Judge allows election integrity suit against Fox News to go forward

A defamation lawsuit against Fox News’ parent company by Dominion Voting Systems can proceed, a judge ruled last week.

According to Bloomberg, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis found Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch may have acted with “actual malice” in allowing guests and hosts to speculate on the role that Dominion’s voting and tabulating machines may have played.

“Fox’s press representatives didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The company has previously argued that its reporting is protected by the First Amendment,” Bloomberg noted.

“That protection makes it difficult to sue the press for defamation. Under the standard set by the Supreme Court, public figures, including companies, must show media outlets acted with ‘actual malice,’ meaning they knew the information they were publishing was false or that they acted with reckless disregard for the truth.”

Judge Davis, however, noted in his ruling that Rupert Murdoch had spoken with then-President Donald Trump several days after the election.

In their suit, Dominion says, Murdoch “informed (Trump) that he had lost.”

“These allegations support a reasonable inference that Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch either knew Dominion had not manipulated the election or at least recklessly disregarded the truth when they allegedly caused Fox News to propagate its claims about Dominion,” Davis wrote.

Davis also wrote that “other newspapers under Rupert Murdoch’s control — including the Wall Street Journal and New York Post — condemned President Trump’s claims and urged him to concede defeat.”

Davis said that Dominion had met the standard of “actual malice” in four separate claims that the Murdochs “caused Fox News to broadcast false claims about Dominion even though they did not personally believe former President Trump’s election fraud narrative.”

While the Murdochs didn’t specifically echo the claim, many Fox News guests did — notably two Trump attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

Davis had previously ruled the lawsuit could go forward, as well.

The closest thing to a victory for the network came with Judge Davis’ dismissal of a claim against the Fox Broadcasting subsidiary.

In that matter, the judge ruled there was “no factual support” for Dominion’s claim that Fox Broadcasting had reposted false statements online.