“A Demonic Force:” Dominion Just Gave Jack Smith Useful Evidence

As you read through Dominion’s motion for summary judgment against Fox News — and trust me, you should read it! — keep in mind not just how it proves Fox to be nothing but a propaganda platform aiming to help the Republican Party, but also the evidence it makes available to Jack Smith as he considers charges against those who used false claims about voting fraud to gin up a coup attempt.

Just as one example, Sean Hannity has played a role in every Trump legal scandal — serving as a back channel to Trump for Paul Manafort, participating in Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to gin up dirt on Hunter Biden as the first impeachment unfolded, and helping White House officials stave off the resignations of Trump’s White House Counsels in advance of January 6. But in each case, investigators only got his communications via other subjects of the investigation, as when DOJ found Manafort’s WhatsApp texts to Hannity saved in Manafort’s iCloud account or when the January 6 Committee got Signal texts Hannity exchanged with Mark Meadows from the former Chief of Staff’s production. Republicans chose not to call Hannity as a pro-Trump witness in the Ukraine impeachment.

With its filing, Dominion has given a snapshot of the ways and whys in which Fox News helped magnify false voter fraud claims, especially (though not exclusively) those of Sidney Powell.

It all takes place against the backdrop of a huge backlash against Fox after it called AZ for Joe Biden. When Fox presented the truth about the election, viewers started fleeing to Newsmax, with Trump’s encouragement. The filing describes the panic that ensued.

[O]n November 9, the impact of Fox’s Arizona call became more evident to Fox executives. Carlson told [Fox News CEO Suzanne] Scott directly: “I’ve never seen a reaction like this, to any media company. Kills me to watch it.” Ex.211. Scott immediately relayed the email to Lachlan Murdoch. Ex.212 . She told Briganti that Sammon “did not understand the impact to the brand and the arrogance in calling AZ,” which she found “astonishing” given that as a “top executive” it was Sammon’s job “to protect the brand.” Ex.213. And on that day–“day one,” as Scott termed it, Fox executives made an explicit decision to push narratives to entice their audience back. Ex.214 at FoxCorp00056542. Scott and Lachlan Murdoch exchanged texts about the plan going forward: “Viewers going through the 5 stages of grief. It’s a question of trust the AZ [call] was damaging but we will highlight our stars and plant flags letting the viewers know we hear them and respect them . at FoxCorp00056541 . Murdoch: “Yes. But needs constant rebuilding without any missteps. Id. Scott Yes today is day one and it’s a process.” [Dominion’s emphasis removed]

Hannity described how much reporting the truth (and Chris Wallace serving as a competent moderator for a Presidential debate) had undermined Fox’s brand.

Hannity told Carlson and Ingraham on November 12: “In one week and one debate they destroyed a brand that took 25 years to build and the damage is incalculable.”

The response to Jacqui Heinrich’s fact check of a Trump tweet is particularly stunning, as Carlson immediately called to have her fired for uttering the truth.

Meanwhile, later that night of November 12, Ingraham was still texting with Hannity and Carlson. In their group text thread, Carlson pointed Hannity to a tweet by Fox reporter Jacqui Heinrich. Ex.230 at FNN035_03890511 . Heinrich was “fact checking” a tweet by Trump that mentioned Dominion–and specifically mentioned Hannity’s and Dobbs’ broadcasts that evening discussing Dominion. Ex.232; Ex.231. Heinrich correctly fact-checked the tweet, pointing out that top election infrastructure officials said that, “‘There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes ,changed votes ,or was in any way compromised'” Id Ex.232.

Carlson told Hannity: Please get her fired. Seriously …. What the fuck? I’m actually shocked…It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.” Ex.230 at FNN035_03890511. Tucker added: “I just went crazy on Meade over it.” Id. at FNN035_03890512 . Hannity said he had “already sent to Suzanne with a really?” He then added: “I’m 3 strikes . Wallace shit debate [] Election night a disaster [.] Now this BS? Nope. Not gonna fly. Did I mention Cavuto?”

The filing describes how after Hannity “dropped a bomb” about Heinrich’s fact check with Scott, Heinrich deleted her tweet.

Hannity indeed had discussed with Scott. Hannity texted his team: “I just dropped a bomb.” Ex.292 at FNN055_04455643. Suzanne Scott received the message. She told Jay Wallace and Fox News SVP for Corporate Communications Irena Briganti: “Sean texted me–he’s standing down on responding but not happy about this and doesn’t understand how this is allowed to happen from anyone in news. She [Heinrich] has serious nerve doing this and if this gets picked up, viewers are going to be further disgusted.” Ex.233 . By the next morning, Heinrich had deleted her fact-checking tweet. Ex.283.

For over two years, the right wing has squealed about a media outlet prohibiting the dissemination of dodgy claims from a Murdoch outlet. It turns out that Murdoch was, in that same time period, “censoring” true facts about Trump’s dodgy claims.

I wait with bated breath for James Comer to scheduled a hearing on the “censorship.”

Tucker Carlson, especially, recognized Trump’s role in this. He warned that Trump “could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.

“What [Trump]’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.”

After January 6, Tucker called Trump,”a demonic force, a destroyer.”

Fox appears to have perceived that they had to play along with Trump’s false claims or risk permanent damage to their brand.

As noted, this lawsuit focuses closely, though not exclusively, on Sidney Powell’s false claims, from which even Trump publicly dissociated on and off. As such, much of this evidence may be more useful to DOJ in any ongoing investigation (if there still is one) of Powell’s monetization of claims she knew to be false. But even there, the evidence is key for Smith’s lawyer inquiry into Trump’s lies.

In an effort to rebut any Fox claim that it was simply reporting on lawsuits, Dominion lays out how the lawsuits filed served only as a vehicle to make false claims publicly.

Infact, none ofthe accused statements even meets the basic requirement that it report on a pending proceeding. As the Court recognized in its prior ruling, any statement made in a broadcast that occurred before November 25, 2020 could not possibly satisfy the “of … proceedings” requirement because the lawsuits filed by Sidney Powell–the only Fox guest who actually filed a lawsuit containing the defamatory allegations about Dominion–had not been filed by that date. See FNN MTD Order, p.46. And even after that date, the broadcasts in question hardly mentioned the existence of legal proceedings concerning Dominion, let alone purported to be a substantially accurate report ofthose proceedings. “[A]t no point did Dobbs or Powell attribute the statements … to an official investigation or a judicial proceeding. A reasonable observer would have no grounds to believe that her statements constituted a report of an official proceeding.” Khalil, 2022 WL 4467622 at 6.

Fox wasn’t covering lawsuits. It was magnifying false claims, and doing so because it knew that’s what its viewers, and Trump, demanded.

One accused false claim is of particular import, given the bases Powell and others used to pursue outrageous actions: A December 10 Lou Dobbs broadcast on which Sidney Powell claimed there had been a Cyber Pearl Harbor.

Nonetheless, on the next day, December 10, Dobbs had Powell on again, where she repeated the false (and repeatedly debunked) story about the Smartmatic and Dominion machines being designed to flip votes to rig elections for Hugo Chavez,and allowing people to login and manipulate votes . See ¶179(q );Appendix D. But rather than questioning Powell’s claims, Dobbs attacked Attorney General Barr for saying he’d seen no sign of any significant fraud that would overturn the election and told Powell “We will gladly put forward your evidence that supports your claim that this was a Cyber Pearl Harbor,” noting “we have tremendous evidence already,” id. which he now admits was not true. See Ex.111,Dobbs 46:25-47:10,86:20-24 . Dobbs had seen no evidence from Powell, nor has he since. Id.

Powell had sent her claims about a “Cyber Pearl Harbor” to Dobbs (who forwarded to his team) in advance of the show. Ex.450;Ex.451. Prior to the show, Dobbs published a tweet to the @loudobbs Twitter account with the claim that “The 2020 Election is a cyber Pearl Harbor,” and embedding the very document Powell had sent to him just hours before which stated that Dominion was one off our entities that had “executed an electoral 9-11 against the United States” and “a cyber Pearl Harbor,” that “there is an embedded controller in every Dominion machine,” and that they had “contracts ,program details, incriminating information ,and history” proving these claims.¶179(p); Appendix D.

Later the same day, after Powell appeared on the 5pm broadcast and before the 7pm unedited rebroadcast of the show, Dobbs again tweeted “Cyber Pearl Harbor @SidneyPowell reveals groundbreaking new evidence indicating our Presidential election came under massive cyber-attack orchestrated with the help of Dominion, Smartmatic, and foreign adversaries.” ¶179(r); Appendix D. Dobbs conceded at his deposition that this tweet was false Powell had not presented any such evidence on his program that day. Ex.111,Dobbs 269 :2-271:5.

People have long used Trump’s favored Fox programs to lobby Trump (for example, Roger Stone did so spectacularly well to get a pardon). And this story appeared on one of Trump’s favorite shows just over a week before Powell and Patrick Byrne would use the Solar Winds hack (which would be exposed in the interim week, starting on December 14) as their excuse to get Trump to use a claim of foreign election interference to seize the voting machines. In other words, this was the national security excuse Powell and Byrne were seeking to give Trump an excuse to assert Executive authority to seize the voting machines.

Worse still, as Dominion notes, Fox did all this not just knowing that it would harm Dominion. They did this knowing the intent was to harm the United States.

On November 10, Steve Bannon told Maria Bartiromo, straight out, that THE PLAN was to delegitimize Joe Biden.

“71 million voters will never accept Biden. This process is to destroy his presidency before it even starts; IF it even starts … We either close on Trumps victory or del[e]gitimize Biden … THE PLAN.” Steve Bannon to Maria Bartiromo, November 10, 2020 (Ex. 157)

Carlson, too, knew what he was doing.

On November 18, [Tucker producer Alex] Pfeiffer texted Carlson that powerful election fraud allegations like Powell’s “need to be backed up” and could lead to undermining an elected president if Biden’s confirmed,to which Carlson responded, “Yep. It’s bad.”

“It’s bad,” Tucker recognized from the start. But that didn’t stop him from participating in efforts to undermining the duly elected President.

We’ve long known that Fox was better understood as a wing of the Republican party than as a news organization (indeed, the filing describes Rupert Murdoch looking for ways to “help[] any way we can” in Georgia).

