Sean Hannity gave damning deposition in the Fox News defamation lawsuit

Funviralpark 2 years ago 0 5

Fox News’ Sean Hannity may have uncritically promoted an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about widespread fraud perpetrated by voting machine suppliers in the 2020 election.

This is the latest revelation from Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News and its parent company Fox Corporation.

Dominion sells electoral technology, including voting machines, adopted by over 20 states in 2020. It also claims that Fox aired a series of unsubstantiated and defamatory claims that the company perceived to be the result of Donald Trump’s election defeat. Not true. In the process, Dominion says Fox “destroyed the corporate value of a business potentially worth more than $1 billion.”

According to Dominion’s March 2021 complaint, Fox spread the lie that Dominion “rigged the 2020 presidential election by rigging it.” Dominion is owned by a company founded in Venezuela that tried to rig elections in favor of dictator Hugo Chavez. And Dominion paid officials to adopt that machine in 2020.

“Fox, one of the most powerful media companies in the United States, brought to life an election fraud hoax that demonized a then-little-known voting machine company called Dominion,” the complaint reads. It is listed.

One way the company claims Fox has done this is by giving conspiracy theorists an unfiltered platform.

Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, who is being sued by Dominion for defamation, appeared on Hannity’s primetime show Nov. 30, 2020 — Donald Trump as she challenges the results of the 2020 election. A week after being rudely kicked out of former President Trump’s legal team. She was also a guest on Hannity’s radio show earlier in the day.

“There was a conspiracy going on and a lot of people were involved in it,” Powell said on the evening show. He unfoundedly accused it of using it to “destroy tons of votes” and “inject more votes into Mr Biden”.

Despite growing concern among Republicans that Powell’s rhetoric had become too extreme, Hannity, a longtime Trump ally, did not refute these allegations. He asked if the machine had been investigated for the kind of tampering she claimed (Powell said it would soon be investigated). ), asked why Democrats didn’t investigate these “whistleblower” claims before ending the segment.

Two years later, he was asked about Powell’s theory in a seven-hour deposition reportedly shared at a court hearing earlier this week as part of the Dominion lawsuit. retracted her theorizing, her attorney said: [Powell made] It was really a statement of fact. “

Dominion claims this is a clear defamation case

Now, Dominion, Hannity’s decidedly believable stance on conspiracy theories, and the fact that he didn’t push back on them, is an indication that Fox won’t be on Trump’s 2020 election campaign, including the most-watched show at the time. cable news claiming to show that they deliberately misled viewers about the loss of . Fox News has previously aired segments on several shows designed to defend its own hosts and distance themselves from guest statements accusing voting machines and software companies of electoral fraud.

Hannity’s statement doesn’t exactly help his network’s case. But Dominion still faces an uphill battle to win what could be the most important First Amendment lawsuit in years, especially if it gets involved at some point in the U.S. Supreme Court. . The Supreme Court has previously ruled that lies and inaccuracies have some protection under the First Amendment, making it harder to win defamation lawsuits against journalists. Litigation tests the extent of that protection.

In addition to Hannity, the Dominion also fired other Fox anchors (including Janine Pirro, Tucker Carlson, and Shepard Smith, who left the network), as well as celebrities from the Fox News empire. This includes The News Corporation, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, as well as members of the Murdoch family who own Fox.

NPR allowed Fox News to broadcast lies about fraud even though Dominion lawyers knew Lachlan Murdoch, who runs those media properties, was lying in the 2020 election. reported trying to prove that he/she did or encouraged They also deposed his father, Rupert Murdoch.

Judge Eric Davis denied Fox’s request to dismiss the case on the grounds that the First Amendment protects journalists. In its coverage of the 2020 election, the network is simply reporting newsworthy allegations against public figures by prominent actors as part of a still-unresolved controversy that protects it from defamation claims. The network also claimed that its hosts were only stating opinions that could not be verified and that they had the right to report defamatory remarks made at official government meetings.

In the weeks immediately following the election, Carlson also tried to question the safety of voting machines, calling the campaign “rigged” for Joe Biden. And after claiming that “the irregularities were beyond the minimum” in the election, Pirro lamented, “We’ve all been told to shut up and move on.”

Due to such statements, including by the host, Dominion has stated that these defenses should not apply in this case.

“If this incident does not reach the level of defamation by a broadcaster, it means nothing,” said the first complaint.

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