Smartmatic, an electronic voting systems maker, is suing Fox News and hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro for their election rigging conspiracy theory.
Smartmatic alleged that Fox and other defendants invented a story that the election was stolen from Trump and decided to make Smartmatic “the villain in their story.”
“Fox News used the story to preserve its grip on viewers and readers and curry favors with the outgoing administration – one of their anchors was even able to get a pardon for her ex-husband,” the lawsuit said, referring to Pirro.
The suit seeks more than $2.7 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Smartmatic also asks for defendants to retract “false statements and implications.”
Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell were also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
For decades, Fox News had been saying whatever they wanted and trafficking in conspiracy theories with little or no consequences, with few exceptions like the Seth Rich case, so the network and its hosts assumed that they could work hand in hand with Trump and his lawyers to poison the well with a bogus conspiracy theory.
If Fox News is serious about mounting a defense in this case, they will try to claim a First Amendment right, and if that fails, they will be forced to present evidence that the statements uttered by their anchors are true. Of course, there is no evidence of election fraud, so it looks like Fox and Trump’s lawyers will be opening up their checkbooks to settle the case.
Rudy Giuliani is being sued for billions of dollars already and his finances are under criminal investigation, but for the first time ever, Fox News could pay a billion-dollar price for their disinformation and lies.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association