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News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is testifying Thursday and Friday in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case against Fox News, a billion-dollar lawsuit that has implicated some of the network’s biggest figures over repeated statements ahead of the 2020 election that link the fraud to the Dominion machines—including comments from both Fox News personalities and guests.

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Dominion lives in its trialallowed by the Delaware State Court Go ahead In December 2021, that Fox News and its anchors repeatedly and intentionally advanced false claims that linked Dominion voting machines to election fraud, as a tactic to boost ratings, with Dominion contesting its claims. Despite repeatedly sending letters to the network.

The network “created, supported and accepted” false claims about the Dominion machines, the lawsuit alleges, through repeated interviews on its programs with far-right Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who accused the Dominion fraud. Challenged the claims of without anchors to them.

Powell told Maria Bartiromo that there was “a massive and coordinated effort to steal this election” and “fabricate votes for Joe Biden”, Sean Hannity told the company “ran an algorithm that selected then-President Donald Trump”. According to the lawsuit, Lou Dobbs claimed that Trump’s “lead was so great … he had to stop counting votes and withhold the votes needed to change the result.”

Giuliani claimed in December fox and friends That Dominion Machine”[were] has been developed to steal elections, and is being used in the states involved,” and both he and Powell repeatedly advanced false claims that linked the Dominion machines to the rival company Smartmatic—which Fox News was also sued — and claimed the company has ties to Venezuela, which it does not, notes the Dominion suit.

Dominion alleges that Fox anchors themselves pushed false election claims on the network: Jeanine Pirro asked, “Why is the vote table popping up overnight that can’t be explained for Biden?”, and Dobbs said that Dominion machines Was a part of it. “The world’s only superpower has the most ridiculous, irresponsible and draconian system imaginable” and Trump will have to “take, I believe, drastic action, dramatic action” to combat it.

In addition to the claims made on the network, Dobbs also Tweeted A two-page document that claimed “every Dominion machine had an embedded controller allowing an election observer to move votes from one candidate to another” and described the alleged voting machine conspiracy as “cyber described as “Pearl Harbor”.

Tucker Carlson, who initially said Dominion Notes on-air that there was no election fraud that changed the results, brought up MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for an interview in January 2021, and Lindell claimed that he “ha[s] Hired “hit groups, bots and trolls” to go after him with all the evidence “proving fraud with the Dominion machines and the voting company”.

chief critic

Fox News has disputed Dominion's claims and that the comments made on the network were not defamatory, arguing that they are covered under the First Amendment and that the network and its anchors were reporting on matters of public importance. "We are confident that we will prevail because press freedom is fundamental to our democracy and must be protected, apart from claims for damages that are outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis, which are nothing more than a cynical attempt to have prevented our journalists from doing their jobs,” the network said in a statement forbes Tuesday

big number

774. According to an analysis by the left-leaning media watchdog, an estimated number of statements made on Fox News challenged the election results or made claims of election fraud in the two weeks after Biden was declared president-elect. media matters that Dominion cited in its lawsuit.

Adverse

Dominion's lawsuit acknowledges that Dobbs said on air on January 4, 2021 that "we still don't have verifiable concrete support" to prove election fraud involving voting machines, and that "we don't have actual evidence." Took a long time to find." Fox Business host, whose show was Cancelled A month later, it did not change its tune on election fraud, however, saying, "The fact of the matter is that this president is looking to have this election stolen from him."

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Dominion's lawsuit against Fox News is set for trial in April 2023, according to court documents, and the voting machine company is asking the network to pay $1.6 billion in damages for alleged defamation. Fox also faces a separate defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic, which a court allowed to proceed in March. Dominion has also brought a separate case directly against Fox Corporation that focuses on Rupert and son Lachlan Murdoch's alleged involvement in furthering election fraud claims on Fox News, prompting Fox to dismiss the case in June. After rejecting the proposal is now pending.

what we don't know

What would Murdoch say if he was sacked? The News Corp chairman was initially scheduled to depose in December via video call, but his testimony was delayed until this week and will now take place take place In person in Los Angeles, according to court filings in the case. The transcript will not be made public. Dominion's Fox News lawsuit alleges that even though Murdoch did not personally believe there was widespread election fraud, he was "still concerned" by his personal relationship with Trump and the effect of pushing false election claims on Fox News' ratings. [encourage] On-air personality for perpetuating these baseless claims. The lawsuit alleges that Murdoch exerted direct influence over Fox's programming after the 2020 election, citing media reports From the time it was claimed Murdoch had "stepped up to direct judgment" at the network amid declining ratings.

main background

Dominion sued Fox News in March 2021, one of nine defamation lawsuits brought by the company against companies and figures following the 2020 election. Murdoch marks the most prominent figure to date in the months-long search process leading up to the case's trial, although Dominion has asked several of the network's highest-ranking individuals and executives to testify in court. Those already fired include Pirro, Carlson, Dobbs, Hannity, Bartiromo, Lachlan Murdoch, James Murdoch, Shepard Smith, Steve Ducey, Bret Baier, Laura Ingraham and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott. Attorney General William Barr, court records show. Court records in the case show that the proceedings have become contentious in recent months, as both Dominion and Fox News have asked the court to issue sanctions against the other for allegedly destroying evidence. Dominion alleged that evidence was tampered with by Fox figures including Hannity, Ingraham and Scott, although the full request for sanctions is confidential, so it is unclear what the evidence may have been.

amazing facts

a december court hearing The case suggested that several high-ranking anchors and executives of the network disputed the 2020 fraud claims under oath, although full transcripts of the statements have not been made public. Dominion's attorneys said during the hearing that Hannity testified that he "did not believe [Powell’s fraud claims] For a second,” and reportedly also doubted Carlson's fraud claims with Fox News exec Mead Cooper. A Dominion attorney also alleged that a Fox Corporation executive had pushed the White House to stop Powell from advising Trump, calling his claims "outlier". Dominion argued that this was further evidence that Fox Corp., which Murdoch controls, knew the fraud claims were false, but Fox News pushed them anyway.

Fox News sued for defamation over election conspiracy by Dominion Voting (Forbes)

Court lets lawsuit against OANN proceed—here stand Dominion and Smartmatic's defamation lawsuits (Forbes)

Billionaire Rupert Murdoch will be dropped in Dominion's defamation suit against Fox, report says (Forbes)

Rupert Murdoch's turn to face questions in $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News (NPR)

Dominion's lawsuit isn't a slam dunk -- but Fox News' defense isn't either (Vanity Fair)