On Friday, Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News for $1.6 billion, marking the first time the company has sued a media outlet for its 2020 election coverage.
Former President Donald Trump’s personal counsel Rudy Giuliani, pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell have all been sued for defamation by Dominion. According to Axios, Dominion claims in its complaint against Fox that the network “set out to draw viewers back — including President Trump himself — by deliberately and unfairly blaming Dominion for President Trump’s defeat by fixing the election.”
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According to the complaint, “Fox, one of the most influential media corporations in the United States, created a fabricated plot about election fraud that cast a then-unknown voting machine corporation named Dominion as the villain.” “Even after being given clear written notice of the truth, Fox held to its fundamentally unlikely and demonstrably false preconceived narrative, continuing to transmit the lies of facially inaccurate sources — which were embraced by Fox’s own on-air personalities — because the lies were good for Fox’s business.”
The complaint adds, “These lies turned Dominion into a household name.”
“Dominion’s staff, from software developers to the company’s founder and CEO, have been threatened regularly as a result of Fox’s organized defamatory campaign. Some have even been threatened with death. And, of course, Dominion’s company has sustained significant and irreversible financial damage.”
“FOX News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the finest tradition of American journalism, and will aggressively defend against this unfounded complaint in court,” the company said in a statement to The Daily Wire.
Fox News had Dominion spokesperson Michael Steele on during its election coverage to respond to Powell’s claims that the company’s computers had tampered with enough votes to swing the election from Trump to Biden. Powell’s claims were “physically impossible,” Steele said in the November episode.
Smartmatic, a voting organization, filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News in February, alleging similar charges that the network slandered the company for profit. “Fox News Media is dedicated to presenting the full background of any story with in-depth analysis and strong opinion,” Fox News said in response to the accusations.
After the case was filed on Feb. 4, Fox News has filed four motions to dismiss Smartmatic litigation against it and some of its hosts. The media outlet blasted Smartmatic for trying to dictate its coverage in a Feb. 8 statement, accusing the voting business of undermining the First Amendment.
“The First Amendment is at stake in this lawsuit. Smartmatic’s hypothesis is inherently incompatible with the realities of today’s news networks and profoundly ingrained values of free speech law, according to a statement released by Fox. “FOX News has called for the Smartmatic case to be dismissed because it is without validity. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Fox cannot be held responsible for objectively reporting and commenting on conflicting claims in an election that is fiercely contested and vigorously litigated. We are proud of our election coverage, which continues in the footsteps of the best of American journalism.”