Influential media mogul Rupert Murdoch has acknowledged the spread of false claims after the 2020 presidential election by some commentators at conservative US broadcaster Fox News. This emerges from excerpts from a court document that was distributed by US media on Monday and reflects sworn statements by the 91-year-old from early February.
The false news that then-President Donald Trump had been deprived of his re-election by fraud was supported by some Fox News commentators - but not by the entire station, Murdoch is quoted as saying. "I would have liked us to denounce that more in retrospect."
The background is a defamation lawsuit by the voting computer manufacturer Dominion against the Fox News broadcaster, which belongs to Murdoch's media empire. Dominion is seeking around $1.6 billion in damages in the lawsuit because Fox News disseminated reports of alleged tampering with the voting machines. The TV station's management invokes freedom of the press and insists that it legitimately treated and reproduced Trump's and his lawyers' version as news.
To this day, Republican Trump untruthfully claims that fraud robbed him of his election victory. In the trial in a federal court in Delaware, Dominion wants to prove that Fox News intentionally broadcast false news.