Late Tuesday afternoon, amid a swirl of confusion over why the Dominion v. Fox trial had been delayed for hours, Decide Eric Davis introduced that the “events had resolved the case,” thus marking an abrupt finish to one of the crucial extremely anticipated defamation trials in a long time. Each main media outlet, a lot of which had correspondents in Wilmington, instantly jumped on information of the settlement and its $787.5 million price ticket. However one outlet was noticeably loath to get in on the feeding frenzy.
Fox Information, the community on the coronary heart of the story, lined the settlement solely thrice in about 4 hours after information of the settlement broke, “amounting to about six minutes of protection,” in accordance to The New York Occasions’ Stuart Thompson. One such occasion occurred through the ultimate moments of Fox anchor Neil Cavuto’s 4 PM hour. “Fox has agreed to pay $787 million to settle Dominion’s defamation lawsuit,” Cavuto mentioned, a determine that he mentioned got here “formally from the Wall Avenue Journal”—an outlet that, like Fox Information, is owned by Fox Corp. And but, as The Each day Beast’s Justin Baragona famous, Fox media analyst Howard Kurtz claimed in a broadcast about an hour and a half later that he was unable to “independently affirm” the greenback determine of the settlement that Dominion’s lawyer gave reporters.
Kurtz—who, again in February, publicly voiced his disagreement with Fox’s choice to forestall him from protecting the trial—went on to say Dominion CEO John Poulos’ assertion to reporters that “Fox has admitted telling lies about Dominion.” To which Kurtz added, “Now, either side had an incentive to keep away from a pricey six-week trial. Dominion may need misplaced and gotten zero. A few of Fox’s prime executives and Opinion hosts would have needed to testify. However there’s undoubtedly disappointment at different networks that had been relishing this spectacle.”
In the meantime, through the Tuesday broadcasts of hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity—each of whom had been anticipated to take the stand within the Dominion trial—no reference to the settlement was made, in accordance to Reuters. (Statements made on each hosts’ exhibits again in 2020 had been among the many 20 particular broadcasts and tweets in query that Dominion had alleged had been defamatory.)
As for atonement, Fox’s assertion acknowledging that “sure claims” about Dominion had been false is seemingly so far as the community goes to go. A number of retailers reported that Fox won’t should difficulty an on-air apology or correction for the faulty statements its stars made about Dominion as a part of the settlement settlement. “There isn’t any doubt that the $787.5 million settlement is an emphatic win for Dominion. I am unable to assist however suppose, although, concerning the significance to Fox of not having to acknowledge, on air, that the community unfold falsehoods,” tweeted media legislation professor Jonathan Peters. “Fox will get to duck *full* accountability and keep away from a head-on reckoning with its viewers.” That may have one thing to do, as Peters famous, with the truth that Fox “needed to keep away from statements that may very well be used towards it sooner or later,” because the community continues to be dealing with one other defamation lawsuit, filed by one other election know-how firm, Smartmatic, over its 2020 election protection.
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