Rupert Murdoch Deposed Over 2020 Election Reporting

On Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corp, was scheduled to sit for a deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit alleging that Fox News promoted false claims that a voting tech company rigged the 2020 US presidential election.

Rupert Murdoch Deposed Over 2020 Election Reporting
Image credit: cnn

Facts

  • On Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corp, was scheduled to sit for a deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit alleging that Fox News promoted false claims that a voting tech company rigged the 2020 US presidential election.
  • According to a filing in Delaware's Superior Court, Murdoch's deposition was scheduled to take place remotely on Dec. 13 and 14.
  • Dominion Voting Systems, which is suing Fox News for $1.6B, alleges Fox pushed statements in line with hard-right conspiracy theories that voting machines were rigged to hurt Trump. Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of Fox Corp and Rupert Murdoch's son, gave his deposition previously; neither are named as defendants in the suit.
  • What Fox executives and personalities who’ve sat with Dominion lawyers have said during previous depositions is unknown. Fox hasn’t commented, and the company previously contested Dominion's claims, saying it was "proud" of its 2020 coverage.
  • A trial has been set for April 2023. A separate defamation suit against Fox by voting company Smartmatic for $2.6B won’t be ready for trial until the summer of 2024.

Sources: Guardian, Independent, Forbes, CNN, and New York Times.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by Guardian. It looks like the "alternative universe" that Fox News resides in is finally being shattered. Dominion isn’t just going after the network for the falsities it spread about voting machines, it’s establishing a pattern, through depositions, of Fox spewing misinformation. Fox shouldn't have aligned itself with extremists regarding election denial.
  • Right narrative, as provided by Financial Times. Freedom of the press is foundational to democracy, and Fox News’ right to report on the news, and provide opinion and analysis, is under attack. The allegations aired were extremely newsworthy at the time, and Fox gave Dominion a platform to respond. It will be extremely difficult to prove “actual malice,” so Fox will undoubtedly prevail, and Fox journalists will continue to do their vital job.