dominion doesn't have to clutter up its case by convincing a jury that Fox lied. Nor
    that the lies defamed Dominion. Nor that Fox was "just reporting the news." The judge has already
    decided those questions.
    Originally posted by sadaist
    I don't mind that one Nickelback song. I just hate the fact that they put it on every album 10 times.

    Comment

    • FORD
      ROTH ARMY MODERATOR

      • Jan 2004
      • 58899

      #3
      FAUX and Dominion settle defamation lawsuit over on-air 2020 election lies

      theguardian.com
      Fox and Dominion settle defamation lawsuit over on-air 2020 election lies
      Sam Levine


      Fox and the voting equipment company Dominion settled a closely watched defamation lawsuit , ending a dispute over whether the network and its parent company knowingly broadcast false and outlandish allegations that Dominion was involved in a plot to steal the 2020 election. The settlement comes after the jury was sworn in Tuesday morning and after a lengthy, unexpected delay to the start of opening statements.

      “The parties have resolved their case,” Judge Eric Davis told jurors Tuesday afternoon before excusing them from the courtroom.

      Terms of the settlement have not yet been disclosed.

      The six-week jury trial was originally set to begin Monday, but Davis, the judge overseeing the case, postponed the start of trial by a day as the sides worked to reach a settlement agreement.

      The case, unfolding over six weeks in Wilmington, Delaware, was set to be a blockbuster media trial. Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old chief executive of Fox, was called to testify in the case, along with top Fox talent including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo.

      The lawsuit was seen as one of the most aggressive efforts to hold Fox, or any actor, accountable for spreading the lie that the 2020 election was stolen. It was a lie that led to threats against election officials across the country, and ultimately helped fuel the violent attack on the US Capitol on 6 January. Nine deaths have been linked to the event.

      Though the case was settled, Dominion had unearthed a stunning trove of internal communications from Fox laying bare how top talent and hosts knew the outlandish claims about Dominion and a stolen election were false. The extensive messages offered a remarkable insight into how some of the most powerful hosts in America did not buy the allegations they were broadcasting to their audience each night.

      Dominion, a relatively obscure company until the 2020 election, sought $1.6bn in damages in the case. It challenged repeated claims made on Fox’s air after the general election that Dominion switched votes, paid government kickbacks, and was founded in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chávez.

      Davis had already concluded those claims were false. “The evidence developed in this civil proceeding demonstrates that is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true,” he wrote in a ruling earlier this month.

      The question that would have been before the jury was whether Fox committed “actual malice” in airing the claims. That required Dominion to show whether key decision makers were aware the claims were false or acted with reckless disregard for the truth.

      Fox still faces several legal battles related to its decision to broadcast false claims. Smartmatic, another voting equipment company, is suing the company for $2.7bn. Abby Grossberg, a former Fox employee who worked for Bartiromo and Carlson, is also suing the company, alleging she was coerced into giving misleading testimony.

      The network also faces a separate lawsuit from a shareholder who is seeking damages and argues that executives breached their fiduciary duty to the company by causing false claims about the election to be broadcast.
      Eat Us And Smile

      Cenk For America 2024!!

      Justice Democrats


      "If the American people had ever known the truth about what we (the BCE) have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." - Poppy Bush, 1992

      Comment

      • silverfish
        Foot Soldier
        • Mar 2007
        • 555

        #4
        Politico reports:

        Fox News reaches $787.5 million settlement in Dominion’s defamation lawsuit
        The eye-popping sum is enormous in the annals of defamation cases, but the settlement deal did
        not include any apology from Fox News.
        Originally posted by sadaist
        I don't mind that one Nickelback song. I just hate the fact that they put it on every album 10 times.

        Comment

        • FORD
          ROTH ARMY MODERATOR

          • Jan 2004
          • 58899

          #5
          Eat Us And Smile

          Cenk For America 2024!!

          Justice Democrats


          "If the American people had ever known the truth about what we (the BCE) have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." - Poppy Bush, 1992

          Comment

          • Kristy
            DIAMOND STATUS
            • Aug 2004
            • 16372

            #6
            Great. Commentary brought to you by Puke Yugur.

            Comment

            • FORD
              ROTH ARMY MODERATOR

              • Jan 2004
              • 58899

              #7
              Does Fox “News” Owe Accountability to a Hell of a Lot More People than Just Dominion?

              hartmannreport.com
              Does Fox “News” Owe Accountability to a Hell of a Lot More People than Just Dominion?
              Thom Hartmann




              Fox “News” has settled with Dominion, paying them about three-quarter-billion dollars and admitting that they lied.

