Rupert Murdoch to be removed in $1.6 billion defamation case against Fox


Rupert Murdoch, the 91-year-old chairman of Fox Corp, the parent company of Fox News, will be forced next week to answer questions about his network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election under oath.

Murdoch will be sacked on the morning of December 8. 13 and Dec. 14 as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News by election technology company Dominion Voting Systems, according to a Delaware Superior Court filing. The lawsuit alleges that the network deliberately aired false claims about Dominion’s role in the 2020 presidential election to boost ratings and counter competition from more conservative-leaning television networks.

According to the document, Murdoch’s testimony will be conducted remotely via video conference.

Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for $1.6 billion on March 26 over repeated false claims by the network’s hosts and guests of election fraud. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

Rupert Murdoch is the highest-profile person to be ousted by Dominion’s lawyers, and Dominion has spent the past few months gathering network execs, producers and hosts to answer questions about whether they knew about the Fox broadcast. The claim about Dominion technology is the wrong question. Many of the most egregious comments were made by unpaid guests, including Donald Trump’s affiliated lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, despite Fox hosts including Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo and Ludobus, who is no longer with the company, also responded to some of the comments.

Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, took in-person testimony Monday at the offices of a law firm in Los Angeles. Murdoch is the executive chairman and chief executive of Fox Corporation and is considered a possible successor to his media mogul father. James Murdoch, who was chief executive of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News at the time, has since cut ties with the family media entity and was removed in October. 25.

Dominion’s lawyers also ousted prominent Fox hosts including Sean Hannity, Pirro and Tucker Carlson, as well as former on-air personalities including Shepard Smith. Along the way, lawyers for the election technology company sought to probe the internal culture and reporting practices of the most-watched cable news network. The company also obtained numerous internal communications sent by Fox employees and executives.

Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott was fired in November. 1, while Fox News President Jay Wallace was fired two weeks later.

Fox News star questioned by election tech firm in defamation case

Hannity’s August 31 testimony lasted more than seven hours, according to court records. He was specifically questioned about November. In the Dec. 30, 2020 episode, Powell claimed that Dominion “run an algorithm that split votes from Trump to Biden” and “used machines to inject and add a significant amount of votes to Mr. Trump.” biden. Dominion had previously warned Fox reporters and producers that audits and reviews had found no evidence of election fraud or vote miscounting. The company said in a court filing that Hannity aired Powell’s attack on Dominion, “despite Knowing it’s false and knowing it’s coming,” Pirro “received Powell and stood by her statement.”

Fox News has argued that Dominion’s lawsuit is an affront to the principles of press freedom and that the amount sought is “outrageous.” Lawyers for the company said Fox was simply reporting a newsworthy election fraud allegation by a public figure.

“In the past 50 years, few events in this country have been more newsworthy than our president’s claim that our entire democracy was overthrown by a voting machine company that stole votes,” senior trial attorney Dan Webb ( Dan Webb, who represents Fox, told The Washington Post in August.

“Instead of acting responsibly and showing remorse, Fox went the extra mile,” a Dominion spokesman said in a statement Monday. “We are focused on holding Fox accountable and believe that the truth will ultimately prevail.”

Fox sought to protect Hannity and Pirro from sharing “classified resources and information,” saying it was “the right of journalists to maintain their own confidentiality.” But Hannity has said in the past that he doesn’t consider himself a reporter, and Dominion has argued that even if they count as reporters, they don’t have that right when the information is directly relevant to whether Fox is acting with “actual malice””

Neither side in the case has suggested that a settlement is imminent. If no deal is reached, the Delaware Superior Court will begin a five-week trial on April 17. Fox News requested that the case be joined with the “same” lawsuit against the Fox Corporation, saying Dominion “shouldn’t have had two chances to put Fox through a massive public trial.”

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