Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for their alleged spread of misinformation about the 2020 presidential election and COVID-19. Today, Fox abruptly settled the suit for a whopping 787.5 million dollars. Dominion initially sued for 1.6 billion dollars, but their attorney called it “a representation of vindication and accountability” regardless of the amount.
Dominion CEO John Poulos spoke on Fox’s admission of purposely spreading misinformation at a press conference. Poulos referred to the settlement as “historic”.
BREAKING: Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos calls settlement with Fox News "historic," adding: "Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company… nothing can ever make up for that." https://t.co/0hppoGCI1J pic.twitter.com/6ieXrHXEGL
— ABC News (@ABC) April 18, 2023
Several prominent Fox News hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, found themselves at the center of the suit. Text messages between Carlson and Ingraham conveyed that the two knew that much of the information they were reporting on their respective shows was false. Notably, Carlson referred to 2020 election denier Sidney Powell as “insane,” and that he caught her lying.
The settlement also comes shortly after Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy handed the January 6 tapes over to Tucker Carlson. Carlson proceeded to allegedly manipulate the tapes, referring to them as a “harmless tourist visit” to the Capitol instead of the deadly riot that it really was.
Reactions To The Settlement
The landmark lawsuit could mark a new era of misinformation regulation, particularly on social media and the internet at large. Some are disappointed that the case was not decided by the jury, but some journalists and media personalities are pointing out that the settlement could still make waves.
One thing: Lots of folks who care about honest media in America will curse Dominion for settling. But consider: This litigation, even tho it didn't got all the way to a jury verdict, exposed Fox News to a strong dose of transparency and accountability.
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) April 18, 2023
Amid today’s settlement, lawmakers are asking that Fox News not be broadcast on televisions in government buildings. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey’s ninth congressional district penned a letter to Speaker McCarthy about it, and shared it on social media.
There’s a reason I called on the House republican leader to stop forcing publicly displayed TVs in the Capitol complex to only show fox “news”: the channel is poisonous lies and republican propaganda even if murdoch bought the end of this lawsuit. pic.twitter.com/Nf6Q5GWIQo
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. ???????????????? (@BillPascrell) April 18, 2023
Even with the settlement signed, further evidence continues to emerge. Former Fox producer Abby Grossberg told MSNBC that “lawyers ignored repeated reminders about an additional cellphone in her possession and did not search it during court-ordered discovery.” Grossberg still plans to turn over her evidence to the court.
Ex-Fox News producer Abby Grossberg says she recently found more evidence relevant to Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit and plans to turn it over to the court. (via Deadline: Legal Blog) https://t.co/zDybGkuVPR
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 18, 2023
Speculation surrounding Fox’s choice to settle continues to swirl online. Some allege that the majority of the jurors set to decide the fate of the case were people of color. Several Fox News hosts notoriously continue to make racially discriminatory comments against people of color. The internet is theorizing that Fox avoided the jury because of this history.
No wonder Fox News decided to settle with Dominion. ???? https://t.co/cMXnLRmb7B
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 18, 2023
CNN’s Bill Weir reminded Twitter that Dominion still has several pending lawsuits against other media organizations and individuals that stand accused of spreading misinformation. These include Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell, Rudy Giuliani, Newsmax, and others.
$787,500,000 is the opener.
Dominion still has pending lawsuits against Newsmax and OAN, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell of pillow fame and Fox News is being sued by Smartmatic for $2.7 billion.
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) April 18, 2023
Fox News has yet to issue a public apology for the last several years of misinformation. Instead, today’s reports on the platform insinuated that AI technology could potentially be to blame for spreading misinformation about politics. Elon Musk was cited as the source of this fear, after an interview between Musk and Carlson aired last night.
Fox News just paid out a bunch of money for lying about elections and their anchors are currently on air complaining about election fact-checkers and speculating that AI could be weaponized to lie to people about politics. pic.twitter.com/aZ81upj28g
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) April 18, 2023
Tucker Carlson and the other hosts involved in the settlement have not publicly commented on the matter at this time. It remains unclear when the next Fox hearing over Grossberg’s evidence will be.