But this filing makes it clear that in a bid to cater to viewers who were fed false claims by Trump, Fox played right along with the false claims that would lead to insurrection. Jack Smith is already examining multiple parts of this effort. This filing makes evidence that would otherwise be unavailable accessible to prosecutors.

Fox News knew their platforming of Trump’s false claims was doing damage to the country. And they did it anyway.

Update: Corrected that Tucker, not Hannity, is the one who immediately said Heinrich should be fired for speaking the truth.

253 replies
  1. Fraud Guy says:

    Mostly in the pipe dream side, but if these records (possibly the redacted ones) show that Fox and its personalities were knowingly assisting in distributing and promoting information that furthered the Trump conspiracy, could they be hauled in, if Smith spreads his net that wide?

    • earthworm says:

      so — what is it the FCC is supposed to be doing?
      how does fox news corp continue to hold a license to purvey news on the publicly owned airwaves, when in this evidence cited above it is a propaganda tool instead, protecting its brand?

      • earthworm says:

        scrolling down i see this question has been answered. cable is dissimilarly regulated to on air broadcast.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s also important to note Fox Corp and its subsidiary Fox News are not broadcasters of Fox News-created content; they license their content for syndication to a wholly separate broadcaster which in many cases in the US is Sinclair Broadcast Group.

          Of the 181 broadcast stations Sinclair owns, 51 are Fox affiliates. Sinclair, you’ll recall, is notoriously right-wing, requires its affiliates to air former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn’s bullshit program, and made an unreported donation-in-kind to George Bush’s 2004 campaign with its efforts to undermine Democratic candidate John Kerry with the Swiftboating smear-as-documentary. (Funny how so many of the same names pop up again and again like Jerome Corsi.)

        • BruceF says:

          Beyond Sinclair, virtually every small market radio station is controlled by a conservative/religious conglomerate. Controlling the airwaves is a well funded Republican strategy.

          And yet we continue to hear whining about the “lamestream” liberal dominated media!

      • Egyptian Cat says:

        Nothing. Ever heard of the First Amendment?

        The government cannot silence anyone and claim it’s protecting anybody’s right to free speech and expression. This is why we have civil courts and can sue for defamation, slander and libel.

        • Fraud Guy says:

          From my readings here, to be considered part of the Trump election fraud conspiracy, all of Fox does not have to have been in communication with Trump and his team, but if at least one of them was, and they took actions to further the claims of the conspiracy, and others helped them with it, they could also be part of the overall conspiracy.

          Now rereading the selections, Fox and its personalities seemed only interested in pecuniary reasons to support the fraud claims, but that may be because Dominion was only looking for information bolstering its own position in the libel suit. But since we know that at least some of Fox was in communication with Trump et al, there may be more communications not revealed that are more direct to the conspiracy.

        • Kenster42 says:

          You’re beyond reaching. We live in a country that respects the First Amendment and the rule of law. You might not like what Fox does (I certainly don’t), but I understand that it is part of the price we all pay to have freedom of speech in this country. Anyone who understands the media business understands that Fox News is of course not news but right wing opinion, narrative and propaganda. They give their fan base what they want. That’s not conspiracy, however, and no prosecutor would ever take that case. In other words, it’s never conspiracy or RICO.

        • Kenster42 says:

          But defamation is very different from criminal conspiracy. The Dominion case is one of the few circumstances I’ve seen in the last 20 years where the plaintiffs have a darn good chance of winning the defamation suit.

          Fraud Guy is suggesting that somehow Fox committed criminal conspiracy with their actions that can be linked to the greater Trump “conspiracy”.

          This is counterproductive wishcasting and diminishes everyone involved, because it gives yet more generally false hope that Fox and/or Trump personally are going to be charged criminally for anything (almost 8 years and counting and Trump is still Teflon Don), and makes our side look like conspiracy theorists who are obsessed with and hate all things Trump, to the point that we throw common sense and jurisprudence out the window.

        • wa_rickf says:

          Doesn’t the First Amendment only apply to speaking out against the government? I.E. you can say anything you want against the government or its officials.

          Fox News is a private company. They certainly can yell fire in a crowded theater for giggles – but there are consequences for doing so.

          I find that Rwingers think free speech is the same thing as consequence-free speech. It is not.

        • trnc2023 says:

          “Anyone who understands the media business understands that Fox News is of course not news but right wing opinion, narrative and propaganda. They give their fan base what they want.”

          The problem we need to deal with is that Fox is labeled “News” rather than opinion for a reason, and their fan base believe that what they are getting is news. That fan base also has an enormous amount of power that media observers don’t, so the consequences of Fox purposely misinforming them are not academic or theoretical.

          The first amendment protects anti-government speech, but I doubt it was intended to allow a gigantic organization to have the power through lies to affect how our government is formed.

        • Arun says:

          The damage to the American polity of the Big Lie is incalculable.

          And other countries may not put up with such Fox nonsense in their borders; at which point you Americans will go all pious on them with First Amendment crap.

          When a section of the Fourth Estate is itself an enemy of democracy, that section has lost any claim to freedom. Defamation, libel etc., cases, still winding their way in the courts two years later, are almost too late. The country was one Mike Pence who-won’t-testify-voluntarily away from total disaster.

  2. phred says:

    I’ve been hoping Dominion might present existential damage to Fox News, but this evidence is even more jaw dropping than I expected.

    Thanks, as always, EW! I’ll go read the motion for summary judgment now…

  3. Joberly1954 says:

    EW—this was new to me, from the filing by Dominion (p. 184) “The afternoon of January 6, after the Capitol came under attack, then-President Trump dialed into Lou Dobbs’s show attempting to get on the air. But Fox executives vetoed that decision.” The Fox show “Lou Dobbs Tonight broadcast at 5:00 p.m. Eastern that night. Presumably, the phone records of the Fox producer of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” would show whether the attempt by Trump to get on the Dobbs show was during the 187 minutes of inaction (1:00 to 4:17 p.m.) or after 4:17 when Trump released his “I know how you feel, but go home” message to the insurrectionists. [Note–my first post under my new, longer username]

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

    • harpie says:

      I think we can assume that call was between 5 and 6 PM while Dobbs was on air.
      According to Annie Grayer of CNN, even the J6C did not know about this call.
      11:50 AM · Feb 17, 2023

      Trump’s “go home” tweet/video was at 6:01 PM that day.

      These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!

        • harpie says:

          I meant to say that maybe FOX knew that TRUMP was planning on saying something like this, and when they refused him, he ended up having to resort to tweeting that tweet.

      • harpie says:

        CORRECTION! [ugg!]
        TRUMP’s “go home” tweet/video was posted at 4:17 PM

        That 6:01 PM “sacred landslide election victory” tweet was the chaser.

        Twitter [on this ^ tweet]:

        ! This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.

    • Tom-1812 says:

      I’ve always thought of them as a bunch of whores, who will say anything for money, with Rupert Murdoch as their pimp. But sex workers only sell their bodies; Carlson, Hannity and the rest have sold their very selves, who they are as people when everything else is stripped away.

    • Don Bortle Jr. says:

      Let’s call them what they are, ‘reThugLieCON-Qers’ and in concert with that, we should just eliminate the Capitals on all their names to pass on a bit of the disrespect they have so judiciously earned. ie elon musk, shawn hannity, tfg, mtg, etc.

      I’ve been sickened for years with their juxtaposition of Democratic with Democrat (they’ve totally captured cspan moderators) . . . If you’re not comfortable with ‘reThugLieCON-Qers’, we could always go with ‘repuplican’t’ or even better would be ‘repubLick’ which has been fully demonstrated with the very deep licking of tRumps Ass for the last six plus years.

        • Kenster42 says:

          Seconding Bmaz, but also adding – you’re not helping the cause with your efforts, you’re being just like them. “ReThugLieCON”? C’mon, man, that’s like the hyperventilating far-right weirdos that do “Demon-rat” type stuff. It’s the lowest of low culture of political insults and commentary and it not only does not change hearts and minds, it only makes you look bad when you write it.

          This type of behavior is also typical of something I’ve been seeing a lot more of lately – Dems just straight up emulating bad Republican behavior. Biden was fact checked in 2 speeches yesterday and basically told 5 straight up bald faced lies and was heavily misleading another 3 times. First time I think I’ve ever seen that. Why do we want to do this? Whatever happened to “they go low / we go high”? Why do we need to lie? Why do we need to use creepy, petty insult nicknames? Let’s do better that that because we are better than that.

        • Kenster42 says:

          Biden Claim 1, Wisconsin Town Hall, Feb 17 – “For example, if it went – if we gradually increased it (minimum wage) – when we indexed it at $7.20, if we kept it indexed by – to inflation, people would be making 20 bucks an hour right now. That’s what it would be.” Straight up false.

          Biden Claim 2, Same Town Hall – “The vast majority of the people, those 11 million undocumented, they’re not Hispanics; they’re people who came on a visa – who was able to buy a ticket to get in a plane and didn’t go home. They didn’t come across the Rio Grande swimming…” Not even close to being true.

          Biden Claim 3, same Town Hall – “And I came back and said they’re going to end their One China – their one child policy, because they’re so xenophobic they won’t let anybody else in, and more people are retired than working. How can they sustain economic growth when more people are retired?” Again, not even close to being true – this is actually a Reaganesque level whopper.

          Biden Claim 4, speech to union workers, Wednesday, 2/15, Biden said, “We cut the debt by $1.7 billion the last two years.” The White House made a correction to the official transcript to make it “$1.7 trillion” instead of “$1.7 billion.” Nope. The debt has continued to rise precipitously under Biden. He may have meant the deficit, but experts say it’s very misleading if he’s trying to take credit for that. To be fair, this could be just a mistake.

          Biden Claim 5, same speech. He said of billionaires in the United States: “You know what their average tax they pay is? About 3%.” He’s said this one before, and it’s just a straight up lie. Billionaires pay on average 8%.

          I don’t know how to do links easily here but you can easily find these examples searching for “CNN Biden fact check”.

          This is really the first time I’ve seen the Biden Administration really lean on narrative over truth. On each issue where he lied (taxing rich people, immigration, the debt, China, minimum wage), you can see the lie is always in service of the narrative.

