Hundreds of pages of testimony, private text messages and emails from top Fox News reporters and executives were made public Thursday in a repository of documents that show efforts to alienate key audiences by accurately reporting on the 2020 presidential results. The latter show a network in crisis. Election.
As part of the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit being faced by Fox News over Dominion Voting Systems, a judge unsealed parts of the employees’ statements as well as documents.
The messages are blunt and at times profane, as hosts and top executives grappled with how to shore up their ratings as then-President Donald Trump refused to accept his defeat. Meanwhile, the statements paint the most comprehensive picture yet of how executives, including Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch, allowed unfounded conspiracy theories to flourish on the air.
In an email to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott a day after Joe Biden’s inauguration, Murdoch said the network drew anger from Republican senators including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for stories suggesting the election was stolen. Was happening
“Still getting mud thrown at us!” Murdoch complained. “Maybe Sean and Laura went too far,” he continued, referring to hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
small fraction The exchanges were referenced in two Dominion briefs made public in Delaware court. last month, That’s when Dominion sought a summary judgment from the judge and Fox News’ own motion to oppose the judge’s dismissal of the case.
Dominion’s brief previously revealed how top Fox News figures privately blasted election fraud claims as “crazy” and “crazy” even as the network aired them on television did, and top boss Murdoch regarded some of Trump’s voter fraud claims as “bullshit”. — and harmful,” yet acknowledged in a statement that they did nothing to rein in hosts who were promoting bogus claims in the days leading up to the 2020 election.
Dominion sued Fox News in March 2021, alleging that the network had caused “serious harm” to the voting machine company by oxygenating conspiracy theories it discovered were false, including bogus claims that The Dominion Tool was used to rig the 2020 election for Joe Biden, that it was linked to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and that it bribed US government officials.
Fox News has previously said it is “proud of our 2020 election coverage, which is in the highest tradition of American journalism,” and argued that the Dominion lawsuit was designed only to garner headlines. Dominion argues that the First Amendment does not permit media outlets to broadcast conspiracy theories that they know to be false.
“As the dominant media company among those viewers disenchanted with the election results, Fox gave these stories a prominence they might not otherwise have achieved. With Fox’s global platform, an audience of hundreds of millions, and social media These lies deeply harm Dominion’s once-thriving business,” the company’s 441-page lawsuit states. “Fox took a small flame and turned it into a wildfire.”
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