Free speech or fake news?

FOX News fights $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit


Anya Kelley, News Editor

Dominion Voting Systems is currently suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a defamation lawsuit concerning how Fox handled the 2020 presidential election. 

Dominion claims Fox didn’t push back enough and instead chose to spread the false narrative that the election was stolen from former president Trump. 

While Fox was publishing articles like “Tucker Carlson: Yes, the election was rigged for Joe Biden. Here’s how: How Democrats, Big Tech and the mainstream media waged an unfair fight in 2020,” behind-the-scenes news correspondents and chairman of the media giant that owns Fox News Rupert Murdoch privately admitted to knowing that the election was not stolen and was completely fair. 

Why does any of this matter? Most people in the liberal media space have known for a long time that Fox News is one of the biggest proponents of spreading false information. This case is just more evidence of that. 

The Washington Post put it this way, “The lawsuit carries significant implications not just for Fox financially … but potentially for journalism itself, given questions about what responsibility a news outlet has not to promote misinformation.”

Dominion is single handedly breaking open what it means to be a responsible journalist.

Stephanie Ruhle, host of MSNBC’s 11th Hour, explains responsible journalism as “reporting the news as a public service versus creating TV shows.”

Fox News isn’t reporting anything for public service – they are creating a TV show in hopes of leeching off  right-wing politicians for higher ratings. 

Fox blatantly disregarded the truth so they could keep viewership and ratings high when Trump was leaving the White House. 

They were afraid of saying anything bad about the former president; Tucker Carlson said it himself. 

I hate him passionately … What he’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong,” Carlson texted to a colleague on Jan. 4, 2021. 

Murdoch had sent an email saying he was worried Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram maybe “went too far” when talking about the “stolen” election on-air, but nothing was ever done to quell the flames they had started. 

Murdoch even admitted Trump convincing Americans that the election was stolen was a “huge disservice to the country.”

In another email on how to handle Trump post-election, Murdock said: “Trump insisting on the election being stolen and convincing 25% of Americans was a huge disservice to the country. Pretty much a crime. Inevitably it blew up Jan. 6th. Best we don’t mention his name unless essential and certainly don’t support him. We have to respect people of principle and if it comes to the Senate, don’t take sides. I know he is being over-demonized, but he brought it on himself.” 

Fox knew they were spreading lies and hugely important political claims and they did it all for views and ratings. 

Now that Dominion has chosen to sue, Fox is doubling down in a statement saying this suit is an “unprecedented effort to punish the press for covering and commenting on the most newsworthy story of the day” and an “effort to publicly smear a media organization just for having the temerity to cover and comment on allegations being pressed by the sitting president of the United States.”

Fox is trying to frame this as an issue of free speech and free press. But as of March 23, Fox is being sued by yet another person for feeling coerced into giving a false testimony in the Dominion suit. 

Abby Grossberg, senior producer for Tucker Carlson, claims the network set her and other female colleagues up as scapegoats. 

According to NPR, Grossberg was working for Maria Bartiromo at the time of the 2020

election. Bartiromo is now a key figure in the Dominion suit because she welcomed many guests who claimed Dominion Voting Systems aided in Joe Biden’s election victory. 

Grossberg had booked a guest for Bartiromo’s show who had accused Dominion of “voting irregularities” in a memo. “Grossberg told Dominion’s attorneys under oath that such a memo should not have been used as the basis of any such segments,” according to NPR. 

Now, Grossberg is suing Fox because she felt the lawyers set her up, making her give evasive answers and to avoid speaking about how she felt there was a lack of staffing and support on Bartiromo’s show. 

Grossberg also said that while her male colleagues were allowed to review and correct transcripts of their depositions after being questioned, she was not allowed to do so until after Dominion had cited her in legal briefs. 

So much for free speech. Fox is denying any truth to Grossberg’s case and claims everything she said in connection with the Dominion case are “baseless.”

All of this adds fuel to the fire. After all of the evidence — thousands of documents, text message proof, emails and phone call recordings — shows that Dominion has a solid defamation case. 

The trial is currently slated to start April 17  and it could be one of the most important defamation cases in history. Let’s just hope that this time, the truth will prevail.