          I know everyone freaks out when you type the word “lie”, but if it’s good enough for the whoppers Trump told, it’s good enough for at least 4 out of the 5 of Biden’s whoppers this week.

          We have to be better than them, and that means being truthful when our side does stuff like this. Saying “it’s just Joe being Joe” doesn’t cut it. We didn’t give Trump or Reagan any slack for their whoppers, so we can’t for Biden just because we agree with him.

          And, finally, it’s frustrating because they’re juicing the narrative, i.e., the Biden speechwriting team just couldn’t go with the reality of these individual situations, which is supportive of Dems (example – yes, billionaires pay too little in taxes, even at 8%) and condemning of Republicans. There’s no need to lie about the respective situations when the truth is still quite compelling.

        • Chuck M. says:

          Thank you (I think).
          As a lifelong (45 years) Progressive-leaning unaffiliated voter, I would like to hear this addressed as well.
          It really makes it hard to frame the traitorous behavior of the Republicans with this Democratic BS out there. Democrats need to loudly call it out.

        • Rayne says:

          We have to be better than them” — and yet being actually better than “them” doesn’t result in a guaranteed win.

          they’re juicing the narrative” — ask why they feel the need to do this. What is the underlying problem here which they feel can’t be addressed any other way than to juice the narrative. And then focus on how to address that problem more effectively without juicing.

          I’m personally fed up with the inability to deal with guns, including guns being shipped to Central America to play a key role in destabilizing the region and perpetuating a feedback loop. More gun violence, less government stability, more asylum seekers, more hostile GOP rhetoric, more gun sales here and to Central America, rinse, repeat. Juicing the narrative is a response like moaning about gun violence in Chicago (based on guns which come from Indiana); it doesn’t actually deal with the guns from Indiana.

        • Greg Hunter says:

          I have written on it, lived and tried every way to explain that the Assault Weapons ban did not work. Biden bringing that out is not going to work as Beto proved in Texas.

          AG Nessel set the right message so far as it has chosen the “well regulated” approach. Red Flag laws are the only way to go.

          As to the Indiana – Columbia gun connection, that can be solved too but Biden and most progressives will not embrace the fact that making war on naturally occurring plants after enduring Prohibition is what’s driving this gun violence and the deadly blowback from man made plant replacements called fentanyl and meth.

          The more I study history Dr. King was right when he complained of white liberals in a letter from a jail cell in the year I was born.

        • Rayne says:

          You realize much of the white liberal problem you’re referring to is a result of white conservatives locking down the goddamned SCOTUS with jurists who have completely rejected the “well regulated militia” clause altogether. Nessel’s approach may still not work if you look at SCOTUS’ most recent gun control decision in which the fascist bloc supported domestic abusers’ right to own guns over their victims’ right to life.

          A massive wave is coming; it moves in fits and spurts but two generations have fucking had enough of guns, just as they’ve had enough excuses about fossil fuels. The far right is moving aggressively right now because attrition is breathing down their necks; the question for us olds is how to put sand in the right-wing’s gears long enough for that wave to arrive.

          I wrote change was coming four years ago, a year after Parkland. Talk with students from MSU and recent grads after this week, many of them the same age as Parkland survivors, some shaped by Oxford’s mass shooting. They’re sad but they are furious, and they know who’s responsible. They’re coming for this.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          If you are going to bring an accusation such as that, you better bring the receipts. Where is the link to this fact check ?

  4. klynn says:

    IANAL. Would families torn apart by the FOX lies be able to use evidence from Dominion’s motion for summary judgement against Fox News, to mount any kind of legal action for duress?

    I know a number of families where the time period represented in the summary became – especially the Sidney Powell Cyber Pearl Harbor cite and amplification by Lou Dobbs – a breaking point in dividing their families permanently.

    And a second question. What legal risks are there for Fox programming today to misrepresent Dominion’s motion for summary judgement against them on air?

    • Mart7890 says:

      Not just loss of family, but of lifelong friends as well. Didn’t help dealing with this bullshit while trying to hide from Covid.

    • Kenster42 says:

      You already know the answers to your own questions. Pure wishcasting, but, more importantly, when are we on the left going to be more thick-skinned moving forward? Politics has always been brutal, currently is brutal, and will continue to be brutal. Fox News is awful, horrible, but the answer is not to sue them because it messed up family relations, the answer is to turn the TV off and make everyone promise when they get to together to not talk politics. QED.

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        “The Republicans keep pushing the US closer and closer to a Christian theocracy. Obviously, the solution is to keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last 40 years!”

  5. Peterr says:

    From the third blockquote above:

    Carlson told Hannity: Please get her [Jacqui Heinrich] fired. Seriously …. What the fuck? I’m actually shocked…It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”

    When I read this, I immediately wondered how much of Tucker’s compensation is tied to the stock price of Fox Corp.

    While poking around looking for specific reporting on Tucker’s contract with them (a fruitless search, beyond reporting of various bottom-line numbers), I noticed on the Fox Corp board and management pages a list of board members and senior executives, and two names jumped out: Paul Ryan and Jeffrey Taylor. Ryan sits on the Fox Board, and Taylor is the Executive VP and General Counsel. Ryan I immediately recognized as the former Speaker of the House, but Taylor I could not immediately place.

    Digging further, it all came flooding back. Taylor was appointed as the interim US Attorney for DC in Sept 2006 by Alberto Gonzales (no senate confirmation needed), and served in that (allegedly temporary) position until May 2009. This made him the US attorney in DC during the whole US Attorney scandal highlighted by such lunimaries as Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson, doing the bidding of Karl Rove.

    (Note: in 2007, the provision limiting the appointment of interim US attorneys to 120 days of service was reinstated, but *not* made retroactive to cover Taylor.)

    Taylor featured prominently in a long-ago post by Marcy, when AGAG ordered him not to prosecute Harriet Miers or other WH staff for refusing congressional subpoenas, and he dutifully followed his orders. The case went before Judge John Bates (DC District Court), whom Marcy expected to take a pass on addressing on the merits. “I was one of the first and strongest saying that Judge Bates would opt to just punt the contempt controversy back into Congress’s lap.” When Bates made his ruling against the Bush administration, he caused Marcy to write words seldom seen: “I was wrong.”

    Let’s just say that Fox appears to have the senior legal leadership they were looking for: someone with devotion to the cause, rather than the law.

    • Peterr says:

      Rereading the opinion by Bates, this passage jumped out with red flashing lights (pp 30-31):

      The mere fact that the President himself — let alone his advisors, as here — is the subject of the subpoena in question has not been viewed historically as an insurmountable obstacle to judicial resolution. See United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. at 686; Burr, 25 F. Cas. at 32. Indeed, in Burr, Chief Justice Marshall explained that “the obligation [to comply with a subpoena] . . . is general; and it would seem that no person could claim an exemption from [it].” Id. at 34. “The guard” that protects the Executive from “vexatious and unnecessary subpoenas,” in Chief Justice Marshall’s view, “is . . . the conduct of a court after those subpoenas have issued; not in any circumstance which is to precede their being issued.” Id. (emphasis added). Any claim that compliance with a subpoena would jeopardize national security or privileged presidential information “will have its due consideration on the return of the subpoena,” Chief Justice Marshall noted. Id. at 37. Thus, federal precedent dating back as far as 1807 contemplates that even the Executive is bound to comply with duly issued subpoenas. The Supreme Court emphatically reaffirmed that proposition in United States v. Nixon< in 1974. See Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 696 n. 23 (1997) (“[T]he prerogative [President] Jefferson claimed [in Burr] was denied him by the Chief Justice in the very decision Jefferson was protesting, and this Court has subsequently reaffirmed that holding.”).

      Paging former VP Pence . . .

  6. Savage Librarian says:

    Media Matters

    In a mocking tone, not self-effacement,
    he blabs about the great replacement,
    He dug it up from some subbasement
    of his lost cause and Fox encasement.

    Tucker lives QAnon adjacent,
    self-indulgent and impatient,
    Democracy may still be nascent,
    So it’s best not to act complacent.

    If we focus on the understatement:
    Fox News is our state enslavement,
    whitewashing lies in its engagement,
    subjecting truth to corrupt defacement.

    With taunts that teeter, mostly blatant,
    on love of tyrants, not so latent,
    By and by, to our jacked amazement,
    Dominion may help incur replacement.


  7. SaltinWound says:

    The media outlet that the right wing squealed about, is that Twitter? Is that what Twitter is, a media outlet? I understand the comparison of Fox censoring to Twitter censoring, but Fox and Twitter seem more different than similar to me. Are they legally in the same category?

        • Ravenous hoarde says:

          At the risk of speaking out of turn, I’d humbly disagree.

          I think Trump has proven many of these issues can’t be “regulated” when a charlatan has enough support.

          And now with internet, social media, podcasts etc… it would turn into wack a mole with few desirable results I would assume.

        • chum'sfriend says:

          The airwaves are publicly owned, so the public can agree to regulate how they are utilized. Cable is privately owned.

        • Lori Sirianni says:

          Katherine and tinao, my degree’s in broadcasting so I’ll try to shed some light on FCC licensing and regulation. The FCC cannot regulate cable in the way it can broadcast stations, and Fox doesn’t even have a license to pull (neither do broadcast networks like NBC, ABC, or CBS). Networks themselves aren’t FCC-licensed; only individual TV and radio stations have FCC licenses to broadcast their signals over their assigned frequencies on the limited radio frequency spectrum.

          The reason the FCC licenses and can (very narrowly, due to the First Amendment) regulate only broadcast stations, not cable, is because the airwaves are publicly-owned, and the broadcast spectrum is limited, so the government was justified in ensuring that those stations receiving FCC licenses adhered to some basic standards (look up the “scarcity rationale”).

          The FCC does not and cannot regulate cable networks due to key differences in technology: broadcast means “to cast a signal broadly” over the publicly-owned airwaves; it’s meant to freely reach anyone in range with a radio or television receiver and can be even unintentionally seen and/or heard—including by children—by flipping around the dial. Cable signals are delivered via coaxial or fibre-optic cables buried underground and run into homes, businesses, and other buildings at subscribers’ express request and subscription cost.

          Those cables carrying the RF signals of Fox News and other channels are privately owned (e.g. by Comcast and other cable companies). Private ownership of cable technology, its subscriber format, and its wider capacity means government has no justification to regulate cable content.

