‘We can’t give the crazies an inch’: Fox News CEO squashed Trump’s election claims, says Dominion

In a court proceeding this week as per their defamation suit against Fox News, a lawyer for Dominion Voting Systems dropped some bombshell accusations about the behavior of the network’s top honchos both during and after the 2020 presidential election.

Attorney Justin Nelson claimed that after Fox News became the first network to call Arizona for then-Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott warned her staff to not give an inch to those who would deny the election results.

“We can’t give the crazies an inch,” she allegedly said, according to Nelson, and as reported by NPR.

But she said so to little avail, though certainly not for a lack of effort.

“In the weeks that followed, a cadre of Fox News stars hosted Trump’s advisers — and even Trump himself — to peddle baseless conspiracy theories of election fraud. Many of those false claims asserted without evidence that Dominion’s technology and machines had been used to rig the vote and to cheat Trump out of the White House,” NPR reported Thursday.

“According to Nelson’s remarks at the hearing, senior Fox News executives interceded to try to block Fox Business stars Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo from having Trump’s campaign attorneys, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, on their shows to repeat such lies. In late 2020, Dobbs and Bartiromo hosted Trump’s advocates to make those accusations.”

During this week’s court proceedings, Fox News’ own attorney, Justin Keller, stunningly didn’t dispute any of these accusations.

These accusations matter because Dominion is trying to prove “that the network’s executives knowingly allowed such false conspiracies to air on its programs to boost their audiences because their pro-Trump viewers had abandoned them after the Arizona call,” according to NPR.

“Dominion’s legal team is seeking … to show that Fox knowingly allowed Dobbs, Pirro, Bartiromo and their guests to peddle false claims that defamed the company and set the country on edge ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021 siege of the U.S. Capitol,” NPR notes.

In other words, Fox News’ top honchos were aware that the election-denying claims were allegedly crazy talk, but allowed the “crazies” to talk anyway because they were desperate to get back the viewers they’d lost after they called Arizona for Biden, or so Dominion appears to be claiming.

Fox News has pushed back on the lawsuit from Dominion, as well as one from Smartmatic, by arguing that the election-denying discussions were newsworthy.

“Fox has dismissed both suits as efforts to stifle legitimate coverage of inherently newsworthy allegations — election fraud — made by inherently newsworthy people — including the then-sitting U.S. president and his top campaign advisers,” according to NPR.

Dovetailing back to Scott, the Fox News executive who called election deniers “crazies,” she herself has a crazy past replete with scandal and innuendo.

Before she was tapped to be Fox News’ CEO in mid-2018, she functioned was accused of being a former CEO Roger Ailes’ enabler.

“Scott is also cited in lawsuits brought by the former Fox News staffers Andrea Tantaros and Julie Roginsky, as one of the executives at the company who either did not respond to or covered up their complaints of harassment,” according to The Guardian.

“According to Roginsky’s suit, Scott responded to host Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment claims against Roger Ailes by seeking to recruit on-air talent and contributors ‘to retaliate against Carlson by publicly disparaging her’. The suit says she ‘characterised this retaliatory onslaught as supporting “Team Roger.”‘”

Recall that Ailes was unceremoniously forced out by Fox News in 2016 over sexual harassment allegations.

“Roger Ailes, the longtime Fox News chairman who helped found the network and build it into a cable ratings behemoth, has been forced out of the company following allegations that he sexually harassed numerous subordinates, including former host Gretchen Carlson and star anchor Megyn Kelly,” The Guardian reported at the time.

“Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox’s parent company 21st Century Fox, cut short a vacation on the French Riviera with his wife Jerry Hall to return to New York and finalise the departure of his long-term ally. He will assume the role of chairman and acting chief executive of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.”

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Vivek Saxena

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