North American voting machine company Dominion has attacked Fox News with a $ 1.6 billion libel lawsuit, accusing the network of spreading electoral fraud lies in a misguided effort to stop an exodus of rabid viewers after the Donald Trump’s electoral loss in 2020.
The lawsuit accuses some of Fox’s biggest personalities, Maria Bartiromo, Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro “and their guests” of spreading “slanderous lies” about Dominion.
Fox supercharged false conspiracy theories about Dominion, according to the lawsuit, by extracting the lies in relatively obscure corners of the far-right internet and broadcasting them to tens of millions of viewers on television and online. line.
“Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire,” the complaint says. “As the dominant media company among viewers dissatisfied with the election results, Fox has given these fictions an importance they never would have otherwise.”
Fox vowed to fight the case in a statement Friday morning: “Fox News Media is proud of our election coverage of 2020, which follows in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend itself against this baseless lawsuit before courts.”
Dominion, a large American and Canadian voting machine company, had previously sued Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani for $ 1.3 billion each for spreading election lies during weeks of court challenges to Joe’s victory. Biden in 2020 in what officials called the safest election in the United States. the story.
On Tuesday, Powell defended herself against the Dominion lawsuit by arguing in court that “no reasonable person” could have confused his outlandish claims about election fraud last November with statements of fact.
A Dominion employee separately sued the Trump campaign after receiving death threats. The company also sued the chief executive of a pillow company, Mike Lindell, a friend of Trump who produced a video about the election plots.
Baseless conspiracy allegations that Dominion accused the company of using technology that hijacked Trump’s votes appear to come from anonymous comments on a pro-Trump blog.
But in an effort to steal the presidential election, Trump himself gave the claims the broadest possible platform, including with a November 12 tweet in which he wrote in part: “REPORT: THE DOMINION A REDUCED 2.7 MILLION NATIONAL ASSETS. ”
Dominion said the lies threatened his reputation and his business.
“Dominion is bringing this lawsuit to set the record straight, to assert its rights and to recover damages for the devastating economic damage to its business,” the company said in the Fox lawsuit.
Fox is waging a legal battle to spread election lies on multiple fronts. Voting technology company Smartmatic previously filed a $ 2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox and network commentators accusing them of a “disinformation campaign.”
Fox has filed several motions to dismiss the Smartmatic case.
The Dominion lawsuit states that after the Nov. 3 election, “viewers began to shy away from Fox in favor of the media endorsing the lie that massive fraud caused President Trump to lose in the election.”
“They viewed Fox as insufficient support for President Trump, especially because Fox was the first network to report that President Trump had lost Arizona,” the complaint continues. “So Fox decided to attract viewers – including President Trump himself – by intentionally and falsely blaming Dominion for the loss of President Trump by rigging the election. “
Dominion sued in Delaware, where Fox is incorporated.
“Fox recklessly ignored the truth,” the lawsuit says. “Indeed, Fox knew that these statements about Dominion were lies…
“Fox sold a bogus story of electoral fraud in order to further his own business purposes, seriously injuring Dominion in the process. If this case does not reach the level of defamation by a broadcaster, then nothing is right. “