          The First Amendment provides robust protection to both broadcast and cable entities, and as dishonest and damaging to democracy as Fox News is, I think it would be a terrible blow to First Amendment protections for all of us, and all other news outlets—whose content may be next to be regulated—for Fox to be regulated. The defamation lawsuits by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic are imo the right way to both punish Fox and (hopefully) rein in their lies, not by government regulation.

        • James Wimberley says:

          The telecoms cables are privarely owned, yes. But they pass along public rights of way. The relevant EU law (Directive (EU) 2018/1972, updated 2018), which inter alia creates a right of access by competitors to cabled infrastructure, has an entire article (43) on rights of way. The quid pro quo is pretty clear.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, not sure people here should listen to your legal proclamations. Your record is sketchy at best. The last time here you were falsely and bogusly trying to school me on what “impertinence” is. You were wrong, and even burrowed in for a second round. But here is the definition from Black’s Law:

          Irrelevancy; the fault of not properly pertaining to the issue orproceeding. The introduction of any matters into a bill, answer, or other pleading orproceeding in a suit, which are not properly before the court for decision, at anyparticular stage of the suit Story, Eq. PI.I 206; Harrison v. Perea, 168 U. S. 311, 18 Sup. Ct. 129, 42 L Ed. 478.In practice. A question propounded to a witness, or evidence offered or sought to beelicited, is called “impertinent” when it has no logical bearing upon the issue, is notnecessarily connected with it, or does not belong to the matter in hand. On the distinctionbetween pertinency and relevancy, we may quote the following remark of Dr.Wharton: “Relevancy is that which conduces to the proof of a pertinent hypothesis: apertinent hypothesis being one which, if sustained, would logically influence the issue.”1 Whart. Ev.

          So, you were wrong then, and are now. People should take your proclamations with a giant grain of salt.

        • P J Evans says:

          The cables aren’t publicly owned. Neither are the wires of phone companies and many power companies. The rights-of-way are streets and alleys, or they’re easements (privately owned).
          (I worked at a utility company, tyvm, and had to know this to do my job.)

        • James Wimberley says:

          Correct. But why does US law apparently not follow the logic of the EU Directive, that public ownership of the roads along or under which privately owned telecoms cables must pass gives the state the right to impose conditions on the cable owners for this access, in the public interest?

        • Rayne says:

          The US can do that; only need to look at how the US handles telecommunications legal status wrt “common carrier” and broadcast wrt publicly-owned airwaves. It’s a matter of political will versus corporate lobbying.

        • Hug h roonman says:

          Thank you Lori, very informative.

          Wouldn’t it be a step in the right direction to mandate (via regulation?) that Cable Providers give Subscribers the right to “Ala Carte” choice on all Religious, News and Opinion Channels at no added cost to existing Channel Bundle options? Why should I be forced into a Cable Package that includes FOX, NEWSMAX, TBN etc.?

          I concede that passing such a regulation in our current dysfunctional Political environment might be a heavy lift but… down the road?

        • Ed Walker says:

          I don’t know if it would be within the legal structure, but it’s a great idea. People who despise Fox and it’s kin would dump it. People who don’t like sports would dump all the ESPN and related channels. That would have a huge impace on both politics and sports.

        • Hug h roonman says:

          100% with you on Sports Channels!
          I barely watch 5 sporting events a year. I’d rather be out of doors skiing, foraging, hiking or… reading a book or EW.

        • Kenster42 says:

          Why would you want that to be changed? Lori has the detailed answer completely correct, but on a more basic level, I would ask you to ask yourself what’s motivating your desire to “regulate” cable networks. Regulate how? To censor content? To which I say, qui iudicat? Who decides? You? Me? “People”? A commission? Why do you or I get to decide how a private cable TV network speaks to those who watch it?

          The beauty of this country is that, even with the recent, unfortunate uptick in attacks on free speech from both the left and the right, generally speaking folks can say what they want without fear of government reprisal, which would certainly change if we let the government “regulate” Fox News or MSNBC.

          The other beauty of this country is that we as citizens can use the power of free will and decide to click to another channel or turn the TV off, and we can decide to not spend money on advertisers on that channel, and we can decide to boycott that channel. That’s plenty – I don’t want you censoring what I watch and you certainly don’t want me censoring what you watch.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, that’s it. As I occasionally note, people are out of their minds lately, and that is not helpful. Some things in life suck, but making it more universal does not help.

        • tinao says:

          Wow, just got back from a road trip with my sisters and wanted to check back in not realizing the thread my comments generated. First off I agree with bmaz and Kenster42 up above this comment of his. I still believe in taking the high road!
          Second, thank you to Lori Sirianni for shedding such clear light. An ah ha understanding for me.
          But lastly, when Fox “news” knowingly lied about trump’s loss and the severity of the consequences of their lies to human life and democracy, monetary consequences sting but do not seem enough for me. I would still like to see them run out of this country on a rail. I think it all boils back to the legal decision that people/politicians are allowed to knowingly lie to the public. I believe it was a San Francisco federal judge that allowed it. Maybe you know what case I’m talking about bmaz. It seemed like a very poor decision to me, and could that decision not be challenged?

        • tinao says:

          An oh yeah, while I’m at it, isn’t time to rethink the legal bottom line to incorporation of profit, be changed to public good?

        • Rayne says:

          Free speech means one has the right to lie. It doesn’t mean they are free of repercussions. In the case of a news outlet, commerce regulations could and should prohibit it.

          Under FCC regulations, broadcasters are licensed if they meet “public interest, convenience, or necessity“; this criteria has not been applied stringently enough to assure broadcast content meets the general public’s interest and not the more narrow interest of the broadcaster (hello, Sinclair Broadcast Group with its mandatory Boris Epshteyn programming).

          Broadcasters wanting to maintain their license to use publicly-owned airwaves “must provide the public with information about how it has met its obligation [to air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license] in a quarterly report”; what broadcasters have not been expected to provide is evidence in these reports that serving lies without any remediation serves each station’s local community.

          Reference: https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/public-and-broadcasting#INTRO

          ADDER: Granted, this covers broadcasting only — but if stations carrying Fox content are obligated to justify the lies they’re broadcasting, they may change affiliations and carry other network content.

          We should be talking about changing status of ISPs and cable companies; though they own their wire, they are permitted by state/local and in some cases federal government to place those runs, not unlike telephone. We should also be looking at wireless as we do broadcast, because wireless uses licensed spectrum in some cases vacated by television broadcasters after the migration to digital TV. Given SCOTUS’ case in which Section 230 is on the line, this may be a critically important discussion if we’re to continue to have an open internet.

  8. jecojeco says:

    Fox “can’t handle the truth”. It’s bad for their brand, their viewership and stock price. This truth adjustment will be expensive cost of doing business, ask Alex Jones.

    A lot of our countrymen are running around in a delusional, “alternate facts” space.

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      I don’t think it will affect viewership. Their viewers seem willing to accrete any type of bullshit to their worldview so someone Fox-related will find a way to make these tweets somehow positive.And high viewership means high ad rates means high profits means high stock prices.

      If advertiser boycotts could be made to work ad rates could be driven down, but Rupert’s pockets are pretty deep. It would probably require a boycott of advertisers on all Fox properties, not just News, to change any behavior.

  9. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Among so many other things, so well outlined here, is an unlikely window into the confusion among large networks in general (or so I would claim), about what is driving reporting. In some discussions, Fox executives and personalities are saying that people expect to get credible, reliable reporting from Fox. Yet, these texts make clear that at least some decisions about what to report is based on pure pandering rather than any interest in what is factual. In this way, “the news” becomes whatever people will listen to. Facts and relevance for the human condition are no longer driving forces for determining what reality our large mirrors convey. We live in a fun house of distorted images obscuring our actual condition. This does not bode well for our future. Unfortunately for us humans, reality exists independently of human consensus.

    • Doug_Fir says:

      I think it’s actually fortunate that there is reality that exists independently of human consensus, because some the realities arising from human consensus are quite disturbing.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Yes, that too. From the point of view of survival, it is unfortunate for humans. I love humans too much to be able to celebrate the fact that some unknowable objective reality will continue long after our species is gone. Still, I begin to feel in my bones the sigh of relief upon the earth when our scourge is gone.

        • harold hecuba says:

          Well, I guess we’re due for a mass extinction sooner than later and we can try this “civilization” experiment again in the hopes that maybe the rats would fare better when they become the dominant species. (the cockroaches will never be the dominant species ’cause they ain’t stupid; to paraphrase Dirty Harry: a roach has to know its limitations)

        • timbozone says:

          Is a meteor that hits the Earth, by a natural process begun 4 billion years ago, sinful? Human beings are going to do what they’re going to do. While I notionally agree that we should be sympathetic to other life forms on our planet (and elsewhere…if any), isn’t it wading into the dialectic to call us humans any more of a scourge than my example of the destined meteor?

  10. flounder says:

    So I have a few thoughts:

    1. This isn’t just useful to Jack Smith. Those 1/6 seditionists who are arguing that Trump deceived them into a coup can now cite evidence that Big Con media like Fox was knowingly antagonizing their audience into betraying the country, despite knowing that “stop the steal” was a fraud.

    2. This is now one of the biggest stories in the country, and Fox is addressing it by going into radio silence. Howard Kurtz, Fox’s Media Critic, hasn’t mentioned it. Jaqui Heinrich (who Tucker tried to get fired for tweeting the truth about the election “fraud’, and was later censored into deleting the tweet) hasn’t posted in 15 hours, even though she usually has multiple post each morning). Why would we care here? Well Fox’s excuse, in court, for pushing the Election Fraud lies is they were simply covering a very timely and important story. Well how meta and how much fun would it be for Dominion to respond to Fox’s request for summary judgment by pointing out that when a very important and timely story about “election fraud” hit America on 2/16/23, the entire Fox family of “journalists” addressed it with total radio silence?

    3. If you want to start saying the Fox basically murdered Ashli Babbitt by filling her head so full of lies (that they knew were lies!) that she eventually attacked a police barricade, you would have decent argument.

    • Egyptian Cat says:

      “Those 1/6 seditionists who are arguing that Trump deceived them into a coup can now cite evidence that Big Con media like Fox was knowingly antagonizing their audience into betraying the country, despite knowing that “stop the steal” was a fraud.”

