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Fox News $1.6 Billion Defamation Lawsuit: Newly Disclosed Messages Show Reckless Promotion of False Claims

Fox News and its right-wing cable news networks, Fox News and Fox Business, are facing a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, who accused the network of pushing false claims that its voting machines rigged the results of the 2020 election.[0]

Newly disclosed messages are part of the lawsuit and show that Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, as well as other Fox News anchors and producers, were aware that the claims of election fraud were baseless, yet they still perpetuated them in order to maintain viewership.[1]

In a group chat, Carlson told Hannity to “get her fired” when Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich fact-checked Trump's false claims about the election.[1] In another instance, a producer for The Ingraham Angle texted an executive, “This dominion shit is going to give me a fucking aneurysm—as many times as I’ve told Laura it’s bs, she sees shit posts and trump tweeting about it—”[2]

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox News, even suggested that the network's prime time stars should acknowledge Biden's win but the hosts refused.

The core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan,” the network said.[1] However, the newly disclosed messages show that Fox News disregarded the truth and recklessly promoted false claims about Dominion Voting Systems, putting the truth and free speech in jeopardy.

0. “Dominion Voting attorney calls out Fox for missing evidence in defamation lawsuit” CNBC, 8 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/08/dominion-fox-missing-evidence-lawsuit.html

1. “Fox News stars and executives privately trashed Trump's election fraud claims, court document reveals” East Idaho News, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.eastidahonews.com/2023/02/fox-news-stars-and-executives-privately-trashed-trumps-election-fraud-claims-court-document-reveals

2. “Fox News Stars Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity Privately Trash-Talked Trump's Election Lies” The Daily Beast, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-stars-like-tucker-carlson-sean-hannity-privately-trash-talked-trump-camps-election-fraud-lies