Angelo Carusone: There will be serious business consequences for Fox News because of the Dominion revelations

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Citation From the February 18, 2023, edition of MSNBC's American Voices with Alicia Menendez

PAOLA RAMOS (GUEST HOST): So it's been a really bad week for the Big Lie. The lawsuit has indicated Fox News knew that former President Trump's claim of a stolen election were false. A court filing from Dominion Voting Systems shows Fox News anchors repeated the fraud narrative to boost ratings – so they chose ratings over truth. Per the filing, Chairman Rupert Murdoch called the election conspiracies, quote, really crazy stuff behind closed doors. As for holding the Big Lie accountable, an excerpt from the Fulton County, Georgia special grand jury report confirms once again that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election.


RAMOS: Angelo, I know you've been tracking this for a really long time. So did anything surprise you? I mean, is there anything that you read that actually surprised you about what's really going on behind the scenes?

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT): No, I mean, the thing that I mean, obviously, I have to say that to a degree because I'm so steeped in it. I think the one thing that was a big takeaway was the scale. This was industrial scale. And I think the clearest example of that was where Rupert Murdoch instructs Fox News' CEO to sort of shift gears a little bit because of this Dominion coverage – was not he found it not super helpful politically and to really focus more on winning the Senate race in Georgia – to try to do their very best to, you know, to help out in Georgia. And there was a casualness to it. Right? And that, to me was the big takeaway. It didn't seem out of the ordinary at all to be getting the kind of partisan instructions. And so that was one thing. The other thing that I thought was a little surprising. I mean, I was – I am stunned by the hypocrisy. I would say, you know, in some of those segments, you know, you're going to call Sidney Powell a lunatic, which Hannity did, and then host her at the same day that you're attacking her behind the scenes for pushing these ideas. I mean, even that was to me was it was a little bit stunning.


RAMOS: And we know Angelo, Fox News isn't the only entity that is putting profits and ratings over truth. We know that there are more media outlets out there. But how do you think this sets the stage, you know, in terms of, you know, holding other media outlets accountable in the future?

CARUSONE: I think it does. I mean, I think what it does demonstrate is that there's a line and we've sort of seen this model beginning to unravel a little bit with the Alex Jones, for example, and the litigation by the Sandy Hook families. There's some accountability there.

You know, this idea that we have to draw a line in the first place, and then Fox, I think will be the next step. It won't just be them losing the case. That'll be a dent. It'll be the share, the losses that they'll then get from shareholders for the misrepresentations, for the breach of fiduciary duties that will follow. And then the third part of this is that there ultimately this is a commercial entity. It's not we talk about Fox like it's a political entity because it is, but it also at its core is a business, which means it has business partners, it has advertisers, it has cable carriers. These are business relationships. And one of the things we saw with One American News is that business relationships were reconsidered once the spotlight was shown on just how risky, volatile, and destructive the model really was. And what we're seeing right now is not just, you know, critiques, not just the edges, the penumbra of Fox's deception, deceit, and damage. But we're actually seeing a focus, a laser focus, right on what is Fox News at its core, which is a destructive political operation. And I do think in the short term, you're going to see additional entities reconsider their business relationships. And that $1.6 billion dollars, that revenue that was referenced earlier, that's going to start to decline independent of whether or not they win this litigation because of the commercial pressures that will be on them.