      So what? This is not a legal defense, it’s a f—ing excuse.

    • Bobster33 says:

      I would still like to see a jury decide the Fox News hosts’ fate. A century ago yelling fire in a crowded theater got you thrown in jail. Let’s see if spreading election lies that cause a sedition are punishable.

      • bmaz says:

        Can you please give citations for people being arrested, much less convicted, for yelling “fire in a crowded theater”? Because, apart from people splaining things on the internet, that is absolutely protected free speech under the First Amendment. It is, and long has been, one of the most misguided and false legal tropes in history. See generally Brandenburg v. Ohio.

        • smf88011 says:

          While there is no convictions that I have found in regards to shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, it is still not protected speech when someone does it according to Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes’s theater analogy is a perfect retort to the frivolous argument that all speech, regardless of context or consequences, is immunized from governmental regulation.


        • bmaz says:

          Uh, no. Holmes did NOT enshrine that nonsense into law. It was navel gazing dicta and of no moment whatsoever. And, yes, it is indeed protected free speech. And at least since Brandenburg, anybody utilizing that tired trope is wrong and silly. As Ken White says:

          “Second, people tend to cite Holmes to imply that there is some undisclosed legal authority showing that the speech they are criticizing is not protected by the First Amendment. This is dishonest at worst and unconvincing at best.(emphasis added).

          So please do not make readers here more stupid by trotting out the fire in a theater trope. And, claiming it is a “perfect analogy” is ludicrous. Also, what Peterr said.

        • timbozone says:

          I note that—according to article I cite article—Brandenburg does not mean that Dennis is not applicable to the current situation…

        • Lit_eray says:

          Hypothetical: Would a prominent person known to most of the audience during a fire incident in a crowded theater draw attention to their self by standing upon an elevated platform such as a seat and loudly, animatedly and vociferously direct people to an exit the prominent person knows to be locked resulting in deaths, be exercising protected speech?

        • timbozone says:

          *face palm*

          Practical: The stochastic limits of the Internet are often reached.

          Proposed: This is one such instance.

        • bmaz says:

          I should add that such may constitute a crime, because of the knowing/intent facts you describe. But is it a true 1A issue, no.

  11. rattlemullet says:

    Peering into the future, the supremes in a 6-3 decision rules against Dominion, citing the first amendment free speech clause, writing for the majority Clarence Thomas pens, it says nothing about free speech being truthful, they are free to peddle lies for profit ,even while fully knowing they are a lying liars.

    • Phaedruses says:

      I’m not sure the 1st Amendment will get Fox news out of the defamation case Dominion has brought against Fox. The 1st Amendment prohibits the US government or any state government entity from prohibiting the speech even if it is not factually correct.

      This is not a first amendment case, it is a defamation case, which means the falsehoods and damage the speech caused is being determined not the right to do so. They might have the “right” to peddle for profit, under the 1st Amendment, however the laws do allow the offended entity to sue for damages after the “free speech” is uttered and harm comes to entities from said speech. This is what Dominion is doing here.

  12. Hebmdyskebm says:

    The central conceit underpinning all of Fox’s actions is their understanding that their viewers are *fragile*. These are people who, quite literally, can’t handle the truth. Or more specifically, can’t handle the repercussions of ever being wrong about anything; being made to feel stupid. And Fox and co. make lots of money catering to their delusions.

    Trumpism is a much a crisis of ego as it is a legal and political one.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Yes. When your business model is premised on encouraging your audience to indulge emotions (chiefly fear and a sense of victimhood) in place of seeking truth, it seems inevitable that you will become vulnerable to the competitor who offers more immediate gratification.

      Fox’s relationship with its viewers reminds me of parents who cater to screaming toddlers, thereby turning them into manipulative monsters whom nothing can satisfy. Once Newsmax and OAN entered the picture the situation became analogous to those parents getting divorced, and thus competing to satiate the needy viewers they had created.

      Tucker calls them “good people.” Maybe they were, once. Not anymore–not now that he and his pals turned them into chips in their profit-making poker game.

  13. jaango1 says:

    Marcy and thanks for your diligent attention to this legal confrontation.

    For any indigenous person, considering a lengthy career in journalism, the obvious Three Stereotypes, which must be contended with, and is thusly, the following;

    1. Indigenous is…”He’s just another white man!:”
    2. Chicano: “El Gringo quere componer todo con su…’I’m Sorry!'”
    3. White: “I don’t care…I’ll be dead…So what’s your point?”

    And more need be said?

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, there is a ton. And, for the love of gawd, QUIT making every subject we discuss about Chicanos and indigenous people.

      • Kenster42 says:

        Ah, Emptywheel is indeed evergreen. I’ve been away for quite some time, but amazing that in one of the first posts I comment on in a long time, fire in a crowded theater is trotted out and Jaango is still making every post about how the Indigenous and Chicanos are treated. Great to be back!

  14. Amicus says:

    Among other things, thanks to Dominion’s pleading, we learn that when Bartiromo interviewed Powell on November 8 concerning supposed massive election fraud on the part of Dominion, Powell’s sole piece of evidence was an email from someone who “time travel[ed]” and received messages from “the wind” as a “ghost.” We also learn that Fox has no written editorial guidelines.

    While Dominion’s pleading is not the most user-friendly document I have ever read, it certainly has a Sherman’s march through Georgia quality to it. Yes, it’s well worth reading.

    I don’t recall ever seeing a major defamation case decided as a matter of summary judgment, and to their credit Dominion’s lawyers acknowledge that it’s uncommon. Regardless, Fox is going to have to answer this and show material facts in dispute that preclude the grant of summary judgment. And Dominion’s pleading does a fairly decent job of showing that Fox does not possess the requisite countervailing evidence. Maybe Fox can get this to trial, but I suspect that even if they do so the issues to be tried may well be very narrow. A very sound tactical play on the part of Dominion.

    And given the so far uncontroverted evidence that Fox News knowingly peddled an enormous lie that worked to undermine the peaceful transfer of power, the electorate’s faith in the electoral process, and Biden’s Presidency, why is Fox News apparently still televised on every U.S. military institution in the world?

      • noromo says:

        Oh, gosh, how have I never seen this? And that penultimate paragraph:

        But my dear sirs when Peace does come, you may call on me for any thing-Then I will share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

        …that is brilliant, and touching.

      • Peterr says:

        This is another nice touch, and appropriate to the Fox/Dominion lawsuit discussion as well (with emphasis added):

        You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride. We don’t want your negroes, or your horses, or your houses, or your hands, or any thing that you have, but we do want and will have a just obedience to the laws of the United States. That we will have, and, if it involves the destruction of your improvements, we cannot help it. You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that live by falsehood and excitement; and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters, the better.

        Reminds me Charlie Pierce’s 2009 book “Idiot America” and the Three Great Premises he coined to describe how the idiots in IA function:

        1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
        2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
        3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it.

        Pretty much sums up the Fox News business model.

        • rip no longer says:

          Thank you, gmoke and peterr. This is a good perspective on what happened 150 years ago; probably many times in history, and will continue on.

          We are led by our own personal foibles, and led by those that cater to them. Rationality is frequently in short supply.

    • Egyptian Cat says:

      I’ve seen plenty of summary judgment motions filed because the opposing counsel has refused to, or failed, to submit discovery materials that were requested earlier.

      • theartistvvv says:

        Mmmm, those were more likely motions to dismiss.

        Discovery failures might preclude the respondent from asserting certain responses to the motion for s/j, but proceeding against failure to properly answer discovery is not the same as alleging that application of the law to the facts herein mean the movant should summarily prevail,.

    • Peterr says:

      After reading through this, I’m not sure Fox would want to get it to trial. The documentary evidence is bad enough – having their executives and on-air talent testifying in person would be ugly with a capital UG.

      On the other hand, I can’t imagine what a settlement agreement would look like. Dominion filed this because their reputation for accuracy in elections is critical to their whole business. Without that, they have no chance of getting any contract from any electoral district. There’s no way Dominion would accept the oft-used “we do not admit any wrongdoing” language in any settlement. That’s the whole point of the lawsuit. Thus, any settlement would need to include a statement by Fox that they had indeed lied about Dominion.

      And Fox, proudly holding themselves out as a news organization, recognizes that a statement like that would be signing their death warrant.

      Fox is between a rock and a hard place here. Admit they lied and pay a huge settlement, or go to trial and have their lies be the lead story on every other network for the duration of the trial, and God knows how long after the trial concludes.

      Maybe they’ll try to foist it all on the on-air talent. “Sean and Laura and Maria and Tucker clearly acted outside the bounds of journalism, or even opinion-oriented entertainers, and we are shocked — shocked, I tell you — to discover that they were acting so inappropriately. We hereby terminate all their contracts, and will be attempting to claw back all the compensation they have received since November 2020.”

      And Dominion’s reply might well be “that’s a nice start.”

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        One thing I’ve learned this last six years is that, good as my imagination is, I will not be able to predict how these charlatans will behave and how it will play out. Cynical though I be, I’m not cynical enough. There will be lying, that’s a given. There’s a good chance they would rather destroy whatever it takes to protect themselves. Will they quadruple down with Trump and take on the mechanisms of law enforcement, the FBI, DOJ, and such? In the end, do these people have any more self-restraint than Trump, who constitutionally cannot concede ground. We’re not sure who is going to win this battle for our nation.

      • Ed Walker says:

        This looks like a great opportunity for other media empires to crush Fox, by taking advantage of the dilemma Peterr describes. I worry they’ll go light on these lying toads.

        If I were a shareholder of a gigantic media empire, I’d demand heavy Shermanesque attacks because it would bolster the value of the remaining media empires.

      • timbozone says:

        So, for Fox, it’s either moral bankruptcy or publicly admitting to… moral bankruptcy? And hopefully followed by financial bankruptcy.

  15. Hormiguita says:

    Could the Fox personalities and executives identified here (Carlson, Hannity et al.) now be sued by Dominion as individuals?

  16. soundgood2 says:

    This was filed in January, anyone know when the Fox response would be due? Anyone know if it’s been filed yet?

    • Hormiguita says:

      And any thoughts on what Fox’s response might be? Or should be?

