Rupert Murdoch Admits Fox News Pushed Election Lies

Rupert Murdoch Fox News - Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch Fox News - Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch admitted that Fox News hosts pushed lies about the 2020 election, court documents pertaining to Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network revealed on Monday.

“They endorsed,” Murdoch, who chairs the Fox Corporation, said under oath during a deposition last month, responding to whether hosts like Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and others broadcast support for unfounded claims that President Biden’s win was illegitimate.

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Murdoch not only admitted the hosts were pushing lies about the election, he suggested it was helping Fox make money. Court documents released earlier this month revealed that Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham knew the idea that the election was rigged was bunk, and thought the Trump lawyers pushing it like Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell were, as Ingraham put it in a text, “complete nuts.” One of Dominion’s lawyers asked Murdoch if he could have ordered people like Giuliani and Powell off the air. “I could have,” Murdoch responded. “But I didn’t.”

He was more explicit as to why when discussing Mike Lindell, the election-denying pillow salesman who was one of the loudest proponents of the lie that Dominion’s voting machines were rigged against Trump. Carlson hosted Lindell in late January despite texting with colleagues about how his viewers were “are good people and they believe” false claims about the election.

“The man is on every night. Pays us a lot of money,” Murdoch testified of Lindell. “At first you think it’s comic, and then you get bored and irritated.”

Murdoch said he wants to keep Lindell’s advertisements on the air, and when asked why Fox continues to give Lindell a platform, said, “It is not red or blue, it is green.”

Fox News accused Dominion of trying to “generate headlines” in a statement provided to Rolling Stone.

“Dominion’s lawsuit has always been more about what will generate headlines than what can withstand legal and factual scrutiny, as illustrated by them now being forced to slash their fanciful damages demand by more than half a billion dollars after their own expert debunked its implausible claims. Their summary judgment motion took an extreme, unsupported view of defamation law that would prevent journalists from basic reporting and their efforts to publicly smear FOX for covering and commenting on allegations by a sitting President of the United States should be recognized for what it is: a blatant violation of the First Amendment.”

Regardless, the filings made public this month cast a spotlight on how Fox News’ most prominent figures, both in the executive boardroom and on the air, knew the election was legitimate and that allegations that Dominion’s voting machines were rigged were false.

They spread them anyway. It was good for business.

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