Fox News has been a misinformation project from its inception. The people that have ascended to the highest, muddiest rungs of the Fox-o-verse are the top liars, willing to spew the most ignorant right-wing entertainment propaganda. However, after making money by attacking predominantly marginalized people and those without the resources to fight back, Fox News’ defamatory nature has finally bitten the network in the tushy.
Shortly after the 2020 presidential elections, Dominion Voting Systems launched a billion-dollar lawsuit against some of the right-wing outlets attacking the integrity of its voting equipment. Fox News is facing a possible $1.6 billion defamation judgement in this case. Less than two weeks ago, Dominion lawyers filed a motion asking the court for a summary judgement of liability in its case against Fox News. This was surprising, as “news” organizations are very hard to win defamation cases against, and a summary judgement streamlines the legal process by arguing a trial is not needed to prove things out. As a part of Dominion Voting Systems’ motion, they included “pages of internal communications between top Fox News personalities and executives showing that they knew what they were doing.”
It was explosive news and
not surprisingly, Fox News has forgotten to mention it over the past 10 days or so. Even Fox News’ own filings in the matter did not get the kind of coverage one might expect from a legitimate news organization. On Sunday, having received quite a bit of criticism for ignoring this tiny bit of enormous news, Fox News’ own Howard Kurtz spoke to his silence on the matter on his show Media Buzz. It was … enlightening.
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In what may have been an ad-libbed moment, Kurtz told his Media Buzz audience, “Some of you have been asking why I’m not covering the Dominion voting machines lawsuit against Fox involving the unproven claims of election fraud in 2020, and it’s absolutely a fair question. I believe I should be covering it. It’s a major media story, given my role here at Fox. But the company has decided that as part of the organization being sued, I can’t talk about it or write about it, at least for now.”
But don’t you worry: Kurtz wants you to know that while he has flushed any semblance of professional integrity down the toilet, he still believes he has integrity, saying “I strongly disagree with that decision, but as an employee, I have to abide by it. And if that changes, I’ll let you know.”
He’ll “let you know.” Kurtz isn’t the first Fox News on-air personality to be muzzled by the higher-ups. It was previously reported that Fox News producers tried to shut down “Judge” Jeanine Pirro’s relentless barrage of election fraud fabrications in the hours and days preceding Donald Trump’s clear in the presidential election. In Kurtz’s case, it seems Fox News’ higher-ups just don’t want their fake reporters to report on how fake their reporting is.
The cherry on top of this all is that Fox News’ position in the Dominion defamation lawsuit is something something First Amendment, freedom of speech, shut your face Howard Kurtz.
If Kurtz’s name rings a bell, the last time he made the big news cycle was in 2018, when his producers mistakenly put up an honest graphic about the public’s opinion of Fox News.
Fox News’ defense has long been that Americans know they are full of it. The problem is that while most Americans know that Fox News cannot be trusted as a news source, enough of them do to sway Republican primaries and color public opinion polling with profound ignorance.
Kurtz and everyone with half a brain cell knows the evidence against the hack media outlet is damning. It will be something to see how this affects (or does not affect) the network’s coverage of election security in 2024.
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