Dominion Voting Systems, the company which supplied voting machines for the 2020 election, has slapped Fox News with a $US1.6 ($2) billion defamation lawsuit. In a 443-page complaint, published by the Associated Press, the company provides reams of evidence that Fox broadcast Twitter-sourced conspiracy theories about the machines in the full knowledge that the claims were disproven. It’s requesting damages for, among other things, security expenses for siccing the hounds on the company, which claims its employees have received death threats.
It’s also seeking damages for lost profits and enterprise value and expenses for combatting misinformation. The lawsuit adds to three previous over-billion-dollar lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani, Trump lawyer and QAnon adherent Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who’ve all spread baseless lies on Fox, often without pushback.
For instance, Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo trotted out Sidney Powell, who shared the unproven claim that Democrats conjured “massive numbers” of votes from dead people. “They had this all planned, Maria. They had the algorithms,” she said, referencing the bogus Democrat-Dominion conspiracy.
“Sidney, these are incredible charges that you are making this morning,” Bartiromo remarked. “We, of course, will be following this.”
Mike Lindell claimed to Tucker Carlson: Dominion “hired hit groups, bots and trolls” to take down MyPillow and then added: “We have all the evidence…I dare Dominion to sue me because then it will get out faster. So this is — it — you know, they don‘t — they don‘t want to talk about it.”
Carlson: “No they don‘t.”
Sean Hannity, giving Powell a little wink to spread her Dominion lies: “I have gone over everything I have been able to find out, nobody liked Dominion Voting Systems. Nobody. The professor. The three Democrats. The State of Texas. They had problems in Georgia. The New York Times. The AP. Why would we use a system that everybody agreed sucked or had problems is beyond me.”
Jeanine Pirro, blowing past publicly-available information: “The President’s lawyers alleging a company called Dominion, which they say started in Venezuela with Cuban money, and with the assistance of Smartmatic software, a backdoor is capable of flipping votes…These are serious allegations, but the media has no interest in any of this.” Dominion states numerous times in the complaint that it is not affiliated with competitor Smartmatic and that Dominion was founded in Toronto.
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) November 15, 2020
Dominion concludes that Fox sent in the clowns because its ratings had tanked after it called the election for Biden, and Trump ordered followers to abandon the network. “In the face of intense backlash and viewers beginning to flee to rival networks, Fox understood that it needed to embrace and amplify the lies that had begun to circulate about Dominion,” the complaint reads. It continues:
To fan the flames, Fox turned to Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, neither of whom were official White House spokespeople and both of whom were promoting a baseless defamatory campaign against Dominion, claiming that the election had been stolen by vote-flipping algorithms in Dominion machines that had been created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chávez. As Fox well knew, Powell and Giuliani were facially unreliable sources and their claims were ludicrous, inherently improbable, and technologically impossible. Powell was and is such an obviously unreliable source — and her claims about Dominion were so inherently improbable and outlandish — that those very same lies resulted in Tucker Carlson publicly mocking her for failing to produce evidence to support them. In private, Lou Dobbs himself “raised questions about Powell’s claims to others.”
And here’s Lou Dobbs calling Powell a “great American,” asking her where a fancifully “removed” “Dominion server” is located, which makes absolutely no sense:
The Battle for the White House: @SidneyPowell1 celebrates a court victory for @realDonaldTrump in Georgia which stops Dominion voting machines in 3 counties from being wiped. #MAGA #AmericaFirst #Dobbs pic.twitter.com/YYEOjp7PON
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) November 30, 2020
Dominion says that the lies not only damaged its reputation but that the conspiracy theories fuelled personal attacks, so much so that it encouraged employees to work from home and “protect their social media profiles” against persistent threats of violence. It quotes tweets from now-deactivated Twitter accounts, such as:
GOP DEALS IN FACTS … AND JUDGE PIRRO IS SUCH EMBODIMENT OF INTEGRITY … devilocrats and lucifers msm and dominion voter fraud will not see the light of day in TRUMP‘S WHITE HOUSE, !
Obvious fraud corrupt election, eye witnesses, computer science experts, tech experts testifying about corrupt dominion voting machines and smartmatic software, a 12th grader can see what‘s going on, the only thing transparent about this election is the fraud, to quote Lou Dobbs!
Smartmatic similarly alleged that “Fox joined the conspiracy to defame and disparage Smartmatic and its election technology and software.” Fox noticeably didn’t refute the charge that it broadcast false claims, but only shared “matters of public concern.”
In a statement shared with Gizmodo regarding the Dominion suit, Fox wrote: “FOX News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.”
Dominion’s attorneys were not immediately available for comment.