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HomeTechnologyDominion wins key ruling, judge slams Fox News for false election claims

Dominion wins key ruling, judge slams Fox News for false election claims

A man holds a sign that says

Zoom in/ Protesters hold signs outside the News Corp building in New York City, March 7, 2023.

Getty Images | Erik McGregor

Dominion Voting System Wins Major ruling against Fox News Network on Friday as a judge ruled that Fox News aired Dominion-related content related to the 2020 presidential election must have a jury trial in a defamation suit.

“While the court must view the record in what is best for Fox, the record does not reveal a real question about falsehood,” Eric Judge Davis wrote about summary judgment in a Delaware Superior Court decision. He added that Dominion presented “extensive evidence” that Fox aired false statements and that Fox was unable to refute the allegations.

Davis uses a mix of italics, caps, and bold to emphasize his conclusion that Fox released false statements:

The evidence formed in this civil action shows that [It] is CRYSTAL CLEAR ALL STATEMENTS RELATING TO THE DOMINION REGARDING THE 2020 ELECTIONS Neither is true . Accordingly, the court will enter summary judgment in favor of Dominion on the false element.

Davis found that Fox News’ remarks were themselves Defamatory

because they “claim that Dominion is guilty of election fraud; manipulation through its software and algorithms ballot counting; set up in Venezuela to rig elections for dictator Hugo Chávez; and paying kickbacks to government officials who used machines in elections… the statement also appeared to accuse Dominion of serious crimes of electoral fraud. Charges of criminal activity, even in the form of opinions, have no constitutional protection.”

Davis is scheduled to start trial on April 17. While Davis agreed that Fox made false statements, he did not grant Dominion’s request for summary judgment as to whether defendants, Fox News Network and Fox Corporation, acted in actual malice. That would require proving that the defendant posted false information about the plaintiff, “knowing it was false or recklessly disregarding whether it was false,” he noted.

If the jury finds that Fox acted in actual bad faith, the jury will have to calculate the damages to be awarded to Dominion, which Dominion has sought $1.6 billion. Dominion sued Newsmax and One America News Network separately. Voting machine maker Smartmatic also sued all three networks.

Dominion alleges that Fox “knowingly provided a platform for FNN [Fox News Network] hosts to broadcast false and defamatory factual statements”; Fox affirms, endorses, repeats, and agrees with these guest statements; Davis noted that “defamatory and false statements of fact were republished on air, on FNN’s website, on FNN’s social media accounts, and on FNN’s other digital platforms and subscription services.”

Davis dismissed Fox’s argument that it was simply reporting former President Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud. “Fox has invested little in its arguments about falsehood,” Davis wrote. “It claims that ‘[t]he question is whether the media reported the ‘true’ facts about the allegations made by the President.'”

Fox’s “Nuance to False,” wrote Davis, “would allow the courts to test whether the specific points stated by the FNN host were true. Fox argues, for example, that if the FNN host states that the next guest is Ms. [Sidney] Powell, then Ms. Powell is former President Trump’s lawyer, and Ms. Powell will state the former President’s position, then all statements are true , there will be no defamation.

Davis also alleged that Fox described the statements in question as “opinions” while “asserting that the statements were newsworthy allegations and/ or substantially accurate reporting of official proceedings,” which is called “oxymoron.”



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