The Fox News-Dominion defamation trial begins: The high-stakes showdown in Washington, D.C.
The high-stakes showdown between Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News finally commences in earnest Tuesday when the $1.6 billion defamation trial begins, shining a spotlight on Fox’s election denialism and the toxic role of its disinformation on American politics.
The voting technology company’s case stems from Fox’s false claims that the voting tech company’s machines threw votes to Trump and Biden in the presidential election. Fox’s projection that Biden would win Arizona caused so much angst for Trump’s voters, that the network tried to win them back with a different projection. One way the network appealed to Trump loyalists was to broadcast the lies of election fraud promoted by Trump and his allies. The network said it was reporting on allegations of wrongdoing by the nation’s top elected official.
Fox wanted the lawsuit thrown out. A judge overseeing the case allowed it to go to trial last month, which was a major blow to the right-wing network. He has made it impossible for Fox to invoke some of its First Amendment defenses.
The drama that will be played out in a Delaware courtroom might show how truth has become a political currency and highlight a right-wing business model that relies on spinning an alternative reality. And yet, it remains unclear whether Trump – the primary author of the corrosive conspiracies that the 2020 election was fraudulent – will end up paying a significant personal or political price.
Fox has defended its actions, saying in a statement, “Dominion’s lawsuit is a political crusade in search of a financial windfall, but the real cost would be cherished First Amendment rights.”
The Real Truth About Donald J.A. Kemp’s 2024 Campaign for President Joe Biden and the 2020 Midterm Insurrection
Though he vigorously denies breaking any laws, the former president appears to face the possibility of indictment in probes into his attempt to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory by a district attorney in Georgia and by special counsel Jack Smith into his conduct in the lead-up to the US Capitol insurrection. Interviews and public testimony taken by a House select committee when Democrats controlled the chamber last year catalogued many layers of Donald Trump’s undemocratic behavior.
But the falsehood of a corrupt election still forms the bedrock of Trump’s 2024 campaign to win back the White House. Many of Trump’s supporters think he was illegally ejected from office for winning the 2020 election, even though he did not.
It is questionable if viewers of conservative media will hear much about the trial and get enough information to change their minds about 2020.
Trump’s insistence that the election was stained by fraud is giving some senior Republicans nightmares as they try to rebound from his loss in 2020 and work through their disappointment at the lack of a “red wave” in the last year’s midterms, despite winning the House.
“I think any candidate, to be able to win, is to talk about what we’re for, focus on the future, not look in the rearview mirror,” Kemp told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
Despite Donald Trump’s efforts, the country’s instruments of accountability remain intact as evidenced by the court proceeding against Fox.
But the run-up to the trial has been a catalog of embarrassments and reversals for both the network and the broader premise that there is anything to Trump’s false claims.
“To go up there and say, ‘What Fox did was protected by the First Amendment,’ it’s half the story. It’s protected by the First Amendment if you can’t demonstrate actual malice,” he said.
The communications gave a peek into Fox News in the wake of the 2020 election, when it was criticized by many viewers for correctly calling the election for Joe Biden. Messages showed network personnel struggled to appease its angry election-denying viewers, with hosts like Carlson lamenting sowing doubt about the election, but conceding it was what viewers craved.
Trump made it clear during the first few hours of his presidency that he would subvert the rules and conventions of the presidency in order to create an alternative vision of reality for his supporters. At the time, the idiotic statements made by the first press secretary of the president that his boss had drawn the biggest inaugural crowd in history seemed strange. But in retrospect, they were the first sign of a daily effort to destroy truth for Trump’s political benefit, which eventually morphed into lies about a stolen election that convinced many of the ex-president’s supporters. The culmination of all this was the mob attack by his supporters on Congress on January 6, 2021, during the certification of Biden’s victory.
This is, perhaps, not surprising. Because when he was in office, Trump made no secret of his strategy, telling the world in a moment of candor how he operated.
Don’t change with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” he said in a directive to his supporters at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City in 2018. “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
We won in the year that ended in 2016 The first big rally of Trump’s campaign was held in Texas at the end of March, in which the president claimed that his win in 2020 was rigged.
The Future of Fox News: The Case Against Defamation by Dominion Voting Systems in the Nashville Reaction of Sununu
If you stare in the mirror for too long while driving, you will run into someone, and that is not going to be good.
The fact that Trump remains the front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024 and is wildly popular with conservative grassroots voters suggests that it will take more than a courtroom display to restore the truth about 2020.
At the Republican National Committee’s spring retreat in Tennessee over the weekend, a swing-state GOP governor told major donors the party’s future political success depended in part on Fox News.
Sununu doesn’t seem to despise Fox despite his criticisms. He appeared on its news program, “America’s Newsroom” Monday morning, less than 48 hours after his pointed remarks in Nashville.
