Fox News and Dominion settle on coverage of the presidential election
In the morning there was a delay. Afternoon disturbances in the courtroom. The absence of lawyers, judge and jury is evident, while the world press was already ready to report on what promised to be a landmark trial. And then hours after the first hearing was supposed to start, the case came to an end. “The parties have settled,” Judge Eric Davis said.
Fox News has pledged to pay a staggering $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems, a voting machine manufacturer. No other terms of the settlement were disclosed. The order was $1.6 billion.
Fox News aired a conspiracy theory after the 2020 presidential election that Dominion voting machines had been used in fraud. Dominion then filed a defamation lawsuit. In late March, Judge Davis ruled that Fox News “failed to provide fair and independent reporting” and that “none of the statements made by Dominion regarding the 2020 election are true.”
About the author
Thomas Ruepp is the US correspondent for De Volkskrant. Lives in New York. He is the author of the book Laura H.
Fox News appears to at least partially acknowledge the latter. A statement appeared online shortly after the announcement. “We are satisfied with the settlement,” the organization wrote. “We acknowledge the court’s finding that some of the allegations made about Dominion are false.”
Watch numbers take precedence
Even before its inception, the case against Fox News was controversial. Dominion was able to seize thousands of pages of internal communications through the courts. They expose what happened in the channel after the previous presidential elections. Hardly anyone at Fox News believes allegations of fraud made by then-President Donald Trump, who claimed that he — not Joe Biden — was the winner. Yet Trump and his lawyers were allowed to claim it on the channel for weeks, almost without contradiction. Concern about ratings took precedence over facts at Fox News.
“The truth matters to us,” Attorney Justin Nelson said after the hearing on behalf of Dominion. “Lies have consequences.”
A maximum of six weeks was allotted for the trial. Courtesy of both teams of attorneys, Judge Eric Davis ended the hearing. “I would be proud if I could be your referee again in the future.”
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