On August 10th, Dominion Voting Systems filed three separate $1.6 billion defamation suits against two conservative news networks and a Trump ally. The three suits are the latest in a series of billion dollar defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion related to alleged disinformation relating to the 2020 presidential election.
Henry was fired from his job as co-presenter of “American Newsroom” in 2020 after his former colleague, Jennifer Eckhart, accused him of raping her in 2017. Henry denies all of the allegations and claims the network knew he was innocent when they fired him.
On May 18th, Fox News filed a motion to dismiss the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology company used in more than two dozen states during the 2020 presidential election.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed new voting legislation on May 6th. The bill signing was broadcasted live on Fox & Friends, a morning news program on Fox News Channel, but all other media outlets were denied access. The decision drew criticism from media organizations and First Amendment scholars.
Using defamation suits to combat misinformation has some free speech advocates uneasy, as the First Amendment provides broad protections for news organizations.
Fox’s lawyers argue that they had a First Amendment privilege to report newsworthy allegations–even false ones–in a neutral way. They also claim that Smartmatic failed to establish a key requirement of a defamation claim—that Piro, Dobbs, and Bartiromo acted with “actual malice.”
From the moment the 2020 presidential election was called in favor of Joe Biden, three prominent conservative cable companies, Fox News, One America News Network (OANN), and Newsmax have repeatedly questioned the accuracy of the results. Now Smartmatic, a voting technology company, is threatening to sue the networks for false claims they published or republished about its product.