The conservative US media group Fox has reached an out-of-court settlement with the voting machine manufacturer Dominion for damages of 787.5 million US dollars (almost 720 million euros). The sum means rehabilitation and accountability, Dominion attorney Justin Nelson said after the settlement. "Lies have consequences."
Dominion CEO John Poulos said Fox has admitted to spreading lies about Dominion that have caused enormous damage to his company, employees and customers. Fox said on its website that the agreement reflects Fox's commitment to uphold "the highest standards of journalism."
Dominion had originally demanded around 1.6 billion US dollars (around 1.5 billion euros) in the lawsuit because Fox News had spread reports about alleged manipulation of the voting machines. The station's management, citing freedom of the press, insisted it had legitimately reproduced the accounts of then-US President Donald Trump and his lawyers as news. Dominion, on the other hand, wanted to prove that Fox News intentionally broadcast false news.
Fox moderators deliberately spread lies
The trial began Tuesday morning with jury selection. The opening statements from both sides were then expected for the afternoon. Instead, there was a delay of several hours during which, according to journalists, lawyers from both sides negotiated with each other in the courtroom. Cameras were not allowed at the trial. Only the sound was broadcast outside the courtroom. More than two hours after the session was scheduled to begin, Presiding Judge Eric Davis released the jury, saying, "The parties have settled the case."
A little later, Dominion's lawyers and boss appeared before the press in front of the courthouse in the city of Wilmington, Delaware and announced the details of the deal. It came as a surprise to many observers that the amount of the compensation payment became known. This is often not the case with such agreements.
The case had been followed with great attention in the United States. He had already revealed spectacular insights into the relationship between the conservative US television station Fox News and former US President Donald Trump. Fox's owner, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has admitted that some of his moderators knowingly spread lies about the 2020 presidential election. According to US media, this emerged from court documents that reflect Murdoch's affidavit from early February. "Some of our commentators agreed," the 92-year-old said, referring to false claims that the election was stolen from then-incumbent Donald Trump.
However, he himself had serious doubts about these claims, explained Murdoch. He could have stopped appearances by supporters of the defeated Trump who spread the lie about voter fraud on Fox after the election, Murdoch said. "But I didn't do it," he admitted.
Moderator about Trump: "I hate him"
Other spicy details from the inner workings of the media group were also known before the trial. For example, the high-rating TV presenter Tucker Carlson, who openly supported Trump in his programs, "hated" the ex-president behind the scenes, US media reported, citing the court documents. Carlson texted an employee two months after the 2020 presidential election, "We're very, very close to ignoring Trump most nights. I really can't wait. I hate him passionately."
Fox may also have agreed to pay damages to avoid further embarrassing revelations. The judge in the case sanctioned Fox before the trial began because the station failed to provide evidence, NBC reported. Davis said he would allow Dominion to question Murdoch again.
Dominion Attorney: "We're Not Done Yet"
The settlement with Fox could also signal further defamation lawsuits Dominion has brought against other conservative news networks and several individuals. "We're not done yet," Dominion attorney Nelson said yesterday. In addition to Fox, Dominion has also filed lawsuits against attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell and businessman Mike Lindell, all of whom are Trump associates. They had claimed without evidence that Dominion had used the election software to manipulate the vote in favor of Trump's challenger Joe Biden.
To this day, Trump refuses to admit defeat to Biden. He claims without any evidence that he was deprived of an election victory through fraud. His allies also spread the allegations at the time and filed various lawsuits, all of which failed.