The Dominion Voting System’s historic challenge against Fox News will proceed to a high-stakes jury trial next month, a Delaware judge ruled Friday, refusing to declare a pretrial winner.
Both sides asked Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis to rule in their favor, declare them the winner at this stage and overturn the trial. But after thousands of pages of filings and exhibits, and a series of court hearings in Wilmington, Davis decided to bring the case to trial.
But in Friday’s ruling, Davis said the testimony Dominion presented showed Fox News had spread lies about the company.
“The records disclosed in this civil proceeding demonstrate that it is crystal clear that none of the statements made by Dominion regarding the 2020 election are true,” Davis wrote.
“It is acceptable for the praetor to rule diligently, rejecting all the arguments and defenses of the foxes, and as of right finding that their opinions about the domain were false. We look forward to going to trial,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“This case is and always has been about First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news. FOX will continue to vigorously advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press as we move into the next phase of these proceedings,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement.
The jury selection is scheduled for April 13th.
It is always unlikely that either side will prevail in this action.
Unless the matter goes out of court — which is always possible — Davis’ ruling jury will decide whether Fox News defamed its ownership by repeatedly promoting false claims that the voting technology company was biased in the 25th presidential election against Donald Trump. .
Fox News and its parent company, the Fox Corporation, deny all wrongdoing and have argued that their conspiracy theories are in full swing after the 2020 election and are protected by the First Amendment because they are only reporting on “breaking news.”
Their guilt will be judged in court. But the reason was already the convulsed reputation of the Fox.
The incriminating texts and emails showed how Fox executives, hosts and producers didn’t believe the network would get around the issue. These revelations are a stab at Fox News’ belief that they are nothing more than a partisan GOP operation aimed at ratings – not journalism.
The case seems to be one of the slanderous cases of recent memory. Fox has argued that the loss will eviscerate press freedoms, and some scholars agree that the prince should remain barred from proving defamation. Other analysts have said that Fox’s plan to deliberately spew falsehoods is not to yield to objective journalism that would never do it in the first place.
The case exposed a mountain of evidence exposing Fox News as a right-wing profit machine lacking basic journalistic ethics — and willing to promote conspiracy theories with some choice to maintain a profitable business.
Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the Fox Corporation, admitted in a sworn deposition that several of his top hosts had put election signatures on the air that he knew were false. And after the 2020 election, its stars and most prominent executives privately dismissed the conspiracy theories that were being aired, according to internal text messages and email exchanges that were made public as part of the lawsuit.
The legal filing shows how worried Fox News executives and hosts were about to lose viewership to Newsmax, a smaller right-wing talk channel that saturated its airwaves with election denial.
After Donald Trump’s election, he furiously attacked Fox News and urged his followers to switch to Newsmax. And so they called themselves days and weeks after the presidential contest. Fox News shed a chunk of its audience while Newsmax gained significant viewership, leading to panic within the building and pushing network leadership to embrace election denial, which includes a large portion of the Republican Party.
In several instances, Fox News executives and hosts at the network began cracking down on those who reported fact-checked election lies on private news shows revealed in courtroom sweeps. In one case, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity exchanged messages about winning as White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich was fired for delaying a tweet about the alleged fraud. In another case, when host Neil Cavuto was cut from a White House press briefing where election misinformation was being promoted, senior Fox News leaders told him that such a move presented a “significant threat.”
Despite what appeared on the air, Fox News executives and the Trump administration privately criticized the camp for pushing election fraud. Hannity said Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, was “acting like a lunatic,” and Ingraham called him “an idiot.” Rupert Murdoch said Giuliani had warned Trump “really badly”.
This is a developing story and will be updated.