Fox News essentially argued that the first amendment allowed conspiracy theories to be spread.
Fox News has asked a Delaware court to dismiss a $ 1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems for the network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
As LegalReader.com previously reported, Fox News and some of its anchors repeatedly spread conspiracy theories that Dominion was somehow involved in manipulating the outcome of last year’s presidential contest. In their lawsuit against Fox, Dominion attorneys alleged that their voting machines were used to spread anchors – lies that “ruthlessly disregarded the truth” that culminated in the January 6 riots outside the United States Capitol.
However, in Tuesday’s motion to dismiss the complaint, Fox alleged that the lawsuit “threatens to suppress the media’s right to freedom of expression, to inform the public of important allegations of major public concern.”
In addition, Fox’s attorneys stated that the company has the right to broadcast stories about Dominion – and that Dominion has so far failed to substantiate that Fox personalities intended “actual malice” against the tech company for elections.
A 2016 picture of a Dropbox ballot box in Boulder County, Colorado. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: pasa47. (CCA-BY-2.0).
“In a democracy, the news media have the right to inform citizens by reporting and commenting on allegations made by a president that question the security of our elections,” Fox wrote in court records.
Fox also claims it tried to “responsibly” educate the public about “both sides” of a rapidly evolving story.
“Fox’s hosts responsibly reported the controversy and repeatedly pressed the president’s attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, for evidence to support their allegations,” Fox said.
“A free press must be able to cover both sides of a story about allegations that go to the very core of our democracy,” they added, “especially when those allegations lead to numerous lawsuits, government investigations and recounts of elections. “
“The American people deserve to know why President Trump refused to admit despite his apparent loss.”
Dominion, on the other hand, has insisted that Fox News knowingly sowed misinformation, with network personalities dismantling claims that Dominion worked with the late dictator Hugo Chavez to fix elections in Venezuela.
“Lies have consequences,” wrote Dominion attorneys in their first complaint. “Fox sold a false story of electoral fraud for its own commercial purposes, seriously injuring Dominion in the process.”
The New York Times notes that Dominion may find it difficult to recover damages from Fox: media organizations are generally heavily protected by the first change.
The Times notes, however, that defamation lawsuits have shown some early results. For example, Newsmax apologized last month after being sued by a Dominion employee, and Fox Business decided to call “Lou Dobbs Tonight” just a day after Smartmatic – another election technology company – filed a lawsuit against Fox, and Dobbs as Co-defendant.
Fox News files a motion to dismiss Dominion’s libel suit over 2020 election coverage.
Fox News Media dismisses defamation lawsuit against Dominion Voting Systems
Fox News wants Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit dismissed