Conservative activists contend questions remain about Dominion Voting machines despite a massive settlement in a defamation lawsuit launched by the company against Fox News.
Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp, struck a deal this week, averting a trial in a $1.6 billion defamation suit filed by the election tech company Dominion Voting Systems over Fox’s reporting of claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential race. In the settlement agreement, Fox admitted that it had made certain claims that were false about the reliability of Dominion Voting machines in the election.
President Donald Trump and his allies fiercely challenged Joe Biden’s victory in the weeks following the election. Some of them, including members of Trump’s legal team, contended Dominion Voting machines could be programmed to change votes.
Conservative activist Robert Knight, a columnist for The Washington Times, says Fox’s supposed crime was to report what others – including the former President of the United States – believed about Dominion.
“I think this case is more about freedom of the press than anything else,” he tells AFN. “Fox should have the right to report on what people are claiming about a major player in elections. If what they were claiming doesn’t turn out to be true, that’s not Fox’s fault.”
And pointing out a lot of questions remain about voting machines, Knight argues that Dominion’s lawsuit “seems intended to forestall any examination of these questions.”
Janet Porter, a conservative activist who runs Faith2Action, still doesn’t trust voting machines. “I think that what we need to do between now and November 2024 is to make sure that we have some paper ballots – instead of the machines that have been proven to be cheating,” she states.
The settlement for $787.5 million was one of the largest defamation awards on record, but far less that the $1.6 billion Dominion was asking for. Still, Knight fears the settlement will incite more such legal attacks on press freedom.
Takes one to know one
With the Fox News lawsuit settled, at least one rival network was gloating. Jake Tapper at CNN, for example, could hardly contain his disdain for Fox and his glee at the settlement:
Tapper: “The settlement reflects – I’m sorry, this is going to be difficult to say with a straight face – this settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that …. Sorry. We are hopeful ….”
The CNN anchor called the incident “one of the ugliest and most embarrassing moments in the history of journalism.” But Nicholas Fondacaro of Media Research Center says the CNN anchor is being a bit shortsighted.
“Recently, in the last couple years, you’ve had the Nick Sandmann defamation suit, where CNN also had to settle with the person who they defamed,” the MRC spokesman notes.
CNN has played a proverbial second fiddle to Fox in the ratings for years – and Fondacaro says Tapper is probably trying to boost the ratings.
“CNN was concerned with their bottom line a lot of times too,” he offers. “They liked the Trump era and all the lies they could spread back then, because it was good for ratings. Once Trump left office, they saw about like about a 40% decrease in their ratings, I believe it was.”
In a related tweet, Fondacaro contended Tapper’s accusation about “just chasing ratings” in fact “perfectly describes Jeff Zucker’s tenure at CNN and during the Trump years.”
But Fondacaro says the Dominion settlement is unlikely to inflict any wounds on Fox to the extent Tapper is hoping. “In terms of ratings, I don’t think you’re going to see too much move, or sway in any sort of meaningful way,” he concludes.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.