On MSNBC, Angelo Carusone explains judge's ruling against Fox: “A really big victory” for Dominion

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Citation From the April 1, 2023, edition of MSNBC's American Voices with Alicia Menendez

SYMONE SANDERS (GUEST HOST): Now I want to turn to another court case. That's the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News. A Delaware judge ruled that the case can go to trial later this month. The judge says it's, quote, crystal clear Fox's statements about Dominion were false. Joining me now, Media Matters president and CEO Angelo Carusone. Okay, Angelo, good to see you. Break this down for us. How significant is this legal victory for Dominion?

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT AND CEO): It's really significant because one of the things that, you know, the devil's always in the details. And what the judge sort of said here is that not only were the statements not true, they also ruled in favor for Dominion to say we're not going to be discussing defamation during the trial. That's actually established; Dominion in their motion said, hey, judge, would you say that we are we were not only but that Fox not only lied about us, but that they defamed us. And the judge said, yes, they won that.

The only thing that will be decided at trial now, based on all the rulings that the judge found, is two things. One, whether or not Fox News acted with actual malice, which is to say that what they knew that they were saying was not true or that they acted recklessly. And the other thing is a technical thing as to whether or not Fox Corporation, which is Fox News' parent company, is responsible, but otherwise, Dominion won everything else during the summary judgment motions. So this is a really big victory.

SANDERS: In the summary judgment motion, then, does Fox have to pay money given what the judge ruled thus far.

CARUSONE So, yeah, not yet. But what's really interesting is Fox had sort of filed their own motion to say, hey, you know, you should throw out this case, which the judge did not do. But Fox also said that you should rule in our favor on damages. You should say that even if we ended up doing all this defamation stuff, that there's no damages and so we shouldn't owe them anything.

And the judge did make a ruling on that. And what they ruled was that we're not going to rule. We're going to leave that up to the jury. But they said something very significant in their ruling. They said that because the injury was already established, and that they already ruled in Dominion's favor, there's already some nominal damages that Dominion's entitled to, although the court didn't lay that out.

But they basically said in their finding is that this is going to be about punishment. And that's really something up for a jury to decide. So even their ruling there is significant in sort of how they spelled out, why they weren't just ruling on damages during this summary judgment hearing.

SANDERS: So concurrently, we also have a Fox producer, our former Fox producer, Abby Grossberg. She is now actually saying that her testimony against Dominion was coerced. I don't have time to play that sound for you, but what could this mean for the lawsuit?

CARUSONE: Oh, I mean, it's going to play out in court for sure. And one of the things that Fox seemed to have lost is whether or not they're going to have to force the Murdochs to actually testify.

So I think this is going to play out right in the courtroom that this sort of, you know, lawsuit from Tucker's producer. What it's going to demonstrate is not only did Fox do all this bad stuff in terms of defaming Dominion and helping sort of attack the election because they were boosting Trump and worried about their audience, but they went one step further and that they were actually engaging in sort of a coordinated cover-up using, you know, over their own employees.

And so I think that not only is her trial going to play out kind of simultaneously, but it's going to end up playing out right in court, which is just a couple of weeks away. This whole thing is starting April 17th.