Now that they’re facing the prospect of having to pay billions in damages for their lies about the 2020 election, Fox News is desperately trying to suggest they did nothing wrong when they spread misinformation about some of the companies that made voting machines and software that was used to allow voters to cast their ballots.
But New York State Supreme Court Judge David Cohen made it clear recently he isn’t about to dismiss those charges just because Fox and other defendants claim they were merely expressing their “opinions” about what might have taken place in the 2020 race, according to CNBC:
“In virtual oral arguments on Fox’s bid to have the case dropped, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge David Cohen pressed counsel for the conservative news outlet about specific claims made on its air by current and former hosts Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs.
“‘How is that not defamatory?’ Cohen at one point asked Fox attorney Paul Clement after referencing a claim from Dobbs in mid-November that Smartmatic had been banned in Texas. The company had not been banned in the state.”
Clement asserted that the inaccurate claim against Smartmatic had merely been made in the context of a conversation with Rudy Guiliani, who was working as an attorney for former President Donald Trump at the time. Giuliani also claimed there were links between Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, though none have ever been proven. Dominion has also filed lawsuits against Fox, Guiliani, and others, seeking billions in damages.
Attorneys for Smartmatic argued that Fox cannot lie and then attempt to call their inaccuracies “opinion”:
“(Smartmatic noted that) the defendants made assertions of fact, not opinion, about the voting tech company, and that they do not have ‘blanket immunity’ to spread defamatory content.”
Fox has often tried to hide behind the protection of calling their news operations nothing but opinion or entertainment, but doing so doesn’t shield them from legal action, as the network it finding out the hard way.
Fox and the other defendants have already lost the first round of motions seeking to have the case against them dismissed, and from what transpired in the hearing with Judge Cohen, the network is now facing the prospect of having to pay tens of billions in damages that could leave them on the verge of bankruptcy.