Too big to fail is a description which has been applied to a lot of things, everything from Morgan Stanley to Microsoft to Facebook, to Fox News. However, we do live in an era where we have seen the richest man in the world lose that title virtually overnight over one foolish corporate purchase. And we have seen another media influencer besides Elon Musk, namely Mark Zuckerburg, lose billions of dollars and even attempt a rebrand of his unique Facebook brand, because some of his profit-influenced decisions proved out to be disastrous to his own bottom line.
Fox News, under the tutelage of Rupert Murdoch and fils, is supposedly yet another of the untouchables, those companies that are seemingly above the fray, if not the law itself, they seem to get away with so much. But Fox News may have just found the iceberg which is going to take it to the bottom of the Atlantic.
Its name is Dominion Voting Machines. And the massive story which broke late Thursday night is that Dominion is in possession of a tranche of communications between Fox News employees and management. These texts and emails go a long way towards Dominion proving that Fox News acted knowingly and with actual malice when it kept reporting that the 2020 election had been stolen from Donald Trump.
Fox News knew just the opposite. And these are the communiques which could bury them. On February 16, Dominion Voting Systems filed a Motion For Summary Judgment in its favor and a brief of that was released to the public. Dominion stated, “literally dozens of people with editorial responsibility—from the top of the organization to the producers of specific shows to the hosts themselves—acted with actual malice.” And further, the filing shows, “lies in twenty accused statements across six different shows with the active involvement of numerous Fox Executives.” Wow. Media Matters:
- Fox star Tucker Carlson to his producer Alex Pfeiffer about Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s campaign lawyers: “Powell is lying.” [11/16/20]
- Host Laura Ingraham to Carlson and fellow host Sean Hannity: “Sidney Powell is a bit nuts. Sorry but she is.” [11/15/20]
- Carlson to Ingraham: “Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane.” Ingraham replied: “Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy.” Carlson replied: “It’s unbelievably offensive to me. Our viewers are good people and they believe it.” [11/19/20]
- Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch: “Really crazy stuff.” [11/19/20]
- Murdoch after watching Giuliani and Powell on November 19, 2020: “Terrible stuff damaging everybody, I fear.” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott replied, “Yes Sean [Hannity] and even [Jeanine] Pirro agrees.” [11/19/20]
- Fox reporter Lucas Tomlinson to anchor Bret Baier: “It’s dangerously insane these conspiracy theories.” [12/1/2020]
- Fox Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt on whether the allegation that Dominion rigged the election was true: “No reasonable person would have thought that.”
- Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott responded “Yes, I believe that,” to the question “You believe, since at least the time that Fox News called the election on November 7th, that Joe Biden was legitimately elected the President of the United States, correct?”
- As the filing outlined, Carlson texted a redacted name “that it was ‘shockingly reckless’ to claim that Dominion rigged the election ‘[i]f there’s no one inside the company willing to talk, or internal Dominion documents or copies of the software showing that they did it’ and ‘as you know there isn’t.’” [11/21/20]
This is pretty much the point of no return. Fox News lies like the proverbial rug and they have gotten off the hook in previous legal encounters with rulings that state that they are in fact “entertainment” and that “no reasonable person would believe” what they have to say.
The Media Matters article was updated to provide more examples. Here are a few more, which illustrate what a zoo it must have been over at Fox News, far more than normal.
- After canceling Pirro’s November 7 show, Fox executive David Clark told Executive Vice President of Primetime Programming Meade Cooper: “Her guests are all going to say the election is being stolen and if she pushes back at all it will just be token.”
- Ingraham’s producer Tommy Firth texted Fox executive Ron Mitchell: “This dominion shit is going to give me a fucking aneurysm—as many times as I’ve told Laura it’s bs, she sees shit posters and trump tweeting about it.” [11/8/20]
- Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott to Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch: “Viewers going through the 5 stages of grief. It’s a question of trust—the AZ [call] was damaging but we will highlight our stars and plant flags letting the viewers know we hear them and respect them.” Murdoch replied: “Yes. But needs constant rebuilding without any missteps.” Scott responded: “Yes today is day one and it’s a process.” [11/9/20]
- Fox News Washington, D.C., Managing Editor Bill Sammon to Fox Political Editor Chris Stirewalt on the network’s coverage of “supposed election fraud”: “It’s remarkable how weak ratings make good journalists do bad things.” [12/2/20]
“Weak ratings made good journalists do bad things.” Oh, man. Now I’ve heard it all.
This is a turning point. Pay close attention from here on out, this is going to be yuge as the orange man is wont to say.