In new court filings on Wednesday, Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News threw insults at each other. The election technology company said Fox wanted a “license to knowingly spread lies,” while the right-wing news channel said the lawsuit is a “unprecedented attack on the First Amendment.”
The filings set up a high-stakes hearing in two weeks, where a Delaware state judge will hear arguments about “summary judgment,” or whether he should decide the case before it goes to trial. Most lawyers think that the case will go to trial before a jury in the middle of April.
Dominion asked the judge to rule in their favor because, in their view, Fox had already admitted that what they said on air about Dominion rigging the 2020 election was false.
“Fox has produced no evidence — none, zero — supporting those lies,” Dominion said. “This concession should come as no surprise. Discovery into Fox has proven that from the top of the organization to the bottom, Fox always knew the absurdity of the Dominion ‘stolen election’ story.” Dominion added, in response to Fox’s claim that the election-rigging claims were “newsworthy” and therefore protected by the First Amendment, “Fox wants a First Amendment license to spread lies.”
The company went on to say, “If Fox cared about the truth, which it now says it does, it would have its most popular people tell its viewers about it.” Today. If not for Dominion, then for the sake of the large number of Americans who still wrongly think the 2020 election was stolen. This includes a lot of loyal Fox viewers who heard it over and over again on Fox’s airwaves.
In response, Fox News described Dominion’s lawsuit as an “unprecedented effort to punish the press for covering and commenting on the most newsworthy story of the day.” Lawyers for the right-wing network said Dominion’s defamation allegations have “no basis in law or fact.”
Fox News said-
“This effort to publicly smear a media organization just for having the temerity to cover and comment on allegations being pressed by the sitting President of the United States should be now recognized for what it is: a blatant violation of the First Amendment”
There are thousands of pages of papers
The filing is the latest step in Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News. The lawsuit has uncovered a trove of private text messages, emails, and deposition transcripts that show the network’s executives and hosts rejected the election fraud claims that were being pushed on the right-wing channel’s air.
In the thousands of pages of documents, Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch says over and over again that he doesn’t believe the conspiracy theories about Dominion that his own network will spread after the 2020 election.
“Maybe Sean and Laura went too far,” Murdoch said, referring to how Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham tried to prove that Donald Trump didn’t win the election after he lost.
Internal Fox News emails and messages that were also made public on Tuesday showed more about how the network’s biggest star really felt about Trump and his election conspiracy theories, even though he always supported Trump on air.
“I hate him passionately,” primetime host Tucker Carlson said in one text message exchange about Trump.
Carlson added about the Trump presidency-
“That’s the last four years,”
“We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”
Dominion’s lawsuit says that during the 2020 presidential election, the right-wing talk channel “recklessly ignored the truth” and spread various pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theories about the election technology company because “the lies were good for Fox’s business.”
Fox News has defended its actions by saying that Dominion is trying to “smear Fox News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press” by spreading false information and giving quotes to the wrong people.