It is the favorite television channel of the most conservative in the United States and is constantly criticized for its editorial practices. Fox News, flagship channel of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, will be tried in April for defamation during the announcement of the results of the 2020 presidential election, won by Joe Biden against Donald Trump, the American justice announced on Friday March 31. .
A judge in a court in the state of Delaware, in the east of the country, has, in fact, considered that the television channel could not contest a complaint for defamation filed in March 2021 by the company Dominion Voting Systems. – manufacturer of electronic voting machines and managing one of the main electronic voting software –, according to its decision made public and consulted by Agence France-Presse.
The latter is claiming $1.6 billion in damages from Fox News. The trial, which will be decided by a civil jury, will take place from April 17, before a court in Delaware.
Recovering knowing lies
The content of the court case has been publicly revealed in dribs and drabs since Monday, February 27, greatly embarrassing Fox News. It sheds light on the problematic editorial practices of the conservative channel, which spearheaded Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.
The documents reveal that Dominion Voting Systems considers itself defamed by the chain after the latter claimed, on multiple occasions on the air, that its devices had been used to distort the results of the presidential election, in several places of the country. In his order, Delaware magistrate Eric Davis, however, judges “crystal clear that no assertion about Dominion in the 2020 election is true”.
The documents of this civil action – text messages, e-mails exchanged between leaders of Fox News and the News Corp group – reveal, moreover, that at the time, behind the scenes and offices of the leaders of the chain, nobody hardly believed in the lies of the Trumpist camp on a presidential election “volley” by Joe Biden. Testifying under oath, Rupert Murdoch himself admitted that several stars of the channel had knowingly endorsed the dissemination of these lies about electoral fraud.
But these doubts were expressed only in private, while the theories and the lies on the holding of electoral fraud, put forward by the camp of the outgoing president, occupied a good part of the antenna, in particular on the sets of the stars of the chain.
Refuting the accusations, Fox News again claimed on Friday that it was only reporting on the air the allegations of the Trumpist camp and again invoked “First Amendment protections [de la Constitution américaine] on the absolute right of the media to cover the news (…) and on freedom of expression and of the press..
Source: Le Monde