A new legal filing reveals that Rupert Murdoch, chair of Fox News' parent company, pushed for Fox News to help Republicans in the 2020 Georgia election run-offs “any way we can.” The statement is one of the clearest in Fox News' history showing that Fox News is the Republican Party.
A recently released filing in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News reveals that after the 2020 presidential election, the network’s prime-time host Tucker Carlson tried to get a Fox reporter fired for fact-checking former President Donald Trump’s election lie involving Dominion.
The filing, totaling 192 pages, shows the extent to which the network knew it was pushing false claims to its viewers in the aftermath of the 2020 election by suggesting that Dominion’s machines were involved in a supposed voter fraud scheme. The lawyers for Dominion lay out a long list of facts and evidence that demonstrates how — from producers to on-air personalities to executives to Rupert Murdoch himself — “literally dozens of people with editorial responsibility” acted with, in Dominion’s view, “actual malice.”
The filing includes an instance where Murdoch told Fox CEO Suzanne Scott on November 16, 2020, that when Trump “eventually” conceded the network should focus on “helping” in the Georgia run-off elections. From page 34:
Meanwhile, Fox continued to broadcast its lies about Dominion as it nervously eyed Newsmax. In a November 16 email, Rupert Murdoch told Scott to read a Wall Street Journal piece about Newsmax, telling her: “These people should be watched, if skeptically. Trump will concede eventually and we should concentrate on Georgia, helping any way we can. We don’t want to antagonize Trump further, but Giuliani taken with a large grain of salt. Everything at stake here.”
During the run-off, Fox News dedicated a significant amount of time to trying to scandalize the sermons of Rev. Raphael Warnock, who would go on to be elected to the Senate. In fact, the network threw the kitchen sink at Warnock, and to a lesser extent Jon Ossoff, who would also go on to win.
The Trump campaign’s allegations of fraud in the state led to Republican Party infighting around the Senate run-offs.
The filing is the latest development in Dominion Voting Systems’ yearslong lawsuit against Fox News, originally filed in March 2021. Thursday’s filing is by far the biggest disclosure of facts and evidence from Dominion’s side in the case thus far. Depositions of various Fox News stars began around August 2022.
Some of Fox News’ biggest names repeated the lies about Dominion or otherwise smeared the company — Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs. Trump’s lawyers Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, and Sidney Powell also appeared on the network to spread falsehoods about Dominion. Fox continued to push the lies even after the decision-makers at the network knew the information was false.
Among the myriad false accusations made by Fox were claims that Dominion machines altered vote totals, that the company gave “kickbacks” to elected officials, and that the voting machines were owned or controlled by foreign governments.