After the 2020 election, Fox News’ CEO issued a warning against “crazies,” according to Dominion.

After pressure from fans of then-President Trump increased, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott issued a warning to colleagues, telling them not to “give the extremists an inch” at a 2014 event in New York City. In their $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, the attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems say they will use Scott’s statements against the network. hide caption Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Toggle caption Larry Busacca/Getty Images

When pressure from fans of then-President Trump increased, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott issued a warning to staff members, telling them not to “give the crazies an inch.” In their $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, the attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems say they will use Scott’s statements against the network.

Larry Busacca/Getty Images After its election-analysis team predicted Joe Biden would win the crucial swing state of Arizona before any other network, Fox News found itself in a nearly impossible position on Election Night 2020. It was besieged by irate viewers, criticized by then-President Trump, and questioned by some of its own stars.

We can’t give the crazies an inch, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott advised colleagues after becoming so perplexed by what happened.

According to a representative for Dominion Voting Systems, the corporation was falsely accused of election fraud on the network and is suing Fox for defamation, demanding $1.6 billion. In Delaware, a trial is scheduled to begin in April.

In a court hearing earlier this week, the attorney for the manufacturer of voting machines and technology, Justin Nelson, disclosed Scott’s comments in support of his claim that Dominion’s legal team is entitled to the employment contracts of 13 Fox News executives, including Scott. Since 2018, she has been the CEO. The network’s parent firm, Fox Corp, is also being sued by Dominion.

Judge Eric M. Davis of the Delaware Superior Court ruled on Wednesday, upholding the hearing’s main conclusion that Dominion should be awarded the contracts.

Days after the election, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the network’s controlling owners, came under pressure from Trump and his top advisers, who demanded the network retract their statement of Biden’s victory in Arizona. In the weeks that followed, a number of Fox News personalities hosted Trump’s advisers and even the president-elect himself to spread unfounded rumors of election tampering. Numerous of these bogus allegations claimed that Dominion’s equipment and technology had been utilized to rig the election and cheat Trump out of the White House.

Nelson testified at the hearing that senior Fox News executives intervened to attempt to stop Fox Business stars Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from inviting Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, members of Trump’s campaign, to repeat such lies on their programs. Trump supporters were invited by Dobbs and Bartiromo to make such claims in the latter half of 2020.

Fox News executives allegedly tried to prevent Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from inviting two of then-President Donald Trump’s attorneys on to their shows off-air, according to an attorney for Dominion.

In December 2020, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs implied to viewers that Republicans who voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win were “criminals.” hide caption – John Lamparski/Getty Images

Toggle caption John Lamparski/Getty Images

In December 2020, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs called Republicans who voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory “criminals,” according to an attorney for Dominion. Off-air, according to the attorney, Fox News executives reportedly tried to stop Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from inviting two of then President Donald Trump’s attorneys on their shows.

The comments Nelson attributed to Fox News CEO Scott, as reported by John Lamparski/Getty Images, were uncontested by Justin Keller, counsel for Fox. He also didn’t dispute that executives attempted to sabotage the two programs’ efforts to interview Powell and Giuliani despite the fact that their allegations were untrue. Instead, he made a larger argument against permitting investigation of the executives’ contracts, arguing that was unnecessary given how many records the network had already turned over to Dominion.

WHY DOMINION HOPES FOX NEWS CEO’S WARNING COULD HELP MAKE ITS CASE For this article, Fox News and its chief trial lawyer, Dan Webb, as well as Dominion’s attorneys, declined to comment. While Dominion portrayed the network’s executives as frantically trying to control the commotion caused by its stars, Fox’s attorneys were essentially arguing that the executives lacked the time, the ability, or the desire to do so. As a result, the arguments that were made during the hearing on Tuesday reflected a world through a looking glass.

Keller, the Fox lawyer, drew a line between a host or producer “who are sometimes pre-scripting content for the show that is going to be connected to a specific channel’s airing” and a network official in his conversations with the judge.

According to him, “that person will be far distant from the day-to-day operations of editorial control and discretion over the particular channel’s telecast.”

Along with Scott, the other executives whose contracts are being sought are Meade Cooper, the executive vice president of primetime programming, and Jay Wallace, president and executive editor of Fox News.

Using a document seized from Fox that “talks about the daily editorial meeting that occurs, including practically all of these execs that we’re looking at right now,” Nelson, the attorney for Dominion, said.

Dominion seems to be focusing more on its strongly disputed claim that Fox officials willfully permitted such fictitious theories to air on their programs in order to increase their numbers because their pro-Trump followers had stopped watching them following the Arizona call.

To prevail in a defamation complaint, Dominion must demonstrate Fox showed “actual malice,” in accordance with decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. That entails either deliberately disseminating incorrect information that is harmful or doing so carelessly.

