Fox News characters face question as Dominion lawsuit goes ahead

A person walks past the Fox News Headquarters at the News Corporation building on May 3, 2022 in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | beautiful pictures

Next week, Maria Bartiromo will join the parade of Fox personalities who are being called to answer questions in Dominion Voting Systems’ cyber defamation lawsuit.

Bartiromo, the host of the Fox shows “Mornings with Maria” and “Sunday Morning Futures,” is expected to be removed from office on September 8, according to court filings.

In recent days, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro were among the network hosts scheduled to appear for questioning in the show. Dominion’s lawsuit, $1.6 billion in damages from the cable news network. Dominion argued that Fox Corp.Fox News and Fox Business have falsely claimed that their voting machines rigged the results of the 2020 election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Top brasses Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch are also expected to be deposed as the parent company is also sued.

The case is being closely watched by experts and First Amendment advocates in part because of the long list of Dominion examples that the Fox network repeatedly made false claims, even after the facts were revealed. expose. The defamation lawsuits often revolve around a wrongdoing, and First Amendment media companies are widely protected.

Experts say such cases are often resolved out of court or quickly dismissed by a court judge. But in December, the Delaware judge overseeing the Dominion case denied Fox News’ request about the case. dismiss.

According to people familiar with the matter, neither side has shown signs of starting discussions or reaching an agreement, although that could change before the trial is scheduled to begin in April. Fox has been strong. strongly deny the claims.

Roy Gutterman, an expert in media law and free speech at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, said: “Fox has made the First Amendment argument that this defamation is intended to punish speech and their press and this is an important component of their argument. of Public Communications.

But Gutterman said those rights can be limited “by the concept of tampering, especially if it could harm an individual or business.”

The deposits are private, as are the documents that Dominion has collected through the discovery process. Fox has asked the court to keep all documents collected, claiming that Dominion misinterpreted what the documents showed as actual malice.

In court papers, Dominion pointed to the rhetoric of hosts like Bartiromo, a former CNBC host, and former host Lou Dobbs and that they continue to recommend guests invited – including Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell – who falsely claimed that voter fraud was the reason Trump failed to beat Biden to win the 2020 election. interrogation was scheduled, records show.

FOX Business’s “Mornings With Maria” is host Maria Bartiromo at Fox Business Network Studios on April 6, 2018 in New York City.

Slaven Vlasic | beautiful pictures

“Fox, one of the most powerful media companies in the United States, gave life to a manufactured plot about voter fraud that made a little-known voting machine company known at the time as Dominion. is the villain,” the company said in its initial court filing. in March 2021.

Fox News’ legal team recently added veteran trial attorney Dan Webb to its roster. Webb said to Washington Post Earlier this week, Fox News only covered news and statements from Trump allies.

“We are confident we will prevail because a free press is fundamental to our democracy and must be defended, besides the claims of damages are outrageous, unsupported and is not rooted in sound financial analysis, is nothing more than a blatant attempt to deter a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement.

To win a defamation lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to prove that the individual or business they are suing made false statements that caused the damage and that the action had “genuine malice,” meaning the speaker knows or should know what they are saying. incorrect.

Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment attorney, said: “A key issue in these provisions will be Fox’s status as expressed by journalists reporting on this or otherwise. discuss it. “What would someone like Lou Dobbs say? Will he say he believes what he’s saying beyond simple reportage?”

Dominion said in court papers that it repeatedly emailed Fox News that its anchor managers and guests were making false statements — and that Dominion had “controllers.” independent information investigators, government officials and election security experts” quashed those claims.

Other current and former Fox News executives have been asked to file, court records show.

Dominion has also filed lawsuits against television networks One America News and Newsmax. Another voting machine maker, Smartmatic USA, made a similar claim in a defamation lawsuit against Fox News, alleging Dobbs and other organizers falsely accused the company of helping to orchestra make an election. A New York judge earlier this year rejected Fox News’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Immediately after Smartmatic filed the lawsuit, Fox News canceled Dobbs’ weekday business show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” Fox previously said Dobbs’ move to terminate the show was made before the lawsuit.

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