Fox News CEO Warns About ‘Crazies’ After the 2020 Election, Dominion Says: NPR | Pro IQRA News

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Susan Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, who appeared at a 2014 event in New York City, warned colleagues not to “give the insane an inch” after mounting pressure from backers of then-President Trump. Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems report that they are using Scott v. Fox’s words in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network.

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Susan Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, who appeared at a 2014 event in New York City, warned colleagues not to “give the insane an inch” after mounting pressure from backers of then-President Trump. Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems report that they are using Scott v. Fox’s words in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network.

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Trapped by angry viewers, denounced by then-President Trump, and questioned by some of its stars, Fox News found itself in a near-impossible place on election night 2020 after its election analysis team declared before any other network that Joe Biden would win the award. Arizona swing state pivot.

Fox News CEO Susan Scott proved deeply upset by what followed, warning her colleagues, “We can’t give the lunatics an inch.” That’s according to a lawyer for Dominion Voting Systems, which is seeking $1.6 billion from Fox in a defamation lawsuit over false allegations on the network that the company committed electoral fraud. A trial has been set for April in Delaware.

Justin Nelson, an attorney for the voting machine and technology company, disclosed Scott’s remarks in a court hearing Tuesday in which he said Dominion’s legal team was entitled to work contracts for 13 Fox News executives, including Scott. She has held the position of CEO since 2018. (Dominion is suing Fox Corp., the network’s parent company).

In a ruling issued yesterday, Delaware Supreme Court Justice Eric M. Davies confirmed that Dominion should get the contracts — the sticking point at Tuesday’s hearing.

For several days after the election, Trump and his top aides demanded that the network rescind its announcement that Biden had won in Arizona, even putting pressure on the network’s controlling owners, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. In the weeks that followed, a cadre of Fox News stars hosted Trump advisers — and even Trump himself — to promote unfounded conspiracy theories about election fraud. He confirmed many of these false claims without evidence that Dominion’s technology and machines were used to rig the vote and deceive Trump in the White House.

According to Nelson’s remarks at the hearing, senior Fox News executives intervened to try to prevent Fox Business stars Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from inviting Trump campaign lawyers, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, into their shows to repeat such lies. In late 2020, Dobbs and Bartiromo hosted Trump advocates to make those accusations.

In December 2020, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs suggested to viewers that Republicans who voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory were “criminals.” Away from the broadcast, according to Dominion’s attorneys, Fox News executives sought to prevent Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from inviting two of President Donald Trump’s attorneys on their shows.

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In December 2020, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs suggested to viewers that Republicans who voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory were “criminals.” Away from the broadcast, according to Dominion’s attorneys, Fox News executives sought to prevent Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from inviting two of President Donald Trump’s attorneys on their shows.

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Fox’s attorney, Justin Keeler, did not contest the statements that Nelson attributed to Fox News CEO Scott. Nor did he deny that executives sought to interfere with the programs’ efforts to detain Powell and Giuliani even though their allegations had been discredited. Instead, Fox’s lawyer made a broader argument against allowing executives’ contracts to be scrutinized, saying they were unnecessary given the number of documents the network had already handed over to Dominion.

Why Dominion hopes Fox News CEO’s warning will help make its case

Fox News and its lead attorney Dan Webb declined to comment for this article, as did Dominion’s attorneys. However, the arguments circulated during Tuesday’s hearing reflected a glassy-looking world. Dominion filmed network executives scrambling to rein in the chaos its stars had created, while Fox’s lawyers were effectively arguing that the executives had little time, ability, or desire to do so.

In his conversations with the judge, Keeler drew a line distinguishing between a host or producer who would “sometimes be pre-programming material for a show, which would be linked to a particular channel’s television broadcasts” and a network CEO.

“This person will be far from the day-to-day operations of editorial control and discretion over the television broadcast of a particular channel,” he said. In addition to Scott, executives whose contracts are being sought include Jay Wallace, Fox News president and executive editor, and Mead Cooper, executive vice president of primetime programming, among others.

Nelson, Dominion’s attorney, responded by citing a document obtained from Fox that “talks about the daily editorial meeting that is happening, including nearly all of the executives we’re looking at right now.”

Dominion appears to be delving into her argument — hotly contested by Fox — that network executives knowingly allowed such bogus plots to be broadcast on their shows to boost their audience — because their pro-Trump viewers abandoned her after the Arizona call.

Under US Supreme Court rulings, Dominion has to prove that Fox demonstrated “actual malice” to win a libel case. This means either intentionally broadcasting false and harmful information, or doing so with reckless disregard for the truth.

Judge Davis summed up: “Fox sought to profit from a lie. That is the claim.” “Whether it is true or not, we will remain for the trial.”

