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As a result of the defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems Fox News was forced to turn over documentation including the private conversations of their leadership and major personalities. These conversations reveal both that Fox refused Trump's attempt to call in for an interview during the Jan 6 riots and that some of their talk show personalities and leadership expressed skepticism about Trump's fraud claims or about Trump himself.

These seem potentially devastating for Fox News, as a large percentage of their viewership are MAGA supporters who may be angry about either fact; possibly even driven to a more conservative alternative like Newsmax over it. I'm wondering how Fox News is handling the revelation.

Have they made any official statements or attempted to justify the recorded conversations or their decision not to allow Trump to speak on Jan 6th? Have any specific talk show personalities come out with statements of their own? Or are they just avoiding the topic entirely and hoping things will blow over?

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  • A quick google search restricted to their website suggests the answer is "no", i.e. last option, waiting for it to blow over. But it's hard to be sure of a negative answer like this. Feb 21, 2023 at 20:29
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    Perhaps a more interesting Q is if Newsmax has covered it. And the answer to that also appears to be "no", even though they could gain something from it. But the search suggests Dominion also sued Newsmax, so I guess we can presume they expect that won't be pretty either. Feb 21, 2023 at 20:33
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    Note that in Fox's defense (not a position I usually find myself in), they might actually be legally barred from openly discussing an on-going investigation in which they are a defendant. Feb 22, 2023 at 15:39
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    @JoeW I'd argue that Fox News has a much larger sway on the republican party and thus the politics of the USA then some random congress member most people haven't heard of. Thus if asking "did congress member X respond to allegations he didn't support Trump" is on topic then I think the same should be on topic for Fox News. Fox's is it's own political entity in and of itself, and a powerful one.
    – dsollen
    Feb 22, 2023 at 16:20
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    @JoeW It walks like a duck....
    – Barmar
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:01

1 Answer 1

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As far as I can tell, the only statements issued by the network with regard to the most recent revelations have been to ABC News:

There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan.

and a longer email obtained by Snopes:

Dominion has mischaracterized the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law.

Dominion's motion for summary judgment takes an extreme and unsupported view of defamation law and rests on an accounting of the facts that has no basis in the record.

Unfortunately, Dominion refused to agree to allow FOX to make its response to that motion public.

The reason for Dominion's refusal will be clear when the public response is finally released on February 27.

Dominion's private equity owner Staple Street Capital bought the company in 2018 at an enterprise value of approximately $80 million and now seeks a $1.6 billion recovery for alleged damages to that $80 million asset.

You can also read Fox's first amended counterclaim here.

I don't believe that individual presenters themselves have released statements of their own so far.

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  • Well, in the court documents Fox has pretty much endorsed the conspiracy theories through and through, as their legal defense. These are actually public. But (1) they are court docs [few read them] and (2) they skirt and avoid answering any embarrassing inconsistencies as presumably not relevant to the legal fight. npr.org/2023/01/23/1150213311/… Feb 22, 2023 at 5:31
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    @Fizz That NPR article is from almost a month ago, I think before the public revelation of their internal skepticism of Trump's claims.
    – Barmar
    Feb 22, 2023 at 17:00

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