Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott blasted the network’s fact-checking of then-President Donald Trump’s false election fraud claims as “bad for business” in an email shortly after the 2020 presidential election, according to multiple reports, citing a court presentation from Dominion Voting Systems, which has portrayed Fox News as a network in turmoil after the election as it moves forward with its $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit.
Scott reportedly told prime time programming executive Meade Cooper in an email dated December 2, 2020 that the fact-checking “has to stop now,” arguing the reporting showed “a lack of understanding” about what Fox News’ audience wanted.
The message came weeks after Scott privately said, “I can’t keep defending these reporters who don’t understand our viewers and how to handle stories”—blaming them for a loss of 25,000 Fox Nation streaming service subscribers.
Dominion Voting Systems reportedly showed the messages in a slideshow in court last week as an April 17 trial start date looms in its defamation case against Fox News—though both sides have pushed for resolving the lawsuit through a pretrial summary judgment.
A Fox News spokesperson admonished Dominion in a statement for a “continued reliance on cherry-picked quotes without context to generate headlines in order to distract from the facts of this case,” calling the lawsuit an attack on the free press.
“We can still fix this but we cannot smirk at our viewers any longer,” Scott reportedly wrote on November 19, 2020.
Dominion’s slideshow reportedly showed Tucker Carlson’s staff privately calling MyPillow founder and frequent guest Mike Lindell “crazy,” saying he had “gone off the deep end” by promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about election fraud. A message then defended Lindell appearing on the show since he was its “biggest advertiser.”
Dominion, which operated voting machines in dozens of states in the 2020 election, filed the high-profile lawsuit in 2021, accusing Fox News of extensive damage to its brand through airing unfounded conspiracy theories suggesting the company’s voting machines were somehow rigged against Trump. Dominion has claimed popular prime time shows hosted by Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity were key to promoting conspiracy theories, even though the hosts were privately skeptical of Trump’s fraud claims. Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said in a January deposition he thought Fox News should have pushed back against the fraud claims more, saying, “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight.” He also suggested letting Lindell run ads on the network was a financial move, rather than political, agreeing with the statement: “It is not red or blue—it is green.”
Dominion released numerous text messages last month showing Fox News hosts mocking guests who pushed conspiracy theories, especially former Trump attorney Sidney Powell. Carlson said she was “insane” and “shockingly reckless” to promote Dominion fraud claims, while Ingraham labeled her a “complete nut.”
Fox News Sued By Dominion Voting For Defamation Over Election Conspiracy (Forbes)
Murdoch Admits Fox News Hosts Pushed False Election Fraud Claims (Forbes)
‘Mind Blowingly Nuts’: Fox News Hosts And Execs Repeatedly Denounced 2020 Election Fraud Off-Air—Here Are Their Most Scathing Comments (Forbes)
WASHINGTON — The reviews are starting to come in as details emerge about the debt ceiling agreement reached by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin M
The children of a woman who died in a Louisiana Arby's earlier this month are suing for negligence.
New York CNN — The government needs to work faster to regulate AI, which has more potential
Sunday, May 28, 2023 5:31PMVISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A man is in jail after allegedly burglarizing a Visalia business during a power outage early Sunday morning