Fox News Defamation Case Reaches Settlement

Fox News Defamation Case Reaches Settlement

( – Venezuelan businessman Majed Khalil has reached a settlement with Fox News and one of its former hosts, Lou Dobbs, over false allegations that the foreign figure helped Donald Trump lose the 2020 presidential elections. The past anchor reportedly defamed the plaintiff during a Fox News broadcast while interviewing Trump lawyer Sidney Powell. Both individuals had aggressively pushed the false narrative that Khali had conspired to rig voting machines to cheat Trump out of a second term.

During a December 10 news broadcast, Dobbs reiterated Powell’s belief that Khalil, in concert with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, rigged the machines to create illegitimate votes for Biden. Dobbs expanded on the accusations in a Twitter post he released on the same day, implicating several other people along with Khalil and claiming to have evidence linking them to the illegal activities. Evidence has since proven his claims baseless.

In a separate but related case, Dominion is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, according to The Hill. Unlike Khalil’s lawsuit, this one appears to have no pending settlement, and jury selection is in the works.

Fox News plans to defend itself using the First Amendment, stating its anchors have every right to report as they see fit. Still, freedom of speech only enjoys so much protection, even in the media — although to win their case, Dominion’s lawyers must prove the network either reported the misinformation in malice or did so with “reckless disregard for the truth.”

Dominion might have an uphill battle against it, but the company may be able to make its case. The Hill reported that documented communications between Fox News’ executives and their hosts showed many had expressed doubts about Trump’s claims, but they feared openly fact-checking against him would offend their audience. Legal expert Catherine Ross told the publication that news outlets have a responsibility to their viewers to correct disinformation in real-time as it comes, regardless of how viewers might receive it.

Dobbs ultimately lost his job at Fox News over the scandal, moving his fan base to his independent podcast, “The Great America Show.”

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