Story and video by Jacob Pamus
“Really crazy stuff,” Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox, on Donald Trump’s stolen election claims.
“I did not believe it for a second.” – Sean Hannity, Fox broadcaster, on stolen election theory pushed by Trump’s attorney.
March 8, 2023 (San Diego) – Fox News Network LLC, the parent company of Fox News, is being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for allegedly broadcasting misinformation about voter fraud during the 2020 election. Dominion Voting is seeking $1.6 billion for defamation in the lawsuit. Fox News is also being sued by Smartmatic Voting Machines, for $2.7 billion. Evidence presented shows that Rupert Murdoch knew that Fox News was endorsing misinformation about the 2020 election. Murdoch is the head of Fox Corp and Fox News as well as many other media outlets in the U.S and Australia. In a deposition while under oath, Murdoch acknowledged that some commentators on Fox News endorsed the idea of a stolen election on the air, knowing this was false.
When asked if Fox News spread false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, as Donald Trump claimed, Murdoch stated, "Some of our commentators were endorsing it." Murdoch also said in an email that the election denial is “Really crazy stuff.”
Democrats Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader and Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Leader in the House of Representatives wrote a letter to Murdoch explaining that this misinformation is very dangerous and demanding that Fox News acknowledge that commentators such as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingram have been spreading dangerous misinformation and get them to stop. They explained in the letter, “The leadership of your company was aware of the dangers of broadcasting these outlandish claims. By your own account, Donald Trump’s election lies were “damaging” and “really crazy stuff.” Despite that shocking admission, Fox News hosts have continued to peddle election denialism to the American people.”
Additional evidence shows that Fox News commentators knew that they were spreading misinformation.
Sean Hannity stated in a text message, “That whole narrative that Sydney was pushing. I did not believe it for a second.” He was referencing Trump attorney Sidney Powell when she was pushing the idea of a stolen election.
In a text message to Tucker Carlson's producer, Carlson wrote, “Sidney Powell is lying.” Laura Ingram said in a text message to Tucker Carlson, “Sidney is a bit nuts, sorry but she is.” These messages were revealed to news outlets via court documents and are just a few examples of people at Fox News knowing that the election was not stolen.
Republican Paul Ryan, The former Speaker of the House of Representatives in an email to Rupert Murdoch, urged Fox to report truthfully. Ryan wrote that people think that the election was stolen because “They got a diet of information telling them the election was stolen from what they believed were credible sources.” Murdoch replied by stating in an email ,“Thanks Paul. Wake-up call for Hannity, who has been privately disgusted at Trump for weeks, but was scared to lose viewers.”
Fox knowingly continued broadcasting phony stolen election claims in January 2021, fueling anger among Fox viewers and a mistaken belief that democracy was being stolen just days before the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in which rioters sought to stop certification of the presidential election results by Congress.
Though Fox broadcasters repeatedly touted claims that Dominion Voting’s machines were somehow rigged to throw the election to Trump, in his deposition, Murdoch debunked his own Fox commentators.
“Do you believe that Dominion was engaged in a massive and coordinated effort to steal the 2020 presidential election?” Murdoch was asked by Dominion lawyers. “No,” Murdoch replied, also affirming that he had seen no evidence of any such fraud.
How Fox News personalities previously talked about election results (Washington Post video)