A libel lawsuit claiming Fox News deliberately promoted false allegations that a voting tech company rigged the 2020 election is set to reach the top of the media empire next week when the channel’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, should sit for a deposition.
Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems, which is suing Fox for $1.6 billion, are seeking to know what knowledge the 91-year-old billionaire might have of his company’s repeated broadcasts of the false allegations.
Show segments hosted by prominent right-wing Fox personalities Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham, among others, all presented a post-election narrative that Dominion’s voting machines were somehow twisted, including the passing ballots from Donald Trump to Joe Biden when the former was defeated. to the latter in the race for the Oval Office, says Dominion.
The lawsuit alleges the unsubstantiated allegations were amplified by guest conspiracy theorists such as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, both Trump lawyers who have been sanctioned or face disciplinary action, for pushing the big boss into court. lie of the former president of a stolen election.
Murdoch, who will sit for depositions by video link on December 13 and 14, is the most prominent name yet to receive a subpoena. On Monday, his son Lachlan Murdoch – the chief executive of the broadcaster’s parent company Fox Corp – gave evidence while others called last month, including Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Chairman Jay Wallace.
Hannity gave a seven-hour deposition in August, The Washington Post reported. According to the newspaper, he was asked specifically about a November 2020 episode of his show in which Powell claimed that Dominion “ran an algorithm that reduced Trump’s votes and attributed them to Biden” and added huge amounts. additional “fake” Biden votes.
The lawsuit, which was filed in June 2021 against Fox News, was expanded to include Fox Corp in June. He claims that Fox “sold a false story of voter fraud in order to serve its own business ends, seriously hurting Dominion in the process.”
Fox Corp tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, but a Delaware judge said Dominion, which provided voting machines to 28 states in the 2020 elections, had shown sufficient evidence for it to proceed.
Dominion was already suing other right-wing networks OAN and Newsmax for running similar claims about the integrity of its machines.
Fox dismissed the allegations, portraying the case as a battle for a free press and its right to broadcast newsworthy allegations of voter fraud pressed by a prominent public official, namely Trump.
In a statement in August, Fox News said: ‘We are confident that we will prevail because freedom of the press is fundamental to our democracy and must be protected, in addition to the outrageous, unsubstantiated and unsubstantiated claims for damages. rooted in sound financial analysis. ”
Fox News opposes what it sees as an attempt by Dominion to expose its internal processes, and it has sought to protect Hannity and fellow host Jeanine Pirro from having to reveal “confidential sources and information”.
Although Hannity has publicly stated that he is not a journalist, Fox seems determined to portray him as such, insisting that it is “a journalist’s right to keep his secrets.”
A five-week trial is expected to begin in Delaware superior court in April unless a settlement is reached before then. The Post reports that the two sides are so far apart that such a deal is not considered imminent.