Only moments before trial, FOX News Channel settled with Dominion Voting systems for $787.5 million. That’s a big payout for promoting the Big Lie and spreading conspiracy theories.
Dominion had initially sued for $1.6 billion in damages. The FOX begrudgingly admitted wrongdoing, saying that “we acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.”
Martin Garbus, a veteran First Amendment lawyer told the New York Times:
“With the settlement, everybody wins. Fox goes its way. Dominion gets cash.”
I must admit, I fervently disagree with Dominion’s decision to settle. Why should FOX get a win when they lied to the American people and nearly destroyed our democracy? This noxious network of falsehoods and fabrications should have stood trial and answered to the American people.
FOX is a disgrace and disrespects its own viewers more than anyone. We already learned through discovery that FOX News hosts, such as Laura Ingraham, Maria Bartiromo, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, are insincere phonies. Their viewers can’t believe a word they say. They occupy a world of contrived convictions.
They repeatedly promoted the Big Lie, that Trump defeated Biden, even though they knew it wasn’t true. These malicious right-wing mouthpieces lauded Trump on-air, but privately loathed him. These hacks thought Trump’s lawyers, such as Sydney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, were insane. Yet, they provided them with national platforms anyway.
American cable companies have a patriotic duty to take FOX off the air. They have no business pumping their poison into American living rooms. At the very least, FOX should be downgraded to a pay-only channel.
The cable companies profiting off FOX would likely argue that millions of Americans like FOX, that’s why they offer it. Okay, millions of Americans love S&M too, but Comcast and Dish Network aren’t offering a free kink channel as part of the general cable package. What FOX offers is far more insidious. It threatens the very foundations of our democracy.
It’s not like this is the first time Rupert Murdoch has shown himself to be an unscrupulous and unethical snake. The New York Times writes:
Rupert Murdoch closed his popular tabloid News of the World in 2011, after accusations that its journalists had hacked the phones and voice messages of prominent public figures.
At least six agreements had been made by Fox News or its former star anchor Bill O’Reilly to settle harassment allegations against Mr. O’Reilly, before he was fired in 2017.
And let’s not forget the tawdry sex allegations against former FOX honcho Roger Ailes.
After settling with FOX this week, a lawyer for Dominion said:
“The truth matters. Lies have consequences. Over two years ago, a torrent of lies swept dominion election officials across America into an alternative universe of conspiracy theories causing grievous harm to Dominion and the country.”
FOX did suffer some consequences for its lies – but it hasn’t suffered enough. They haven’t learned their lesson. Just this week, Tucker Carlson was duped into repeating Russian propaganda that “Ukraine was suffering a 7-1 troop loss ratio and was ‘losing the war.” It was a lie – and just another day at the office for The FOX.
If cable companies continue to air FOX, the fibs and fake news will continue. The Dominion settlement shows that it’s time FOX News is permanently shut down. Other than naked greed, there is no justification for cable companies to continue airing the deliberate disinformation spewed by FOX News Channel.
I don’t oppose airing FOX because they are conservative. I do so because they peddle propaganda and knowingly promote fallacies as facts. Until FOX News is closed forever, our democracy will forever remain at risk.