Fox News beset by culture of ‘fear’ after $787.5m defamation payout, ex-host says

Former Fox star says journalists have become ‘the object of the accountants’ wrath’ after enormous lawsuit settlements

Bevan Hurley
Friday 14 July 2023 16:59 BST
Ex-Fox News host claims there's a 'culture of fear' at network

Former Fox News host Geraldo Rivera believes a culture of fear has taken hold at the right-wing network after the $787.5m payout to Dominion Voting Systems for spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election.

In a wide-ranging interview on The View on Thursday, Mr Rivera, 80, was asked by host Alyssa Farah Griffin about morale among “actual journalists” at Fox and whether executives would protect them.

“It just seems to me that there is a period, now, of fear at Fox,” Mr Rivera, who recently quit the company after 23 years, replied.

The enormous cost of the Dominion lawsuit, and a $12m settlement with ex-producer Abby Grossberg, had led to staff cut backs, he added.

“They’re firing a lot of people, and I think the crush of that retrenchment as they try to make up for those huge settlements, paid, and to come. It’s the little guy and girl who are the object of the accountants’ wrath,” Mr Rivera said.

“I think the high-profile journalists are fine. What happens to the staffers, young and old, I wonder, and I worry about them.”

On top of the recent settlements, Fox News is also facing a $2.7bn defamation suit from Smartmatic.

Geraldo Rivera speaks out on The View after parting ways with Fox News

Mr Rivera told The View that he quit Fox after being forced out of The Five due to his “toxic relationship” with a co-host, widely reported to be Greg Gutfeld.

He also offered a full-throated condemnation of former colleague Tucker Carlson and ex-president Donald Trump.

“I don’t like to be unkind, but what (Carlson) did, just as I will never vote for Donald Trump, I will never forgive Tucker about January 6,” Mr Rivera said.

Mr Rivera agreed with host Sunny Hostin that Mr Trump was a “racist and a mysognist”, and said he would “dedicate whatever energy I have left in the profession to ensure that he is not reelected president ever”.

Carlaon, who was fired by Rupert Murdoch in April, is reportedly raising hundreds of millions of dollars for a new media company

Following Mr Rivera’s departure from Fox, the right-wing network said in a statement that it had “reached an amicable conclusion with Geraldo over the past few weeks”.

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