Dominion Voting Systems Banking Big Time On Success With Fox News Lawsuit


There have been some interesting—and downright disturbing—facts coming out as the Dominion Voting Systems $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News goes forward, not the least of which is that Fox
News anchors reported information on air that they knew to be false at the time.

In addition, the lawsuit is revealing that executives at Fox News were extremely concerned about competition from a cable network that was little known prior to Trump becoming President called NewsMax, which Trump allies had reportedly approached about making an investment in.

During the Trump Presidency, whenever Fox News aired a report that he disagreed with, he would tweet to his followers and urge them to stop watching Fox News and watch either NewsMax or One America News Network (OANN). He would often have one of these channels on a large screen TV set behind him when talking to reporters.

OANN in 2020 had only 23 million subscribers, on average, compared to 79 million for Fox News, and their revenue at less than $50 million was dwarfed by the nearly $3 billion that Fox News pulled in during the same year. Therefore, it is surprising that Fox News was so alarmed by competition from this nascent competitor.

“We’re playing with fire, for real,” reporter Tucker Carlson texted his producer, according to court documents. “With Trump behind it, an alternative like Newsmax could be devastating to us.” During the fourth quarter of 2020 when the election took place, Newsmax averaged 242K prime-time viewers, six times the number it had in the previous quarter, according to Nielsen ratings.

It was still a fraction of the 3.5 million viewers garnered by Fox News during the same period, according to Nielsen. Still, it was a growing threat. Fox Corp. Rupert Murdoch emailed Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media on Nov. 16, 2020 warning her against antagonizing Donald Trump and asked her to read the Wall Street Journal story on Newsmax. “Everything is at stake here,” wrote Murdoch.

Newsmax tried to capitalize on its successful appeal to Trump supporters by going to cable and satellite operators and asking for more money, a strategy which backfired when one of the largest multichannel operators, DirecTV, dropped the channel completely.

Newsmax was founded in 2014 by conservative Chris Ruddy and currently is available in about 50 million homes, according to Nielsen. Ruddy is very close with Donald Trump. Like OANN, it’s hard to believe that Fox News considered Newsmax a serious competitor (unless, of course, Donald Trump or his supporters bought the channel).

In 2020, it had an average of 58.2 million subscribers, and revenue, at less than $30 million, was roughly 1% of what Fox News was bringing in. The network closed out 2022 with just over $30 million in revenue and less than $2 million in cash flow (versus cash flow of more than $1.4 billion at Fox News, which boasts a cash flow margin of more than 60%).

Some lies that were spread by Fox News included Tucker Carlson portraying the January 6 attack on the Capitol as largely being a peaceful event during his prime-time Fox News show. He described it as an “orderly and meek” gathering of sightseers.

Daniel Jones, president of nonprofit research organization Advance Democracy, accused Fox News of “promoting dangerous false narratives for ratings.” Carlson’s show last week which focused on the January 6 attacks ranked as the number one most viewed show on cable TV, bringing in almost 3.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.

”Our research found that these comments have directly led to violent threats being made against the January 6th Committee members, federal judges and others,” Jones told USA Today.

“It is unethical and immoral to lie to people, period.” Said Kelly McBride, chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics & Leadership at the Poynter institute. “And when you have as large of a platform as Fox News does, that lie causes a lot of harm. It is antithetical to journalism,” McBride continued.

Carlson opened his report on the Jan. 6 attack saying the 2020 election was stolen from former President Trump and was “a grave betrayal of American democracy.” Capitol Police chief J. Thomas Manger said the segment was “offensive and misleading,” showing only cherry picked non-violent segments of the attack.

Hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham time and again mocked and insulted Sidney Powell, Rudy Giulani and others in text messages weeks after the election while at the same time telling viewers on the air that the election had been stolen.

“Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane,” Tucker Carlson texted Laura Ingraham on November 18, 2020. She responded, “Sidney is a complete nut. No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy.” Jury selection begins in mid-April.

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