Dominion Voting Systems Corporation, the voting machine company that has brought a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, has threatened the right-wing media outlet with hefty financial penalties and a loss of audience, following revelations that broadcasters lied about the facts in the 2020 election and disparaged their viewers.
Fox internal messages made clear the aims of executives to ignore truths about the election and instead promote false claims about a stolen election.
With the trial set to begin on April 17, some evidence for a weakening hold over the Republican Party is apparent. Also, some speculate that the Murdoch family may be in jeopardy of continuing to lead the company, according to The Guardian.
The Dominion suit alleges that Fox spewed false claims of voter fraud in an effort to support Republicans, even while its broadcasters shared messages stating that they believed no fraud existed. Rather, they feared that viewers would turn off the TV. Rupert Murdoch himself admitted in a deposition that Fox hosts knew that Trump had lost the election yet claimed it had been stolen from him.
“What we’ve seen is a keyhole view into how Fox operates,” said Angelo Carusone, President of watchdog group Media Matters, told The Guardian. “What makes all of this so disturbing is that this is about power. And Fox News at its core is actually a political operation that is designed to give power to the Murdochs.”
Immediate financial consequences will result if Fox loses the case, Carusone said. The Guardian reported that some law firms are already contacting shareholders about representation against Fox. At least four firms, including Kehoe, have made public appeals making it clear that Fox Corporation directors and officers could be sued for breaching fiduciary duties to shareholders.
Aggrieved shareholders may also attempt to unseat the Murdochs from power, Carusone told The Guardian. Additionally, Fox may lose contracts with cable companies who don’t want to renew. The company has charged high fees, selling its valuable viewer loyalty, but if fans retreat, some cable outfits may, too.