New York (CNN) Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corporation, agreed Deposition Some Fox News hosts were picked up by Dominion Voting Organizations for endorsing false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Murdoch’s comments were made public in a legal filing as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News.
In his deposition, Murdoch denied that the right-wing talk network endorsed former President Donald Trump’s election lies as an organization. But Murdoch admitted that Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo and former host Lou Dobbs promoted the lie that the presidential race was rigged.
“Some of our commentators were approving of it,” Murdoch said, according to the filing, when asked about talk show hosts’ on-air stances on the election. “I wish we had been stronger in condemning it, in retrospect,” he added.
The filing also described some of Trump’s 2020 election lies that Murdoch called “bulls**t and damaging.”
Fox called Dominion’s case ‘suspicious’
In a Monday report, Fox News hit out at Dominion.
“Dominion’s case will always generate more headlines than it can withstand legal and factual scrutiny,” the network said. Expert dismisses its incredible claims.”
“Their summary judgment motion took an extreme, unsupportive view of defamation law, which bars journalists from basic reporting and must recognize what their efforts to publicly defame Fox for covering up and commenting on allegations of a sitting President of the United States: a flagrant violation of the First Amendment,” the network added.
Fox on Monday defended the actions of executives and hosts during the 2020 election in its own legal filings challenging Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit. Fox alleged that its hosts’ on-air assertions about election fraud were taken out of context.
Fox says it shouldn’t be responsible for the hosts’ claims.
“Dominion’s summary judgment motion is flawed from top to bottom and must be denied in its entirety,” Fox News’ attorneys filed Monday.
In its filing, Dominion offered no factual support for the dubious theory that Fox Corporation’s top executives chose to ‘publish and broadcast’ or played a direct role in creating and publishing false election lies. “
Fox mocks election fraud claims
in another Filed earlier this monthA collection of messages and emails from some of the most prominent stars and high-ranking executives at Fox News showed they had. Personal mocking claims of electoral fraud In the 2020 election, despite the right-wing channel propagating lies about the presidential race in its broadcasts.
News shows Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham viciously mocked the lies peddled by former President Donald Trump’s camp claiming the election was rigged.
The court filing offered the clearest picture to date of the behind-the-scenes chaos at Fox News after Trump lost the election and viewers rallied against the right-wing channel for accurately calling the race in favor of Biden.
Top legal experts told CNN after last week’s filing that Dominion’s legal position was strong.
“This is a huge blow,” noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams said of Dominion’s motion for summary judgment, adding that “the recent revelations certainly put Fox in a very dangerous situation.”
Rebecca Tushnett, the Frank Stanton Professor of First Amendment Law at Harvard Law School, described Dominion’s evidence as a “very strong” record, “clearly showing the difference between what Fox said publicly and what key people at Fox admitted privately.”
Tushnet said that in her years of legal practice and teaching, she had never seen such poor evidence gathered in the pre-trial phase of a defamation case.
“I don’t remember anything that compares to this,” Tushnett said. “Donald Trump seems very good at creating unprecedented situations.”
Murdoch said that Tucker Carlson’s run by election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindel was wrong.
In his deposition, Murdoch also said it was “wrong” for Fox’s Tucker Carlson to host election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell on his show following the presidential election.
On January 26, 2021, Murdoch testified that Tucker repeated those allegations against Dominion and that Mike Lindell’s conduct was wrong.
When asked why MyPillow CEO continued to allow Lindel to make election fraud claims on Fox News, Murdoch said it was a business decision.
“It’s not red or blue, it’s green,” Murdoch replied, according to court documents.
“The man runs every night. Pays us a lot of money…” Murdock said. “At first you think it’s a joke, then you get bored and irritated.”
Murdoch also said President Trump’s former lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and his campaign, who have been accused of election fraud, could be barred from appearing on the network’s shows.
“I could. But I didn’t,” Murdoch said.
Paul Ryan Murdocks warns Fox to stop spreading false election stories
Court documents showed on Monday that Paul Ryan warned Murdoch and Fox News of the dangerous consequences for viewers if they aired false election fraud stories.
Ryan, a former House Speaker and Fox Corporation board member, repeatedly told Rupert and Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch that the company “shouldn’t be spreading conspiracy theories.”
In at least one instance, Ryan advised the Murdochs that the agency should “move away from Donald Trump and stop spreading election lies.”
This time, Ryan told the Murdochs that many of those who thought the election was rigged did so “because they had information from credible sources that the election was rigged.”
“The sooner we can reduce the reverberations of lies from our side, the sooner we can get down to principled loyal opposition,” Ryan wrote to Rupert. “I’m sure our contributors, along with Tucker, Laura and Sean, will get it and make it happen.”
Rupert asked the former speaker turned Fox executive for suggestions for contributors, responding to Ryan saying “everything has changed” following the events of January 6, 2021.
Murdoch gave Kushner ‘confidential information’ about Biden ads
In the Dominion filing, Rupert Murdoch told Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, “confidential information about [President Joe] Biden’s ads, along with debate strategy” in 2020, “give Kushner a preview of Biden’s ads before they become public,” the court filing says.
Under oath, Murdoch said on election night that Kushner was upset about the media’s coverage of the election, which ultimately called Biden. Murdoch testified that Kushner said, “It was horrible,” and that Murdoch “could hear Trump yelling in the background.” Murdoch replied, “Well, numbers are numbers.”
According to the filing, Murdoch said he believes there was no fraud in the election.
“Yeah. I mean, we thought, we thought everything was on the upswing. I think it showed when we announced Arizona,” Murdoch said, referring to Fox News’ prediction that Joe Biden would win the key battleground state on election night. .
A Kushner spokesman did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
— CNN’s Liam Reilly and Nikki Brown contributed to this report