Fox News describes their hosts as ‘responsible journalists’ in defence against Dominion lawsuit

Citing first amendment rights to free speech, cable network says ‘a free press must be able to report both sides of a story’

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 19 May 2021 15:43
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Donald Trump says US is like 'third-world country' as he repeats false election fraud claim

Fox News says its journalists covered “both sides” of Donald Trump’s election defeat and false allegations of faulty voting machines, run by Dominion Voting Systems.

In a court filing on Tuesday, the cable news channel also called for the dismissal of Dominion’s $1.6bn (£1.1bn) defamation action against it, citing its “responsible” journalism.

“The American people deserved to know why president Trump refused to concede despite his apparent loss”, lawyers for Fox News wrote, “[and] as responsible journalists, Fox covered both sides”.

In a suit against Fox News for amplifying false allegations of election fraud in March, Dominion said it suffered from “enormous and irreparable economic harm” following the allegations of tampering and faulty software.

“Lies have consequences,” Dominion’s lawyers wrote in the court filing. “Fox sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”

In the months following the former US president’s defeat, Fox News anchors aired allegations of faulty voting machines and software – run by Dominion — and of tampering.

The allegations were first aired by Trump aides and allies, including former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, all of whom denied Mr Trump’s defeat.

The filing by Fox News, written by lawyers Charles Babcock and Scott Keller, added that “a free press must be able to report both sides of a story involving claims striking at the core of our democracy”.

It also went on to say that Fox had “fairly and extensively covered” the former president’s false allegations of election fraud “just as it had reported the election results”.

Mr Babcock and Mr Keller referred to Fox News calling Arizona for Joe Biden, on the night of the election, before others did so — also facing criticism from the Trump campaign for it.

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