The accusation, according to Judge Davis, is that Fox tried to make money by spreading a lie. “We’ll stay for the trial, whether that’s true or not.”

HOW FOX JOURNALISTS ACTED BEHIND THE SCENE IS DISCLOSED IN A NEW BOOK About Trump,
The Separator

journalists Peter Baker and Susan Glasser have revealed that Bret Baier of Fox cited strong pressure from Trump’s campaign to look into whether and under what circumstances the Arizona call may be overturned. Fox did not cancel its forecast. Additionally, according to the authors, Wallace, the chief of news, overruled his election-analysis staff and gave his anchors the order to withhold the news that Biden had also won Nevada.

What followed was a split screen. Despite being the first to correctly predict Arizona, Fox was the final network to anticipate Biden’s victory for the president. A number of Fox’s top stars accepted, encouraged, and even applauded electoral fraud charges while its reporters frequently disproved them, according to Dominion’s attorneys.

Only Baier, who issued a statement taking issue with how his complaints were phrased, at Fox would explicitly respond to Baker and Glasser’s claims. The delay in announcing Biden’s full victory for the White House was caused by a technical issue in a control room when one show changed to the next at the top of the hour, according to a source inside Fox with firsthand knowledge of its election coverage for NPR.

This is disgraceful and we cannot allow America’s election to be tainted, Bartiromo said in presenting Fox’s first post-election interview with Trump that November. She informed viewers in mid-December that ” an intel source ” had told her that Trump had won the election. Official news anchor Bartiromo left without providing an explanation for why the source made that claim. (Fox no longer refers to her as an anchor in public; this positioned her in Fox’s news division as opposed to its opinion host division.)

His departure from the network was hastily announced the day after another election-software company, Smartmatic, filed its own $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox for defamation surrounding similarly false accusations of fraud. In December 2020, Dobbs claimed on the air that Trump’s opponents within the government had committed “ treason ,” and later suggested any action by a Republican officeholder to uphold Biden’s victory might have been “ criminal . The process for the lawsuit is not as far along.

EVEN IF FALSE, FOX NEWS’ LAWYERS ARGUE THAT TRUMP’S ELECTION FRAUD CLAIMS ARE “INHERENTLY NEWSWORTHY.” Fox has dismissed both lawsuits as attempts to stifle legitimate coverage of election fraud claims made by naturally newsworthy individuals, such as the then-current U.S. president and his top campaign advisers. In the opinion of Trump and his campaign, Fox’s first sin was its projection of Arizona for Biden. Early in January, some Fox stars stoked inflammatory rhetoric and questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s impending certification while viewers left the network in favor of more incisive programming on Newsmax, OANN, and other platforms.

In recent weeks, Dominion has maintained that the lawsuit revolves around Fox commentator Jeanine Pirro, a former district attorney, judge, and Trump confidante. NPR previously made public the existence of a tearful email from a Fox News staffer pleading with coworkers to stop Pirro from airing false claims about electoral fraud coming from anonymous online sources.

Late last month, after Fox claimed the right to the press during her deposition to shield Pirro from some questions, Dominion’s legal team requested the court to order Pirro to provide additional testimony. No decision has been made publicly regarding whether Pirro must return for questioning.

Dominion’s legal team is attempting to use those exchanges, as well as Scott’s warning about “the crazies,” to demonstrate that Fox knowingly permitted Dobbs, Pirro, Bartiromo, and their guests to spread untrue allegations that damaged the company and alarmed the public in the run-up to the U.S. siege on January 6, 2021. Capitol.

NPR’s investigation of court documents reveals that Dominion is now seeking the judge to order Fox host and close Trump adviser Sean Hannity to give more testimony. Though the complete filing is sealed, Dominion’s lawyers are attempting to prevent “improper assertions of the reporter’s privilege,” contending that Fox improperly asserted the privilege for Hannity during earlier questioning as well. He was deposed, based on court documents, in late August.

Fox News has frequently defended its actions by citing the significance of First Amendment-related free speech concepts and claiming that the Smartmatic and Dominion cases are attempts to stifle independent reporting and discussion.

In Australia, where the media mogul and his family now reside, Fox Corp. CEO and Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch has adopted an apparent contradictory position. The Murdochs were alleged to be “unindicted co-conspirators” in the uprising in the United States by a political columnist for the publication Crikey. Because of the phony fraud accusations and the heated rhetoric leading up to the planned event, Trump supporters have been lobbying Congress.

Murdoch is claiming defamation in that instance against a considerably smaller media outlet. He has repeatedly made the website pay for harsh criticism; according to Crikey, the litigation will serve as a test case for recent modifications to the country’s libel laws. In comparison to the United States, media organizations in Australia have less legal protection.

This article was contributed to by Maddy Lauria.

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