      IANAL, but denying the quotes in Dominion’s petition would seem to be difficult. Perhaps providing additional, exculpatory quotes to offset Dominion’s?

      • John Paul Jones says:

        The first part reads like boilerplate about the First Amendment with no substantial grappling with Dominion’s allegations, followed by a lengthy section about how asking for $1.6 billion is too too much, and then a denial that any other laws were broken, again without grappling with any of the evidence the Dominion filing presents that executives knew lies were being told and did nothing about it for over a month. In other words, pounding the table.

        • c-i-v-i-l says:

          It’s a link to the motion they filed on the 16th. I interpreted “FNN respectfully requests that the Court award a judgment in its favor” as a motion for summary judgment, but perhaps that’s a mistake on my end (IANAL), since they also requested a jury trial.

        • vvv says:

          A counterclaim can usually be thought of as the defendant’s complaint for damages.

          A motion for summary judgment by a defendant is an attack on the plaintiff’s case.

          A motion for summary judgment by a plaintiff (much rarer) is a motion for an immediate ruling on the pleadings and whatever discovery has been allowed and completed that it is clear that the plaintiff, on the facts and the law, can only ever win, and the defendant can only ever lose.

        • theartistvvv says:


          I have a defamation case going right now!

          Unfortunately, 2 opposing atty’s have withdrawn and the defendant is now *pro se*.

          I am currently awaiting rulings on 3 motions (one 2nd and two 3rd of same) to strike his pleadings, including the alleged affirmative defense (it can’t be) based on SLAPP, in a suit with no government involvement.

          I do expect to win, and collectability is not an issue – for me, here.

        • bmaz says:

          Ha, I meant basically never do on an affirmative plaintiffs’ motion for SJ. A defendant can almost always fight that off by finding some contradictory facts and/or argument. As a plaintiff, I don’t recall ever even filing one like that, but may have, am getting old now. I have, however, filed a response to motion for SJ and cross motion for SJ before. That is kind of different though because then the defense has already locked themselves in with their initial motion. Good luck, pro se opponents are the worst!

        • theartistvvv says:

          Yeah, in this state we have motions to dismiss on the application of law to facts/sufficiency of pleadings, and on the technicalities (aff defenses like SOL, standing, “etc*.), and then summary judgement, *and* we can do combined motions = always lotsa fun.

          My *pro se* is a treat, being a gentleman with a half-arsed legal education from a foreign country, but no such education here, and the court therefore giving him every break, even as I bill my guy hourly … and he’s arrogant.

          (NOTE: got a “moderation notice”, deleted, re-posted, hope it’s not a double post, rec’d another “mod notice” – sorry.)

        • bmaz says:

          Meh, you are fine, don’t worry about the moderators! That is exactly why I hate pro se’s. Ugh. I’d rather be paired against a shark real lawyer.

      • Ed Walker says:

        This is a pointless counterclaim for damages under a New York law. It’s not a response to the Dominion motion for SJ.

        I don’t know the deadline. The docket for the case will contain a pre-trial order that sets deadlines for motions for SJ, which may vary from the requirements of the FRCP.

  17. John Paul Jones says:

    Is it possible for the court to find for Dominion on some but not all of its requests for summary judgement?

    And all the redactions seem a little odd. I haven’t been able to figure out a consistent thread in them.

    My favourite bit is the apparent source for Powell’s insane claims:

    “In addition, Sidney Powell informed Fox employees, including Bartiromo, that she relied on clearly dubious sources that made her unreliable: before her November 8 appearance on Bartiromo’s show, the only evidence she provided was [an email] from a person who described herself as internally decapitated, capable of time travel in a semi-conscious state, and who speaks to the Wind as a ghost.”

  18. harpie says:

    Approx. 10/20/20 NAVARRO directs Garrett ZIEGLER and other aides in his WH office [Joanna MILLER, Christopher ABBOTT, Hannah ROBERTSON] to start working on NAVARRO’s November REPORT on Dominion Voting Systems

    11/29/20 NAVARRO REPORT on DOMINION Voting Systems is sent to GIULIANI [lists author: MILLER]

    12/2/20 FINAL NAVARRO REPORT on DOMINION Voting Systems is released, with altered author name: Katherine FRIESS.
    [> The Dominion Report;
    “OVERVIEW 12/2/20 – History, Executives, Vote Manipulation Ability and Design, Foreign Ties”]

  19. harpie says:

    The TRUMP tweet that Jacqui Heinrich fact checked was his second ever tweet mentioning Dominion. The first came earlier that day, and it was about an OANN report by Chanel Rion. [LOL!]
    [I hope this goes through—the first is in ALL caps]

    1] 11/12/20 11:34 AM TRUMP tweets [First tweet about DOMINION]:


    2] 11/12/20 10:46 PM TRUMP tweets:

    Must see @seanhannity takedown of the horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure Dominion Voting System which is used in States where tens of thousands of votes were stolen from us and given to Biden. Likewise, the Great @LouDobbs has a confirming and powerful piece!

    This is more than two weeks BEFORE the REPORT even goes to GIULIANI, per TL above.

    • harpie says:

      11/12/20 Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Chris KREBS starts website dedicated to debunking election-related disinformation [he is fired on 11/17/20]

      11/12/20 PERRY to MEADOWS:

      “From an Intel friend: DNI needs to task NSA to immediately seize and begin looking for international comms related to Dominion” [] “And Gina is still running around on the Hill covering for the Brits who helped quarterback this entire operation” [] “DNI needs to be tasked to audit their overseas accounts at CIA – and their National Endowment for Democracy. “

      11/12/20 Ivan RAIKLIN tweets:

      Ivan’s Projection
      [American flag] Trump 305, [Chinese flag] Biden 233
      NOV 12 PM update, still projected

      11/13/20 FLYNN tweets:

      Follow @Raiklin a true American Patriot and #DigitalSoldier…he is working to make sense out of this disastrous fraud of an election.

    • harpie says:

      11/13/20 TRUMP campaign deputy director of communications, Zach PARKINSON, directs subordinates to “substantiate or debunk” several matters concerning Dominion.

      11/14/20 TRUMP campaign deputy director of communications PARKINSON receives memo from subordinates re: “several matters concerning Dominion”; They found:

      1] That Dominion did not use voting technology from the software company, Smartmatic, in the 2020 election.
      2] That Dominion had no direct ties to Venezuela or to Mr. Soros.
      And 3] that there was no evidence that Dominion’s leadership had connections to left-wing “antifa” activists, as Ms. Powell and others had claimed. […]


    • Max404Droid says:

      From the motion for Summary Judgment:

      It is a black-letter rule that one who republishes a libel is subject to liability just as if he had published it originally,even though he attributes the libelous statement to the original publisher,and even though he expressly disavows the truth of the statement.”Cianci v.New Times Pub.Co.,639 F.2d 54,60-61 (2d Cir 1980)(citation omitted).

      Does this mean Trump could be liable? Why isn’t Dominion suing him as well ?

  20. SunZoomSpark says:

    King Crimson 1969
    I Talk to the Wind
    Lyrics – Peter Sinfield

    Said the straight man to the late man
    “Where have you been?”
    “I’ve been here and I’ve been there
    And I’ve been in between”
    I talk to the wind
    My words are all carried away
    I talk to the wind
    The wind does not hear
    The wind cannot hear
    I’m on the outside, looking inside
    What do I see?
    Much confusion, disillusion
    All around me
    I talk to the wind
    My words are all carried away
    I talk to the wind
    The wind does not hear
    The wind cannot hear
    You don’t possess me, don’t impress me
    Just upset my mind
    Can’t instruct me or conduct me
    Just use up my time
    I talk to the wind
    My words are all carried away
    I talk to the wind
    The wind does not hear
    The wind cannot hea

    • Bombay Troubadour says:

      King Crimson ‘Epitaph’. The doomsday clock ticking ever faster?

      The wall on which the prophets wrote
      Is cracking at the seams
      Upon the instruments of death
      The sunlight brightly gleams

      When every man is torn apart
      With nightmares and with dreams
      Will no one lay the laurel wreath
      When silence drowns the screams

      Between the iron gates of fate
      The seeds of time were sown
      And watered by the deeds of those
      Who know and who are known

      Knowledge is a deadly friend
      If no one sets the rules
      The fate of all mankind I see
      Is in the hands of fools.

    • Bombay Troubadour says:

      Wow, that was a powerful interview with Dennis. He recognized the devil in Rupert. thank you for the link, I will be checking out Mr Potter’s writings.
      To know the history of the Murdoch’s, the media and money and politics and other evilness, while Fox ‘News’ is on the broadcast monitors 24/7 in our military bases world wide…….and Rupert bought his way into the US, even before his naturalization citizenship in 1985. Ain’t life grand?

  21. Bobby Gladd says:

    “As you read through Dominion’s motion for summary judgment against Fox News — and trust me, you should read it!”

    Trust her. I just finished all of it. Yikes.

    “The subjective determination of whether [the defendant] in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of the statement may be proved by inference, as it would be rare for a defendant to admit such doubts. Solano, 292 F.3d at 1085 (quoting Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union, 692 F.2d 189, 196 (1st Cir. 1982); see also Herbert v. Lando,441 U.S. 153, 170 (1979) (noting that plaintiffs will rarely be successful in proving awareness of falsehood from the mouth of the defendant himself in the context of allowing plaintiffs to explore circumstantial evidence of knowledge of falsity). This is the rare case where such direct evidence exists.”


  22. Rugger_9 says:

    Well, this is one of the benefits of civil suits. This is all about discovery and to seal the evidence would require another court order. If it’s not sealed, anyone can look at it. Jack Smith doubtless will do so.

    However, we will see how quickly the J6 defendants (currently the PBs are ‘in the barrel’) include this alleged brainwashing as part of their defenses and appeals. I would note that those were the ‘true believers’ that Faux was already reaching and no minds were changed because of what was aired. We’re pretty sure of this because of the communications revealed in those trials made it clear how long before the election these bozos felt the way they did.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Please do not misinterpret the post. I clearly said this was about the defenses and appeals, which can include anything the attorney can leverage through facts, law or pounding the table. Given how some of the J6 defendants already tried and failed to pass the buck to Individual-1 in their filings, this is another thing for defense lawyers to try. Do you think Powell or Habba or their fellow travelers wouldn’t explore the possibility?

