Fox bites itself

It’s all about the reckless.

As Fox News continued to broadcast lies about Dominion voting systems and the 2020 election, Tucker Carlson, one of its star hosts, used one word over and over to describe what the network was doing – “reckless”.

Those messages were the first pieces of evidence Justin Nelson, a lawyer representing Dominion, displayed on Tuesday as he began his argument for why a judge should rule the network defamed his client. “Reckless was a meaningful word” – in order to win the case, Nelson has to prove that Fox acted with “actual malice” – that its hosts, producers, and executives knew the statements were false or acted with reckless disregard to the truth.

Interesting. “Reckless disregard” is a legal term of art, so it’s interesting that Tucker Carlson called Fox reckless.

“Unlike every other single defamation case, we have in their own words the fact that they knew it was false,” Nelson said.

And even that they knew they knew.

It was an example that illustrated how the core of Dominion’s $1.6bn case against Fox are the words that came from the mouths of Fox’s employees. Regardless of what happens in the case going forward, Dominion may have already won: the messages offer a significant historical record of how top officials at one of America’s most powerful media organizations aired information they knew was false when American democracy was under attack.

It’s not even one of America’s most powerful media organizations, it’s the most powerful. Horrible but true.

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