              But nobody died at Dominion. Nobody’s life and family were turned upside-down at Dominion by being thrown into prison for sedition and insurrection. Nobody at Dominion was hospitalized or committed suicide because of the injuries they received at the hands of an angry mob Fox helped incite.

              While Dominion had a strong legal case against Fox for lying on the air and harming their business, the families of Ashli Babbitt, Anthony Antonio, three dead and over 140 injured police officers, and patriotic Americans across the country have an even stronger moral case.

              The January attempt to overthrow the American government and install Trump as a dictator for life didn’t happen in a vacuum. Media Matters for America reported:

              “In the two weeks after Fox News called the election for Biden, Fox News cast doubt on the results of the election at least 774 times.”

              While Ashli Babbett shared over 8,600 tweets about the “stolen election,” the first was to Trump himself on election day, according to The Washington Post:

              “Today we save America from the tyranny, collusion and corruption,” she tweeted to the President.

              The Post added:

              “She was an avid viewer of Fox News, praising Tucker Carlson and other far-right media personalities on the network as she derided their liberal targets.”

              Babbitt believed in her cause.

              Given what Fox “News” had been broadcasting during the nine weeks between the election and Babbitt’s death in the Capitol she had good reason to feel she was a true patriot, part of a revolt against corrupt political power as genuine as the one the Founders declared on July 4, 1776.

              National Public Radio noted that Lou Dobbs, in a conversation with Ted Cruz three weeks before the January 6th attack, suggested that Democrats insisting Joe Biden won the election were committing treason:

              “The Democrats have been trying to both block his presidency, to overthrow his presidency through impeachment, as well as absolute, in my judgment, treason on the part of a number of government officials, the deep state, if you will.”

              A week after the election, on November 10th, Shawn Hannity told his audience:

              “We saw blatant election-law violations in state after state.”

              On the 11th, Hannity said:

              “While the very frail, the very weak, cognitively struggling Joe Biden is probably fast asleep in his basement bunker, dreaming of picking out drapes for the Oval Office, well, investigations continue in multiple key states — where hundreds now of sworn affidavits are being filed, lawsuits are being filed, alleging serious election misconduct.”

              And on December 3rd, a month before the insurrection, he opened his Fox show with:

              “Tonight, we are tracking multiple stories, serious allegations of election irregularities all across the country tonight — a lot of news tonight.”

              Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, told Shawn Hannity’s audience a month after the election:

              “I want to make it clear to the American people — this is not over. So, don’t for a second think that Joe Biden is going to be sworn in on Jan. 20th.”

              Three days before the Electoral College vote was to be certified on January 6th, Fox host and rightwing hate radio superstar Mark Levin told his Fox viewers:

              “If we don’t fight on January 6th on the floor of the Senate and the House — that is the joint meeting of Congress — on these electors, we’re done. … They’re trying to reverse the course of the election. They’re trying to take the franchise away from the people.

              “Let me be abundantly clear about this. … On January 6 we learn whether our constitution will hold and whether the Republicans care. Let me be clear. Article II Section 1 to the United States Constitution, and we have talked about it here before, has been intentionally violated, eviscerated by the Democratic Party and the United States Supreme Court which is sitting on its quills and pins.”

              If you heard that and believed it, wouldn’t you want to show up and try to save America?

              These people didn’t consider themselves criminals, and after Marjorie Taylor Greene visited them in jail and told them they were heroes for what they did, they probably are convinced of the righteousness of their cause all over again.

              Consider the case of 27-year-old Anthony Antonio — another person with his entire life ahead of him but now heading for prison — to whom Fox “News” should apologize.

              He’d been largely non-political most of his life, his lawyer told ABC News, but when he lost his job at the start of the pandemic he found himself locked down and isolated at home with his three roommates.

              Which was when he discovered Fox “News.” His attorney, Joseph Hurley, said:

              “By that point in his life he had never been acquainted with Fox. He knew very little about Trump. He had nothing to do but sit with these guys during the day and watch Fox; six hours, eight hours a day. He became infected with the misinformation provided by them and he became an ally of this person Trump.”

              Antonio first followed Fox’s skepticism of Covid and after the election became convinced — from watching hours of Fox, according to his attorney — that Democrats were stealing the country right out in the open. As attorney Hurley told a federal judge at Antonio’s arraignment for attacking police on January 6th at the Capitol:

              “He became hooked with what I call ‘Foxitus’ or ‘Foxmania’ and became interested in the political aspect and started believing what was being fed to him.”


