‘Blood Money’: Court Documents Detail How Fox News’s Greed Fueled Violence On Jan 6
Newly released court documents from the lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News revealed shocking details about the network prioritizing money over truth, and in the process fueling one of the most violent attacks on US democracy in history.
As reported by multiple news outlets, Dominion sued Fox News Networks and parent company Fox Corp in March 2021 and November 2021 in Delaware Superior Court for purposely disseminating false claims that Dominion voting machines were used to rig the 2020 election against Donald Trump, who lost to President Joe Biden.
In its lawsuit, Dominion presented compelling evidence that internal communications and depositions from Fox personnel “prove the network knowingly spread falsehoods about Trump’s loss in the 2020 U.S. presidential election in order to bolster its ratings” and thus increase its profits.
Fox, meanwhile, claims that the statements by Trump’s lawyers were “newsworthy” and that’s why the information was reported. Other networks reported the claims but with a disclaimer that the conspiracies were false or unsubstantiated.
But Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch admitted that money was the motivating factor in giving the election liars full run of the network.
In one excerpt from his deposition, Rupert Murdoch “confirmed that he could tell FNN to stop running Lindell’s advertisements, ‘But I’m not about to.’ … and when asked why Fox continues to give a platform to Lindell — who continues to this day to spout lies about Dominion — Murdoch agreed that ‘It is not red or blue, it is green.’ … Lindell brought—and brings— Fox a lot of green. He also predictably brought the same lies about Dominion to Fox’s viewers that had been peddled on Fox’s ‘alternate reality machine’ for months.”
Among the details that were documented in the Dominion filing was the revelation that Murdoch met with Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott about the “mounting viewer backlash to Fox” that they were facing as a result of calling Arizona for Joe Biden.
“Rupert conceded that in that conversation, they also spoke about ‘the future of Fox going forward,'” the documents say. “Rupert confirmed that they discussed how Fox should react to the fact that Trump was not conceding. And Rupert confirmed that the decision was to allow these ‘wild claims’ on air, although he phrased it as his lawyers now do that it was only a matter of ‘reporting news.'”
Question: “And you were aware that Fox News was having these people appear on television under Fox’s banner to spread these charges?”
Murdoch’s answer: “We report the news, and we have dozens of people a day on the channels that are talking about the news. And this was big news. The president of the United States was making wild claims, but that is news.”
According to the documents, Fox executives knew the network’s lies about the 2020 election could incite political violence. On Jan. 5, 2021 —the day before the attack on the US Capitol— they held a meeting to discuss whether to make primetime hosts dispel election lies.
“Rupert understood that Fox could do something about the false claims,” the documents say. “Indeed, he believed Fox was, ‘uniquely positioned to state the message that the election was not stolen.’ On Jan. 5 Rupert and Suzanne Scott discussed whether Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham should say some version of ‘the election is over,’ and Joe Biden won.'”
Murdoch hoped such words “would go a long way to stop the Trump myth that the election was stolen,” the documents continue. Suzanne Scott told Rupert Murdoch that, “privately they’re all there, but we need to be careful about using the shows and pissing off the viewers.” So nobody made a statement.
The next day was Jan. 6th.
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