Murdoch says some Fox hosts ‘supported’ false election claims

DOVER, Del. (AP) – Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch acknowledged that some Fox News commentators endorsed the false accusations. The 2020 presidential election was stolen by former President Donald Trump and his allies, and he did not take steps to prevent the claims from being publicized, according to portions of a deposition unsealed Monday.

The claims and the company’s handling of them are the focus of a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against the cable news company.

In recently unsealed documents, Murdoch was asked about some of the network’s commentators — Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity — sometimes endorsing false election claims. Murdoch replied, “Yes. They approved.”

The Murdoch deposition is the latest filing to reveal concerns at the highly rated network in the defamation case. As its ratings plummeted after the network called Arizona for Joe Biden, its handling of Trump’s claims has angered Trump and his supporters.

Earlier filings showed gaps between the stolen election narratives. Raised by its stars behind the scenes. In a speech from November 16, 2020, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said that “Sidney Powell is lying” about evidence of election fraud, referring to one of Trump’s lawyers.

The Dominion case is a recent example Shows those spreading false information about the 2020 election Know that there is no evidence to support it. On January 6, 2021, the now-defunct House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol revealed that several of Trump’s top advisers. He repeatedly warned him that his allegations of fraud were false — and yet the president continued to make demands.

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According to Dominion’s court filing, Murdoch insisted in September 2020, weeks before the election, that Dobbs should be fired because he was an “extremist”. Murdoch said former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was “too bad” to advise Trump because Giuliani’s “judgment was poor” and he was “an extreme partisan,” according to a deposition excerpt.

Murdoch was asked if he could have asked Powell and Giuliani not to air: “I could. But I didn’t,” he replied.

Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, which sells electronic voting hardware and software, owns Fox News Network and parent company Fox Corp. Both have been sued for defamation. Dominion contends that some Fox News employees intentionally amplified false claims by Trump supporters that Dominion machines changed votes in the 2020 election, and that Fox provided a platform for guests to make false and defamatory statements about the company.

Dominion’s attorneys argue that executives “at the top of command” at both Fox News and Fox Corp. knew the network was “broadcasting known falsehoods and had the power to stop it, but decided to allow it to continue. That was wrong, and for that, both FC and FNN are responsible.”

Fox Corp. In their filing, Murdoch’s attorneys also testified that he never discussed Dominion or voter fraud with any of the accused Fox News hosts. Fox Corp. They say Dominion has produced “zero evidentiary support” for its claim that top executives at the .

Dominion’s argument that the company should be liable, Murdoch could have had the power to intervene and prevent the broadcast of the challenged statements, they said, “has no basis in defamation law, blurs the distinction between corporate parent and subsidiary, and finds no support in the evidence.

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According to Fox Corporation’s attorneys, “some select quotes” cited by Dominion had nothing to do with the statements Dominion challenged as defamation. “Dominion has repeatedly asked Fox News executives, hosts and employees whether Fox Corporation employees played a role in publishing the statements it challenges,” they wrote. “The answer — every time, for every witness — is no.”

Meanwhile, Fox News lawyers noted that when polling-tech companies denied allegations made by Trump and his surrogates, Fox News aired those denials, while some Fox News hosts offered guarded commentary about Trump’s allegations.

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