In avoiding a defamation trial, Fox News has agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems a US$787 million settlement.
Dominion Voting Systems brought a US$1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News and parent company Fox Corporation in March 2021 for defamation, accusing the news outlet of harming its reputation by airing former President Donald Trump and his attorneys’ claims that Dominion’s voting machines were part of the “stolen” 2020 election.
While the bar for high-profile plaintiffs to prove libel, claims is already set high, former President Donald Trump said it would have be set even higher if Fox News would have admitted that massive fraud occurred in the 2020 election.
“If Fox would finally admit that there was large scale cheating & irregularities in the 2020 presidential election, which would be a good thing for them, & for America, the case against them, which should not have existed at all, would be greatly weakened”, Trump said in a Truth Social post. “Back up those patriots at Fox instead of throwing them under the bus — & they are right!”
Trump cited “proof, like mass ballot stuffing caught on government cameras, FBI colluding with Twitter & Facebook, state legislatures not used, etc”.
Dominion alleges it was defamed when Fox News allowed guests and hosts to make claims about the 2020 election which included purported ties between Dominion and late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the charge that its machines were rigged to switch votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
The actual reporting of the allegations was more nuanced but raised serious questions that were not investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies.
Several major conservative media outlets, including Newsmax and The Washington Times, changed their characterizations of the allegations of vote fraud in 2020 following Dominion’s massive series of lawsuits. Now establishment-aligned conservative officials and media, while not endorsing the narrative that 2020 was “the most secure election ever”, take the view that it’s time to “move on”.
Other independent voices point out that 2020 election issues were not resolved and as a result the uncertainty and impact on conservative voters compromised the outcome of the 2022 Midterms elections. Furthermore, such unresolved issues could prove fatal to any future Republican bids to win the White House.
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