              In yesterday’s settlement we also didn’t hear a word about the lying Fox hosts or the Murdoch family apologizing to 42-year-old Capitol police officer Brian D. Sicknick, a who died from his injuries.

              Or Rosanne Boyland, Kevin D. Greeson, or Benjamin Phillips, who all thought they were doing the right and patriotic thing but died at the Capitol that day.

              Or even Cesar Sayoc, the man who was convicted of sending bombs to 16 Democrats including Barack Obama, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, and Eric Holder — all regular bogeymen routinely vilified on Fox “News.”

              His attorney told the judge who sentenced him to 20 years in prison:

              “He began watching Fox News religiously at the gym, planning his morning workout to coincide with Fox and Friends and his evenings to dovetail with Hannity. Mr. Sayoc’s family had historically been Democrats and this was Mr. Sayoc’s first foray into politics. … Through these actions, Mr. Sayoc found the sense of community that he had been missing for so many years.”

              The brilliance of Rupert Murdoch — from his early Australian and UK media enterprises to his partnership with Roger Ailes to launch Fox “News” — has been his ability to create that very sense of community around shared victimhood.

              Tucker Carlson tells white men there’s a nefarious plot afoot, implying it’s funded by international Jews like George Soros, to “replace” them with Black and Brown people:

              “In political terms, this policy is called ‘the great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries. They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it's happening, they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.”

              There’s an old saying that we’re more often defined by our enemies than by our friends. Murdoch and Fox know this well. By defining a threat and then pointing to a specific group — it must be a social minority to work, as Hitler showed the world — you can create a subculture of victimhood, a cadre of resistance, a dedicated base and audience of followers who will buy your advertisers’ products and jack up your ratings.

              The only problem is that by animating people with hate and fear you’re also triggering them to violence and destruction, both of society and themselves.

              The vast majority of politically-inspired violence and murders in America over the past two decades have been committed by rightwing extremists, and, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, over half of them were identifiably motivated by the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory Carlson pushes on Fox.

              As then-21-year-old Patrick Crusius, the shooter who murdered 23 Hispanics (and wounded 23 others) in El Paso on August 3, 2019, wrote in his manifesto:

              “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

              Fox “News” and the Murdochs owe an apology to a hell of a lot more people than just Dominion.

              Just a week after the January 6th insurrection, James Murdoch, son of Rupert and brother of Lachlan, told The Financial Times about the consequences of media operations lying about the 2020 election:

              “Spreading disinformation — whether about the election, public health, or climate change — has real world consequences.

              “Many media property owners have as much responsibility for this as the elected officials who know the truth but choose instead to propagate lies. We hope the awful scenes we have all been seeing will finally convince those enablers to repudiate the toxic politics they have promoted once and forever.”

              Clearly his father and brother weren’t listening.



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              Eat Us And Smile

              Cenk For America 2024!!

              Justice Democrats


              "If the American people had ever known the truth about what we (the BCE) have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." - Poppy Bush, 1992

              Comment

              • Nickdfresh
                SUPER MODERATOR

                • Oct 2004
                • 49260

                #8
                It ain't over yet: Fox resolves Dominion case, but $2.7 billion Smartmatic lawsuit looms

                Comment

                • FORD
                  ROTH ARMY MODERATOR

                  • Jan 2004
                  • 58899

                  #9
                  Eat Us And Smile

                  Cenk For America 2024!!

                  Justice Democrats


                  "If the American people had ever known the truth about what we (the BCE) have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched." - Poppy Bush, 1992

                  Comment

                  • Seshmeister
                    ROTH ARMY WEBMASTER

                    • Oct 2003
                    • 35262

                    #10
                    A casual look at the numbers on this are a bit confusing. I get that Fox could not ever risk having to tell the truth about what they did to their viewers but Fox has no more than 2 million viewers maybe closer to 1.5 million. So they can afford to pay $400 per viewer to make this go away? Apparently they had $4 billion in the bank so can easily afford it.

                    Another slightly unrelated thing that that came to light quite recently, is that his ex wife Jerry 'what first attracted you to billionaire Murdoch?', as part of her divorce settlement/whore payment was forbidden from 'suggesting storylines to Succession writers'.

                    Comment

                    • Nitro Express
                      DIAMOND STATUS
                      • Aug 2004
                      • 32798

                      #11
                      Well it’s Fox but it sure ain’t news. Just another propaganda channel.
                      No! You can't have the keys to the wine cellar!

                      Comment

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