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Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity privately derided former President Trump’s “insane” election fraud claims even as the network endlessly promoted them to viewers, according to a bombshell filing in the Dominion Voting defamation suit.
Carlson called Trump “a demonic force” that would take down the network with his megalomanic lies about his loss in 2020 in messages handed over to the voting machine company for its $1.6 billion suit.
Hannity blasted Trump election lawyer Sidney Powell as a shameless liar.
“[The] that whole narrative that Sidney was pushing, I did not believe it for one second,” Hannity said in a sworn deposition.
Even Laura Ingraham, one of Trump’s most unflinching supporters, agreed that Powell and Rudy Giuliani were both loose cannons.
“[Powell is] a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy,” Ingraham said.
The damaging messages effectively show that the Fox hosts uncritically promoted claims about Dominion machines rigging votes for President Biden even though they knew they were baseless lies.
Dominion, which sells electronic voting hardware and software, is suing Fox, claiming the network deliberately amplified false claims that Dominion had changed votes in the 2020 election, and that Fox provided a platform for guests to make false and defamatory statements.
“Fox knew,” Dominion declared. “From the top down, Fox knew.”
The messages also show Carlson and the other hosts to be shameless hypocrites when it comes to Trump and his lying lieutenants.
Even as Carlson was telling colleagues on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that Trump was “demonic” and a “destroyer,” he expressed slavish loyalty to the president on his show and called the violent riot an “election justice protest.”
Attorneys for the cable news giant hit back at Dominion claiming that the lawsuit is an assault on the First Amendment and that the network couldn’t simply ignore Trump’s claims about election fraud.
“The very fact of those allegations was newsworthy,” Fox said.
Fox attorneys warn that threatening the company with a $1.6 billion judgment will cause other media outlets to think twice about what they report.
They also say documents produced in the lawsuit show that Dominion has not suffered any economic harm and do not indicate that it lost any customers as the result of Fox’s election coverage.
Dominion says that millions of Fox viewers now believe it is a Democratic-aligned firm, damaging its reputation.
A Delaware judge will likely preside over a trial in April over the Dominion defamation claim, unless he decides one side or the other has already proved its point without the need for more evidence.
In its 192-page brief, Dominion said the judge should rule in its favor because “no reasonable juror could find in favor of Fox’s “neutral reportage” and “fair report” defenses.
It notes that other news outlets ignored the spurious claims about the voting machines or covered them from the standpoint of revealing Trump’s desperation to stay in power at all costs.
“Recounts and audits conducted by election officials across the U.S. repeatedly confirmed the election’s outcome, including specifically that Dominion’s machines accurately counted votes,” Dominion said.
Carlson even went so far as to write to Hannity demanding the firing of a fellow Fox reporter who tweeted that the claims against Dominion were lies.
With News Wire Services
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