CNN’s Jake Tapper struggles to keep a straight face as he reads Fox reaction to Dominion victory

Fox claimed isettlement demonstrated its ‘continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards’

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 19 April 2023 07:50 BST
CNN’s Jake Tapper struggles to keep a straight face as he reads Fox reaction to Dominion victory

CNN anchor Jake Tapper couldn’t help but chuckle on Tuesday as he announced the news that Fox News averted a bruising defamation trial over false election claims by paying a $787.5m (£633m) settlement to voting machine manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems.

The host hesitated multiple times as he read a statement from Fox News, which framed the settlement as a sign of “Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards” and a move which “allows the country to move forward from these issues.”

Tapper, for his part, told viewers the settlement “can only be interpreted as one of the ugliest and most embarrassing moments in the history of journalism”.

Dominion, meanwhile, said the settlement “represents vindication and accountability.”

“Lies have consequences. The truth does not know red or blue,” Dominion lawyer Justin Nelson told reporters outside the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday where the trial was about to begin.

The closely averted trial was set to subject top Fox News leaders to their most intense scrutiny yet for the network’s role in amplifying false claims about the 2020 election.

Evidence in the Dominion defamation suit showed that network stars, in the words of Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, admitted Fox News “endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election”.

Other messages uncovered as part of the suit showed Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson talking about how he “passionately” hated Donald Trump and celebrated in 2021 that, “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights.”

The exchange captured Carlson seeming to acknowledge that many of the Trump campaign’s claims about the 2020 election were false, a fact that he said was “unbelievably offensive to me.”

“Our viewers are good people and they believe it,” he said.

Following the news of the settlement, Fox News acknowledged “the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” but stopped short of any direct apology for the numerous exaggerated claims about the election that appeared on the network.

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