Sununu’s remarks echo a consistent theme found unvarnished in the private communications of Fox’s stars and executives by Dominion Voting Systems in its $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network: That Fox is an integral player in Republican politics and the conservative movement.
Sununu told Republicans at the Four Seasons Hotel in Nashville that they had to start thinking about the long game. “We get ourselves tied up in issues. I’m not saying they’re not important, but they ain’t making the team bigger.”
He said the party’s appeal is its emphasis on low government regulation, low taxes, and local governmental control.
Gop Governor Says Hes-urged Fox News to Break Out of Its Echo Chamber: An Address to a Congressional Lobbyist
Sununu was on the business anchor at Fox News and he talks to the leadership all the time.
“I go, ‘Look guys, I saw a panel discussion with four panelists on Fox and they all were literally agreeing with each other… They’re talking to each other. What are you doing to grow the team?'”
An excerpt of the talk was obtained from an attendee by Lauren Windsor, a liberal activist and consultant. The governor’s remarks were acknowledged by the person who signed them.
Sununu’s remarks come at a delicate moment for Fox. The six-week trial is set to start Tuesday morning after a one-day delay and the lawyers are trying to negotiate a settlement with the legal team from Dominion.
Gop Governor Hes-Closes Fox News to Break Out Of Its Echo: How Paul Ryan, Jonna McDaniel, and Steve Bannon Formed to Break It
It has been known for a long time that the founder of Fox News tried to influence elections in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. behind the scenes. Paul Ryan is on the corporate board of Fox Corp. the network’s corporate parent. (He was among those who argued that Fox had to release its embrace of election conspiracy theories).
And Trump drew from a roster of Fox personalities for appointments to his administration. Fox stars Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and others advised him off the air. (Dobbs would be forced out a day after another election tech company, Smartmatic, sued Fox in a $2.7 billion defamation claim.)
A Fox spokesman noted that it was suggested by surveys that its audiences include the most Democrats and independents.
Back in November 2020, NPR reported that Hannity invited RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on his show on the night before Biden would be projected to win the presidency.
An internal GOP memo showed that the show’s opening segment and guests would be set out, as well as the main points of the show. There are suspicions of voter fraud.
In late September 2020, Murdoch warned Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, that the Biden campaign ads were better. After his former wife helped to reconcile him with his daughter, a media magnate followed up with another email.
Biden is in the same football this Sunday at 1.0 pm. The game is quite good. Or I think so! Will send it,” Murdoch said in an email made public through legal proceedings.
On November 10th, a few days after Fox projected Biden’s win, star host Maria Bartiromo texted former Trump former chief political adviser Steve Bannon, “Omg I’m so depressed. I can’t take this”
The leader of the Republican Party had no plans to hold onto his position. He included a plan to destroy Biden as President, as well as helping the GOP win seats in the U.S. Senate.
Dominant Fox News, Dominion, v.s. Fox News: Why Do You Have a Role? The Case of Rupert Murdoch
On Nov 14, 2020, Fox Corp. executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert’s son, warned chief executive Suzanne Scott about the tone of Fox’s coverage of a pro-Trump rally.
Lachlan Murdoch wrote, “news men have to be careful about how they cover this rally.” “So far some of the side comments are slightly anti, and they shouldn’t be. The narrative should be this is a huge celebration of the president.”
Murdoch told Scott in an email that he was interested in assisting the Republican drive to win the Senate and that Trump would concede eventually.
We will show Fox spread lies causing enormous damage in the coming weeks. We look forward to trial,” a Dominion spokesperson said in a statement on the eve of trial.
Private text messages and emails released as part of the case revealed that top executives simply didn’t believe the debunked conspiracy theories they were peddling on-air.
That is the heart of Dominion’s case. The company alleges that Fox News knew the lies it promoted about its technology were false, but that the channel allowed the lies to take hold on its air to protect its lucrative business. Fox denies this.
Fox may still prevail despite these setbacks. The verdict must be unanimous. The Delaware Supreme Court and perhaps the US Supreme Court are both represented by seasoned appellate attorneys who are part of Fox’s legal team.
Do you know what is asked for by Dominion? Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in damages. They say Fox has destroyed its reputation as a result of its on-air lies. CNN recently reported on the growing distrust in voting machines in heavily Republican counties.
Proposal for the Delaware Superior Court Trial of Murdoch vs. Scott on Election Statistics, Election Security and Election Law Enforcement Issues
What are the trial plans? The trial is scheduled to last five to six weeks and will be presided over by the Delaware Superior Court Judge, Eric M. Davis. A panel of 12 jurors and 12 alternates is being seated.
There is no video of the proceedings in the courtroom. The courtroom will not have any still photography in it.
Who is expected to testify? Slated to give testimony include Murdoch and his family, as well as Jay Wallace, Lachlan Murdoch, Suzanne Scott and Tucker Carlson.
Both sides want to put on testimony from their experts who specialize in things like election statistics, the security of voting machines, journalism ethics and more.