Such messages prove Fox brass knew

There is textual evidence that Fox knowingly lies.

What Fox’s loyal viewers wanted to watch — and what Fox News was willing to do to keep them — emerged this week as a central question in a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought against the network by Dominion Voting Systems.

A stunning cache of internal correspondence and deposition testimony obtained by the software company and made public on Thursday in a Delaware court filing showed high-level Fox executives and on-air stars privately agonizing over the wild and false claims of a stolen election that Trump allies promoted on Fox airwaves in the weeks after the 2020 election. “Sidney Powell is lying,” prime-time star Tucker Carlson wrote to his producer about a Trump lawyer who had appeared on Fox and spewed baseless accusations. “There is NO evidence of fraud,” anchor Bret Baier wrote to one of his bosses.

The plaintiff’s lawyers argue that such messages prove Fox brass knew the claims that Dominion had “flipped” votes from Trump to Biden were untrue — but “spread and endorsed” them anyway.

I look forward to Fox’s having to give Dominion $1.6 billion. That will be fun.

But the Dominion filing also lends ammunition to their long-held argument: that Fox allowed the false claims to air because it was fearful of losing viewers to Newsmax, an ever more pro-Trump news channel.

“The texts and emails support [Dominion’s] claim that Fox was more concerned about its audience and market share than the truth concerning the 2020 presidential election,” said Timothy Zick, a professor at William & Mary Law School who specializes in the First Amendment and called the breadth of the internal communications “extraordinary.”

You want extraordinary? Here’s extraordinary.

Within Fox, the messages show, many worried that the network had been hurt by two key incidents: a debate in which some conservatives believed Fox anchor Chris Wallace lobbed unfair questions to Trump; and Fox’s election night prediction that Biden would win the hotly contested state of Arizona.

Hannity wrote to Carlson and Ingraham on Nov. 12 that the combination “destroyed a brand that took 25 years to build and the damage is incalculable.”

“It’s vandalism,” Carlson responded.

And what brand is that? Rabidly right-wing and dishonest to boot? Cool brand, bro.

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