        • Peterr says:

          Given that the PBs have tried to subpoena Trump himself, there’s probably nothing they wouldn’t attempt. Actually making it happen, OTOH, is another thing altogether.

      • Frank Anon says:

        Patti Hearst was kidnapped and brainwashed, and still was rightfully convicted for the crimes she committed. Any rando Proud Boy or 3 percenter would be held to the same standard as they entered the cult on their own accord

  23. Drewsill says:

    Thanks EW for all your insights, observations and analysis. I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting for something like this to break. A former boss used to say “people like this [engaged in hubris] usually fall under their own weight.” But all we’ve seen since TFG was installed with the assistance of Russia is the RW media fog machine playing victim, covering up for whatever outrageous impulse he excreted that day [“these aren’t the droids you’re looking for, move along now”], and defaming and demonizing the mainstream media and opposition. I can still remember a time when Russia was considered the great Red bogeyman of all conservatives but now FNN “hosts” are feeding it directly to their masses like it was manna from heaven.

    This filing seems like a turning point and it reminds me of a quip that same former boss made to a reporter asking about the significance of a partial summary judgment we had won for our client that morning on a governmental powers issue. He said: “winning a lawsuit is like building a wall, you do it one brick at a time – and that was definitely a brick.”

    While it ain’t over yet, that WAS definitely a brick.

    It remains to be seen what the RW media (or their viewers) will make of these admissions. But it would seem their hands are somewhat tied in terms of responding since more of the same DARVO & fog may actually compound their liability in the pending litigation. And I’m delighted to see that it is “the invisible hand of the market” via defamation proceedings that seems to be accomplishing what other authorities have not yet been able to do.


  24. GrantS01 says:

    Would Trump really have destroyed Fox? TV ratings can be as ephemeral as the stock market where today’s new big thing is junk tomorrow.

    Fox overcompensated because of short term losses to competition in what was previously a monopoly for them. I suspect they would have weathered it fine telling a different set of lies.

    • timbozone says:

      Tucker Carlson said Trump could destroy Fox. Carlson is an obdurate ratings creature. Check out the filing for some of his statements assigning such capacity to Trump.

  25. QuadrantFive says:

    I (like most of the posters and readers of this site I assume) sincerely hope for this lawsuit to succeed. I think that Fox and right wing talk radio have been the biggest problem with our country for decades. A “huge” judgment against Fox would be wonderful.

    Now my 2 cents legal analysis. I can’t see the motion for summary judgement going very far. Fox has been pretty good at giving at least half hearted caveats with the claims of election fraud. I think at least enough that a judge is going to decide that whether that defense flies is a question of fact if viewed most favorably towards Fox. In a case this big, I can’t see a judge making that momentous of a decision.

    However, I do think the evidence that is included in this SJ filing is pretty compelling. It should keep the case alive through any Fox SJ motions to dismiss, to reconsider SJ, and hopefully be enough to withstand appeals on those decisions.

    With SJ not granted for either side I see this likely settled before trial. Unfortunately, it will probably be an unsatisfactory outcome for those who want to see Fox take a major hit.

    • Terry Salad says:

      “With SJ not granted for either side I see this likely settled before trial. Unfortunately, it will probably be an unsatisfactory outcome for those who want to see Fox take a major hit.”

      The New York Times today has an op-ed titled: “We Are Living in a World That Seems to Think Laws and Norms Are for Suckers.”

      That’s how I feel. I cannot believe a reasonably intelligent person can view those quotes and think Fox is not completely guilty and should be handed over entirely to Dominion. But that won’t happen. It will cost them a lot of money, sure. But who cares–they seem to have an endless supply. Tucker has already started on his next con.

    • BobBobCon says:

      I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Dominion is taking the same approach as some of the parents of murdered kids who have sued Alex Jones. They may be more likely than a lot of others to go all the way to trial, despite knowing the risks.

      What that would mean exactly is impossible to say. But at this point I’m guessing Dominion has turned down some lucrative overtures, since Murdoch has a history of paying a lot to make potential suits with a lot of evidence go away. I think it’s hard to know how this will turn out.

  26. LaMissy! says:

    I was curious as to the etymology of the phrase “to gin up”. Grammarist.com has this:

    “The term to gin something up first appeared in the late 1800s in the United States, and there are two theories as to the phrase’s origins. The first theory is that gin something up came from the phrase to ginger something up. This refers to the practice of applying ginger to a horse’s delicate parts before it is shown for auction to make the horse appear lively.”

    You may not be able to enliven a dead horse, but ginning up its delicate parts may indeed make it appear lively. And Fox is only about appearances.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      American Saddlebred show horses have their tails broken and reset in an upright position. They have to wear a light harness to maintain it. The tail set can sag over time and the very old trick, which is still used, is to shove a piece of peeled ginger root up the rectum of the horse, causing irritation and the tail to be held upright.

      Gin up, indeed.

      • SomeEnglishGuy says:

        That’s a practice known colloquially as “figging”. It’s also quite popular in certain BDSM circles.

        • Rayne says:

          And it’s a form of torture when done non-consensually, which is the case with animals. Let’s avoid the appearance of endorsing this activity except between consenting adults AND discuss this when it matches the topic of the post.

          ~ Your friendly local moderator

  27. The Old Redneck says:

    Dominion may not really expect this motion to be granted. However, it will force Fox to file a detailed response, supported by testimony and other evidence, in opposition to the motion. It essentially requires Fox to show its hand before trial.
    Lawyers hate providing the other side with a road map, but this type of motion leaves them with no choice. If they hold back on their good contrary evidence, they increase the risk of it being granted.
    But tactics aside, Dominion probably couldn’t pass up the chance to make all that embarrassing testimony as public as possible.

    • ducktree says:

      Yes, the attorneys I work for as a secretary often say that their MSJ is more to “educate the judge” than for an ultimate win.

        • Peterr says:

          They are also aiming this at their current and future clients, so that they do not get dumped and lose business while the case proceeds. “Folks, we are a legitimate election company, and the lies you have been hearing about us are just that – lies. And we have the receipts. . . .”

    • hollywood says:

      There are a lot of unknown factors here. If this were in federal court, I would predict a Dominion win. But it’s in state court. This presents certain exposure/opportunity for whomever the judge is.
      How does Fox come up with testimony to raise a question of fact? I have a hard time seeing that. What Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham are going to say they changed their minds based on what they learned from Powell, Rudy, et al.?
      It seems Fox’s best shot is to raise questions of law centered on the first amendment. Then they have to deal with NYT v. Sullivan.
      Maybe what they do is drag out the motion and appeals and trial of damages process as long as they can and then try to quietly reach a settlement.

      • Peterr says:

        But this isn’t a First Amendment case aimed at government restraint. It’s a defamation case, in which they are accused of lying about the work of a company whose business is to accurately and fairly count votes in elections. Screaming “first amendment” does not give Fox the right to spread lies that they knew were lies, without also accepting the consequences of spreading lies — like claims of defamation.

        If First Amendment claims are Fox’s best shot, they are sunk.

      • Shadowalker says:

        Sullivan was specifically about current office holders or candidates seeking office. Apparently you can lie about a candidate and have to do so with malicious intent. Unless Biden joins the suit as a plaintiff alongside Dominion, I don’t see how they could invoke Sullivan. Delaware state specifies the added restrictions placed by Sullivan and is clear that the general public not seeking office are not bound by them. Fox has a better shot (not by much) framing it as an opinion which is protected speech.

  28. Chris Perkins says:

    It’s a pity Fox vetoed Trump going on Lou Dobbs the night of Jan 6. That might have been illuminating. What would Trump have said that same day, if given an open mic and a receptive ear?

    I remember watching my RW FB friends sort of break up into 3 camps that day: 1) That was awful and those people don’t represent me. 2) That was awful, and those people were Antifa, and 3) That was great! More of that!

    The major Fox personalities did the same. Hannity and Ingraham in camp 1. Carlson in camp 2. Limbaugh (not Fox) in camp 3.
    Over time, most from camp #1 have gotten quiet and no longer publicly evince the full throated support for Trump that I had observed since 2015. Camp #2 mostly disappeared into 1 or 3. And 3 has just descended into craziness.

    What would Trump have been like on Lou Dobbs on Jan 6, I wonder? Probably just “good people on both sides” blandishments.

    • Rayne says:

      Happy Limbaugh Deadiversary, by the way; he’s been gone two years to the day. Might explain a degree of the drifting craziness among a certain segment of the right — they lost a warped rudder.

      • dr_funguy says:

        “I never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with satisfaction”.

        A friend was asked if she couldn’t say something good about her dead brother: “He’s dead. Good!”

  29. Alan Charbonneau says:

    This is the cheeriest news I’ve read in some time. 😁
    FOX and its “talent” are finally being exposed as liars who corruptly spew their lies to help their brand (such as it is).

    I loved this bit: “Hannity told Carlson and Ingraham on November 12: ‘In one week and one debate they destroyed a brand that took 25 years to build and the damage is incalculable’.”

    I never understood why they didn’t enthusiastically back one of the other Republicans in 2016, a full-court press to keep Donald away from the WH. I’d have thought an establishment Republican would be as beneficial to FOX without the negatives Trump brought with him. I think it’s funny that they hooked their wagon to Trump and found themselves in a position in which they could have had their brand destroyed in one week. Rick Wilson will have to update “Everything Trump Touches Dies” to include a chapter on FOX

    • BobBobCon says:

      Part of it, I think, is that Rupert Murdoch isn’t the boss he was 20 or so years ago. I don’t think he has the same grip he used to, and he has let people like Carlson gain autonomy that he didn’t let people like Glenn Beck achieve.

      I suspect a younger Murdoch would have cracked the whip sooner on all of the free exposure Fox was giving Trump around 2015 and demanded he pay a serious price of admission long before he announced for president.

      Ailes was running scared from his own legal troubles then too, which had been getting worse since 2014.

      It’s really hard to imagine a younger Murdoch being surprised or stampeded by a threat from a rival outlet like OAN like the current Murdoch was.The younger version would have snuffed out the threat before it even began. And I think it’s pretty clear Lachlan is not coming close to taking up the slack.

