December 4, 2022

Dominion Sues Fox News, Claiming Defamation in Election Coverage

Dominion’s lawyers on Friday also cited an unusual argument made by Ms. Powell in a motion, filed on Monday, to dismiss the separate Dominion suit against her.

In that motion, her lawyers asserted that, because political language is often inexact, “no reasonable person” would accept Ms. Powell’s claims as facts. The motion essentially argues that her claims about Dominion’s voting machines were hyperbolic and therefore not defamatory.

Mr. Clare described Ms. Powell’s contention as “ridiculous,” but he said her acknowledgment that her claims were not factual could prove relevant to Dominion’s suit. “Fox knew these were lies, but they made a deliberate decision to spread them to their enormous audience,” Mr. Clare said on a call with journalists.

Dominion says it recently lost major contracts with election officials in Georgia and Louisiana, adding that the company is now facing “the hatred, contempt and distrust of tens of millions of American voters.”

Defamation litigation is a relatively novel tactic in the battle against disinformation, but it has generated some early results.

In February, two days after Smartmatic filed its suit, Fox Business canceled “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” its highest-rated program. An anchor on Newsmax — a pro-Trump cable channel that received letters from Dominion and Smartmatic signaling imminent legal action — cut short an interview with Mr. Lindell after the MyPillow founder began attacking Dominion.

Taken together, Dominion and Smartmatic are demanding at least $4.3 billion in damages from Fox. Controlled by Mr. Murdoch, 90, and his elder son, Lachlan, the Fox Corporation reported that it had made $3 billion in pretax profit from September 2019 to September 2020, on revenue of $12.3 billion.

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