Fox News settles last minute with Dominion Voting Systems
May 4, 2023
Fox News v. Dominion Voting Systems
For years, Fox News had been pounding many of its viewers with false or misleading content circling around the 2020 election, saying how the entire process had been a fraud and how the election machines were used to manipulate the election in favor of Joe Biden. The Dominion Voting Systems, a company that produces and sells electronic voting hardware and software, then fired back at Fox News with a defamation lawsuit, saying how the news corporation had ruined their business by spreading false accusations of how their machines were managed.
The news corporation felt confident, at the time, that they would win the case as they had said how this was part of their freedom of speech and freedom of press. This confidence, though, slowly started to diminish when internal messages among Fox News employees and executives were being thrown into the lawsuit. The messages were detailing how many employees did not believe many of the election fraud claims that they were putting out on live television.
But, towards the impending minutes that the jury trial would commence, Fox News reached a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems where they would have to pay more than $787 million. Headlines of the settlement came across as rather shocking to many who had been waiting for the trial to commence. As of now, the settlement is known to be the largest defamation settlement to involve a media company. It was an unexpected turn to the trial that no one had realized was still on the table.
Fox and Dominion Voting Systems reached a settlement Tuesday in the voting machine company’s defamation lawsuit, averting a trial in a case that exposed how the top-rated network chased viewers by promoting lies about the 2020 presidential election. https://t.co/fjJnZXraAQ pic.twitter.com/cszE9Hvsr3
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 18, 2023
As Dominion’s lawyer Justin Nelson has stated, the settlement to the case “represents vindication and accountability.” The network had later also commented on the ruling, saying that they “acknowlede[d] the court’s rulings finding that certain claims about Dominion to be false.”
Many had been expecting Fox to provide a formal apology on the issue. Fox had only acknowledged the settlement that closed the case, not of its wrongdoings.
Tucker Carlson’s Departure
Following the aftermath of the historic settlement reached between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems, Tucker Carlson and Fox News decided to part ways.
Tucker was a news anchor who was able to gain power and popularity through many of his news segments on Fox News. Carlson had been kept at the center of the defamation case as he was one of the many anchors to have spread much of the election fraud claims to many of his viewers around the country.
Tucker Carlson emerged two days after Fox News fired him, with a two-minute, campaign-style monologue that didn’t address why he suddenly became unemployed. https://t.co/8FJINwpj91
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 27, 2023
But why did Fox News decide to leave behind one of their most prominent and influential anchors?
With the departure of Tucker Carlson, it had much to do with the discrimination lawsuit filed by Abby Grossberg. Grossberg had apparently been moved onto the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show, where she had allegedly been bullied and subjected to antisemitic claims. She also shared how company lawyers for Fox News had pressured her into giving false information in the defamation case.
One factor of the power that Tucker Carlson held was the influence he had on some of the highest officials in the American government, including former President Trump, governors, and state legislatures. With his show, he was able to gain more power by inviting state officials and intimidating them into placing policies he had set his eyes on. One prominent example was with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. When inviting the governor to his show, he began to slam the governor with questions regarding the immigration border and why he had not been using the national guard. Soon enough, the governor had sent 400 national guards to the border in order to control the flow of immigrants crossing.
Another example was with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. On September 14, 2022, Ron DeSantis had sent 2 planes with 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and took credit for the drastic move. However the idea of transporting many of these immigrants to the blue states had come from Tucker Carlson. The former Fox News anchor had spoken of sending the migrants off, which would allow for more diversity into other parts of the US including Martha’s Vineyard. Many governors would follow Tucker Carlson’s wishes because if they hadn’t, they would face the full wrath of his audience.
What could have been another reason for his firing could have been due to his leaked messages.
In these messages, Tucker Carlson had been texting a colleague of his hatred for the former President Donald Trump. The messages show how Tucker “hated him [President Trump] passionately,” and how they are “very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” as he “truly can’t wait.”
Tucker also went to call out the former president on his behavior moving forward from the election, calling it “disgusting,” and he was “trying to look away.”
Much of the comments regarding Trump that were said offscreen may have been an additional driving force to the reason Tucker Carlson had been fired.