Dominion appears to be delving into her argument — hotly contested by Fox — that network executives knowingly allowed such bogus plots to be broadcast on their shows to boost their audience — because their pro-Trump viewers abandoned her after the Arizona call.

New book reveals how Fox journalists acted behind the scenes

In their new book on Trump, barrierReporters Peter Baker and Susan Glaser revealed that broadcaster Brett Beyer cited heavy pressure from the Trump team to explore whether and under what circumstances the Arizona call could be cancelled. Fox did not pull his drop. The authors also reported that Wallace, the head of the news division, vetoed his election unit and instructed his broadcasters not to announce that Biden had won Nevada either.

What followed involved split screen. Fox became the last network to feature Biden’s presidential victory despite being the first to launch the Arizona call that proved accurate. Dominion’s lawyers noted that while her reporters often exposed allegations of election fraud, many of Fox’s top stars tolerated, exaggerated, and even accepted them.

No one at Fox will comment directly on Baker’s and Glaser’s assertions, other than Bayer, who issued a statement that addressed some of the issues with how his objections are framed. One person inside Fox with first-hand knowledge of her election coverage told NPR that the delay in calling out Biden’s full White House win involved a technical glitch in the control room as one show moved to the next show at the top of the hour.

Hosting Fox’s first post-election interview with Trump in November, Bartiromo reiterated Trump’s false allegations of election fraud, saying, “This is disgusting, and we cannot allow the US election to be spoiled.” She told viewers in mid-December that “Intel source“Tell her that Trump has won the election. Barthiromo, who has been officially appointed as a news anchor, is no longer to explain why the source made that statement. On the Fox side, unlike the opinion host.)

In December 2020, Dobbs alleged on air that Trump’s opponents within the government committed “treason,” and later suggested that any action by a Republican lawmaker to support Biden’s victory might be “criminal.” His hastily announced departure from the network was announced the next day, after another election software company, Smartmatic, filed its own $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox for defamation over similar false accusations of fraud. This case is not far in the process.

Fox News lawyers argue that Trump’s allegations of election fraud – while false – ‘inherently worth publishing’

Fox dismissed both claims as efforts to stifle legitimate coverage of inherently worthwhile allegations – election fraud – made by inherently newsworthy people – including the incumbent US president and his top campaign advisers. Fox never backed down on his Arizona dropping of Biden, his original sin in the eyes of Trump and his campaign. While viewers have abandoned the network over tough fare on Newsmax, OAN and elsewhere, some Fox stars have given incendiary speeches challenging the legality of Biden’s testimony pending in early January.

In recent weeks, Dominion has argued that Fox host Jeanine Pirro — a former district attorney and New York state judge as well as a Trump confidant — sit at the center of her case. NPR previously revealed a sad email from a Fox News producer begging colleagues to keep Pirro off the air because she was spreading lies about election fraud from dark corners of the internet.

Dominion’s legal team asked the court to compel additional testimony from Pirro late last month, arguing that after Fox invoked the reporter’s privilege to protect her from some questions during her testimony. No decision has been announced on whether Pirro should return for questioning.

As with Scott’s warning about “maniacs,” Dominion’s legal team seeks to use those exchanges to show that Fox deliberately allowed Dobbs, Peru, Bartiromo and their guests to spread false allegations that discredit the company and put the country ahead of the curve. The January 6, 2021 siege of the US Capitol.

According to filings reviewed by NPR, Dominion is also asking the court to compel additional testimony from Fox star Sean Hannity, a close adviser to Trump. Dominion’s attorneys are seeking to block “incorrect assertions of reporter’s privilege,” arguing that Fox improperly asserted reporter privilege to Hannity during the previous interrogation as well, even though full registration is closed. He was ousted in late August, according to court records.

Fox News has repeatedly defended its behavior by invoking the importance of US free speech principles enshrined in the First Amendment, saying the Smartmatic and Dominion cases are attempts to mollify independent reporting and commentary.

Fox Corp CEO and CEO Lachlan Murdoch has taken a seemingly conflicted stance halfway around the world in Australia, where the media mogul and his family now live. Political columnist for the magazine cricket Murdoch has been accused of being “unindicted co-conspirators” in the Trump supporters’ rebellion in the US Congress over false fraud allegations and charged rhetoric ahead of the planned rally.

In this case, Murdoch is accusing a much smaller media of defamation. The site has been forced to pay for critical comments many times previously; cricket She says she intends to use the lawsuit as a test case for recent changes to that country’s defamation law. Media outlets have less legal coverage in Australia than they do here in the US

Maddy Luria contributed to this report.

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