If Fox and its progeny, OAN and Newsmax, are wiped from the face of the Earth, it will be due to a confluence of three things. One is Trump and his inability to ever admit to a loss, plus #ETTD. The second will be the networks’ inability to ever cross Trump. And, third, it will because the voting machine maker Dominion decided they were not going to roll over and take it.
On Thursday, Fox lost a big round in its suit against Dominion. It did not lose the case. In fact, it likely simply lost the initial portion, whether Fox as a corporation could be sued for something said by individual human beings on their individual shows, a “12(b)(6) motion,” which basically means, “Can they even sue us for this at all?”
The court said, “Yes, yes they can.” And according to CNN’s Jeffery Toobin it’s a huge blow to Fox. This site will say that it’s a huge blow not just from the standpoint that they’re now possibly on the hook for the money, but also because Dominion’s attorneys and investigators are going to be rummaging through everything they want from Fox through the legal “discovery” process and looking at how Fox hosts make decisions as to what to air, how much control executives have over each show, how much fact-checking (or not) goes into each show, all kinds of embarrassing stuff.
“And that’s what Fox is going to have to defend. And I don’t know how they’re going to defend it it. I think it’s a very good case for the plaintiffs.”
Anderson Cooper asked John Dean: “Legally, how difficult is it to prove individuals knew their statements were false, or that they were intentionally leaving out relevant information?”
Dean gave the standard American answer. It is very hard, except in the easy cases:
“It’s not easy. In fact, it’s very surprising. Most of these cases get dismissed at this very early stage with a motion to dismiss. I think that probably handles overwhelming number of defamation cases, because the standard is very unique.
They have to show actual malice that was employed, meaning that they either knew it was false and went ahead with it or they did it with reckless disregard, they had some indication but yet they still went ahead.”
“This case has not been decided on any substance yet. Just on the pleadings.”
Keep that term in mind. “Reckless disregard.” There would only be a few things that any of us could know were false, one doesn’t have personal knowledge of this stuff. But “reckless disregard,” meaning not caring if it’s true, not making the slightest effort into looking at whether it was true, publishing that it was true despite the fact that many others had confirmed it was false (in their eyes) and that is enough.
“Reckless” must also be read in context. We are talking about a presidential election, where people should be extra careful about what they report given the stakes.
If Fox is found liable, then the other networks might just throw in the towel because whatever Fox did would look like the most responsible NYT journalism compared to OAN and Newsmax.
It is entirely possible that the Right-Wing media eco-system could be wiped from the face of the earth. Sure, all would declare bankruptcy and try to restructure, but it would be exceedingly difficult and a difficult decision awaits the Murdochs; Whether it is even worth it to try to stay involved in American political news while MAGA still controls and their viewers are crazed morons.