The decision by Dominion to sue over Fox News pushing Donald Trump’s election lies has sent the network into free fall, as the ramifications continue to send shockwaves.
The New York Times gave the inside story of Fox’s handling of the Dominion lawsuit and concluded:
Fox’s trouble has not ended. In the weeks since the settlement and Mr. Carlson’s ouster, prime-time ratings have dropped (though Fox remains No. 1 in cable news), and new plaintiffs sued the network, most recently a former Homeland Security official, Nina Jankowicz.
As one of Ms. Jankowicz’s lawyers said in an interview, the Dominion case “signals that there is a path.”
Still pending is the Smartmatic suit. In late April, Fox agreed to hand over additional internal documents relating to several executives, including the Murdochs and Mr. Dinh. In a statement reminiscent of Mr. Dinh’s early view of the Dominion case, the network said that the $2.7 billion in damages sought by Smartmatic — operating in only one county in 2020 — were implausible and that Fox was protected by the First Amendment.
It is true that Fox News is still the top network in cable news, but their viewership has fallen, especially in primetime. Fox has seen its primetime audience slip from 2.37 million in 2021 to 2.2 million in 2022 to 2.02 million by April 2023.
Part of this is due to the audience shrinking in general for news and politics, but MSNBC has grown, and CNN was growing until they shot themselves in the foot with the Trump town hall.
The problems at Fox are multilayered, but they can all be traced back to the network’s decision to push Trump’s big lie because they were losing viewers to Newsmax after the 2020 election.
Due to carriage fees paid by cable and satellite subscribers, Fox News will still be a money-making machine, but the network is spiraling. Fox’s influence is diminishing, and the political landscape is shifting away from Fox being a narrative force in American political discourse.
Jason 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