  30. DrStuartC says:

    For those of us hoping some good would come of Dominon’s suit, this seems like a grand slam and much better than expected, to see all their greed and deceptions and lies clearly exposed.

    So, has Fox finally been caught Red Hannity? Or should we say that Fox has been caught in the Hen-ittyhouse?

  31. harpie says:

    The Tale of Two Tweets [and a Phone Call]

    4:17 PM TRUMP tweets [VIDEO] [During the videotaping, Trump did not stick to the script his speechwriters had composed and had to record at least three takes to get one that his aides felt was palatable enough to share with the public. “That was actually the best one,” a senior White House official said. In earlier versions he neglected to tell his supporters to leave the Capitol, according to [Jonathan] Karl.]

    TRUMP: I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home at peace.

    Between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM TRUMP calls in to DOBB’s show, is REJECTED

    6:01 PM TRUMP tweets:

    These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!
    [TWITTER: ! This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this tweet can’t be replied to, Retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.]

    • harpie says:

      Via CapitolHunters [I can’t seem to get this on the Internet Archive today]:
      1:00 AM · Feb 17, 2023

      [THREAD] there’s an immediate task for a journalist. On Jan 6, Lou Dobbs said on his show that he talked to Trump “earlier today”. Were there two calls? Someone has to contact Dominion and Dobbs and get this resolved. 5/ [link]

      Links to Ron Bryn who has the VIDEO
      [my transcript; I don’t know who he’s talking to.]:

      [FOX chyron-all caps] [This must refer to the 4:17 PM tweet]:
      Twitter flags President Trump’s video message calling for calm]

      5:29 PM DOBBS: The idea that this president has called upon them to leave, and to return home, and to do so peacefully. I happened to talk with the president earlier today, and I know how concerned he is. I know how much of their pain he shares. He has been very empathetic, and very concerned for their safety and for that of all of the law enforcement, and National Guard troops as well, all people on those streets.

      It’s a very, it’s extraordinary that we are concluding this process with today’s count, as we’re trying to, we’ve begun that conclusion, and then to have street violence erupt like this, it tells you how much trouble we really are in and how our institutions are failing us. I mean, I think we need to name names here. The state legislators, who had the ability, and the responsibility, first and foremost, to follow the Constitution, and I’m talking about Democrat-led, primarily, state legislators changing unilaterally, the election laws of their states, permitting an agency, a secretary of state to do so without the state legislator raising its voice and affirming those actions or initiating those actions. The Supreme Court twice had the opportunity to step in and stop that, did nothing. And now, these last few days, maybe be well an exercise in futility, but they’re certainly an exercise in expression, and a demonstration of frustration with institutions that are letting the entire country down.

      • harpie says:

        ^^^ Basically just continuing TRUMP’s Rabble-Rousing by relaying TRUMP’s words/message. [ie: he knows how much TRUMP shares their pain – – LOL!]

        • Rayne says:

          Yup. Sustaining the energy behind the psychological whip they use to goad the rabble into sustained outrage and action — feeding angry white men’s grievance and ensuring they see Trump as one with them and not the one using them.

        • harpie says:

          Yep. TRUMP is constantly blaming THEM for the anger caused by his own LIES / incitement, just like he blamed THEM [in the guise of crediting them] for frigging [Rat-Fcker] STONE’s “StoptheSteal” during his 1/6/21 RABBLE ROUSING.

          TRUMP: Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Once you enrage the mob to the point where it grabs their pitchforks, how does one guaranty not to be at the pointy end of them?

        • Rayne says:

          That’s why the ‘angry white man’s grievance’ is self-sustaining — it’s not like this mob is going to turn on the guy whose hat they’re wearing.

          Other people are stoking the differentiation to ensure the pointy end continues in one direction — Chris Rufo as an example, with his attacks on CRT which have widened to any fiction and nonfiction material which explains and supports the existence of “the other” who are not cis-het Christian white American men. DeSantis and Youngkin are using what Rufo lays down to build their new powerbase. It’s cancerous and anyone who doesn’t fit their mold must literally stay awake (be woke, yo) to its threat to our liberal democratic society as a whole.

  32. BruceF says:

    Just checked Faux News web site to see how they are covering this story. They are doing a great job attacking Megan Markle, Tiger Woods and LeBron James…but no coverage provided on today’s biggest news!

    • Jim O'Neill says:

      Ironic that Fox personalities and management could recognize that Powell et al were lying, but be afraid to say as much on air, because their regular audience wanted the lies to be true and to hear them repeated on air. Where the irony comes in is that many of Fox’s regular viewers learned to love falsehoods FROM Fox in the first place.

  33. Jim O'Neill says:

    Ironic that Fox personalities and management could recognize that Powell et al were lying, but be afraid to say as much on air, because their regular audience wanted the lies to be true and to hear them repeated on air. Where the irony comes in is that many of Fox’s regular viewers learned to love falsehoods FROM Fox in the first place.

  34. hollywood says:

    So how does this play out? Let’s posit that Dominion prevails on its summary adjudication on liability. Obviously Fox will want to continue to raise its first amendment issues on appeal. Or do they try to arrange some sort of no admission of liability settlement and distract by talking about Hunter’s laptop? Will SCOTUS swoop down and grab any appeal to deal with the NYT v. Sullivan issues? At that point will the right wing of SCOTUS try to scrap Sullivan and save Fox’s bacon?

    • bmaz says:

      Forget about SCOTUS, they are not close to being relevant yet (not to mention, am not sure they are dying to scuttle Sullivan, it protects right wing people too). I would be stunned if Dominion won summary judgement on anything in a defamation case. But even if did, that is not appealable. When liability and damages are bifurcated, the damages portion would still have to be resolved, by either trial or settlement. That is easier said than done as to settlement. So, no appeal anytime soon.

      • hollywood says:

        I don’t know much about appelIate practice. Still I have have seen serious issues raised by way of writs. Writs can be a long shot but they don’t require a final judgment on liability and damages.

        • hollywood says:

          Again, possessing no expertise in Delaware law, this is from a Delaware court site: “The Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction to issue writs of prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari, mandamus or to accept appeals of certain non-final orders or certified questions.”
          Given the issues and the amount of legal talent involved, I would expect Fox to apply for some sort of relief if Dominion prevails on its motion.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, that verbiage exists in every state. That by no means means the court will permit an unjustified interlocutory appeal on a bifurcated liability/damages case. Fox can apply for whatever it wants, but it would be ludicrous to allow it. You are in La La land on this. Let the court do its job.

        • bmaz says:

          You are full of shit. Quit making people here dumber with your comments.

          Also, too, invoking the trite and idiotic phrase “begging the question” is ludicrous. You need to stop now. I am not going to be dragged into this garbage any further.

      • FLwolverine says:

        Since the Dominion/Fox case is in Delaware state court, it seems like it would take some really extraordinary circumstances to get SCOTUS to review an “appeal” from the Delaware Supreme Court. Is that right? Or has my brain completely rusted out since my last ConLaw class?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      For someone who admits to having no knowledge of Delaware law or appellate practice, you seem unjustifiably sure of yourself. Or is unjustifiably begging the question?

      • hollywood says:

        Oops seems like you conflated my lack of knowledge of Delaware jurisprudence with my limited knowledge of appellate practice. I have been posing questions, not claiming to have sureness of the answers. Thus, I am not unjustifiably begging any questions. But cute response nonetheless.
        As for the ongoing default scatological comments of other posters, those can be safely ignored as mere ad hominems.

  35. SAO says:

    The striking thing to me is that calling Arizona was the start of this. Their viewers were upset. I strongly suspect that Fox refrained from any reporting that suggested that Trump might not win, to avoid upsetting Trump. I’d bet they didn’t even say, “this might be a tough race for Trump.” In short, I’d bet their failure to report honestly ahead of the election was a significant part of the set-up for the anger afterwards.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        It was a consensus decision based on the data. Then afterward, when Kushner called Murdoch, Rupert confirmed and supported the decision.

        “Former Fox Political Editor: Trump Had No Basis For Declaring Victory On Election Night”


        • harpie says:

          Good morning, Savage Librarian!
          Thanks for linking to that excerpt from the Hearing.

          I have this so far from Dominion’s motion for s/j:

          11/3/20 11:20 PM FOX News is the first to call ARIZONA for BIDEN

          [pdf31/192] Within minutes of the 11:20pm Arizona call, Fox News SVP and Managing Editor of the Washington Bureau Bill Sammon received an angry text from a member of Trump’s team claiming it was “WAY too soon to be calling Arizona”. [citation] Minutes later Sammon received a similarly angry phone call from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. [citation]

          I wonder who that first angry call was from.
          Do you know when KUSHNER called RUPERT?

        • Savage Librarian says:

          Maybe Jason Miller? I have not found any details about timelines:

          “…Senior campaign adviser Jason Miller “frantically” called the network to ask it to retract its call but failed. Kushner contacted Murdoch but was apparently unsuccessful, as well.”

          “Instead, Arnon Mishkin, the head of Fox News’ decision desk, came on the air to defend the call.”


        • harpie says:

          I wonder if that first angry call was from
          [an allegedly inebriated] GIULIANI.

          From the transcript of that Hearing
          [If you listen to the VIDEO, I think you’ll agree with my correction]:

          1/3/21 late > 1/4/21 early [at WH re: what TRUMP will say]

          JASON MILLER: I think effectively, Mayor Giuliani was saying we want [sic] [WON] it. They’re stealing it from us. Where’d all the votes come from? We need to go say that we won. And essentially to anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak.

          And another excerpt [also with a sic!]:

          UNKNOWN: And did anybody who is a part of that conversation disagree with your message?
          BILL STEPIEN: Yes.
          UNKNOWN: Who is that?
          [25:15] BILL STEPIEN: The President [DIS]agreed with that. I don’t recall the particular words. He thought I was wrong. He told me so. And, you know, that they were going to, you know, go in it — he was going — to go in a different direction.

  36. person1597 says:

    “Doesn’t get much more antics-laden than allowing the Three Stooges to run wild in a courtroom and allowing them to reenact what they witnessed…”
    Laura-y, Sean-Moe and Tucker-Joe starring in “Disorder in the Court” https://youtu.be/eTnYkgVBI6k

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