US voting equipment company Dominion winds defamation suit against Fox News

US voting equipment company Dominion winds defamation suit against Fox News. By James Allan.

The defamation action by Dominion (makers of voting machines in the US) over Fox News was settled today for US$787.5 million, just under half of what Dominion had sought in its lawsuit. …

The basic test still in play in the US — malice in the sense of knowingly lying or a reckless disregard for whether what was published was true or not. And on that test you can take it from me that it’s very, very hard to win as a suing plaintiff.

Fox was reporting what other significant actors said, so it would break new legal ground for this suit to win:

There were the emails of Tucker Carlson and other Fox presenters saying they thought the claims against Dominion were false. That alone, though, wouldn’t get you over the Times v Sullivan threshold as any news publisher will regularly have to run claims made by people where the publisher disagrees with those claims. Otherwise we really would be living in a pandemic-type state with only ‘approved’ statements being allowed to be aired. …

So why the settlement?

So why the settlement by Fox? Again, who knows? On the legal test alone Dominion had a very hard row to hoe.

On the other hand, of course, the lawsuit was in Delaware. The jury was in Delaware. Some well-known politician (who is that again?) is from Delaware. Delaware leans so far to the Democrats that you have to go back to Dukakis in 1988 to find a Presidential election when Delaware plumped for the Republican candidate. So perhaps Rupert and Fox quite plausibly expected a bad jury result.

And then on top of that we need to know if Fox News had defamation insurance or not. I have no idea but be clear, this matters. Want to know why News Corp and Andrew Bolt never appealed the woeful s.18c hate speech decision Bolt lost? Well, I’m guessing they had defamation insurance and the insurer didn’t want to appeal. But again, I really don’t know if Fox had defamation insurance and if so whether it would cover this case. …

Ignore the left’s media on this one:

This settlement will be trumpeted on CNN and the old establishment media outlets that all lean left as an indictment of Fox with its much, much higher TV ratings. Rupert is probably betting those lefty gloatings won’t diminish his Fox ratings one iota (currently Fox’s ratings are higher than CNN and MSNBC combined) and anyway, he’s got an upcoming 2024 election looming with a Republican party whose base loves Trump.

There is simply no way that Dominion could lose this court case, because such a loss would indicate that the Biden regime is illegitimate. The swamp would pull out all stops to ensure Dominion won, if it proceeded to a jury decision.

That’s probably why Dominion brought this case, even though it lowers the bar on what is considered defamatory and in another context would easily be defeated. Politically smart of Dominion.

Lesson: Companies that might be doing the regime’s cheating can sue critics into oblivion.

UPDATE: The settlement was vastly more than what Dominion is worth:

I think “unreal” is the operative word. Those numbers reflect the value of the entire company. The settlement paid by Fox appears to represent the value of Dominion several times over (“like 20x”).

The amount of the settlement must be well beyond any reasonable assessment of Dominion’s actual damages, if any.

Which confirms that this case was a regime-approved legal beating up of Fox for daring to air reports that questioned its legitimacy.