Fox Host Calls Claims Aired By His Network ‘Obviously False’ Amid Settlement News
Reporting on breaking news that Dominion Voting Systems had settled its landmark defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Howard Kurtz said some of the claims his own network aired about the 2020 presidential election were “obviously false.”
Kurtz joined fellow Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto on “Your World” on Tuesday to cover the news. After reading the right-wing network’s statement on the matter, noting that the statement acknowledged Fox News had broadcast false claims about Dominion, Kurtz explained that the case centered on the false claims that Dominion’s voting machines were rigged.
“Former President Trump and his allies made this case on Fox and elsewhere, that somehow they were stealing votes from Donald Trump and flipping them for Joe Biden. That’s obviously false. Those were conspiracy theories,” he said.
“But the case would have revolved around whether Fox had done due diligence, whether it was reckless, whether it was simply reporting, as the network contends, on an extremely newsworthy matter argued by the then-president of the United States himself.”
In one of its key defenses, the network argued that its actions were protected under the First Amendment and that its hosts had a right to cover the news. However, private correspondence unearthed during the lawsuit showed that some of the network’s top hosts and executives were skeptical about the claims they were amplifying and at times endorsing on air.
The $787.5 million settlement was brokered on the same day the case was set to go to trial, after Fox News reportedly made an earlier push to settle it out of court. Dominion had sued for $1.6 billion, accusing the media company of defaming it by promoting lies about its role in the 2020 election despite knowing those accusations were untrue.
Kurtz, Fox News’ media expert and the host of “Media Buzz,” had reported in February that his employer was barring him from covering the lawsuit, which has been called one of the most significant media cases in decades. That apparently changed; on Sunday, he reported on the looming trial, noting that things were not looking good for Fox News in the lead-up.