Fox News May Face Consequences for The Big Lie

In a rare example of good news, Fox News is increasingly looking like they will be forced to explain their coverage of dominion voting systems and the election conspiracy theories they espoused on their network. In a ruling for the Delaware Superior Court, Judge Eric M. Davis ruled that the infamous right-wing network may have acted with “actual malice” in its reporting and that the defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems against the network could proceed.

What Does This Mean?

Actual malice, as cited by the judge, is a direct reference to a legal precedent set by the Supreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), a case in which the Court unanimously ruled that the New York Times was not guilty of libel. The Court reasoned that the petitioner, L.B. Sullivan, failed to show any intent to harm his reputation or any “reckless disregard” for whether or not what was written about him was true.

This standard established that unless public officials could show that the media outlets they were suing knew what they were printing was false or acted as though it didn’t matter, they couldn’t receive any damages. This standard is considered exceptionally high and rarely goes in the petitioner’s favor. However, Dominion’s suit might be the exception.

In the ruling for the Superior Court, Judge Davis cited news reports that Fox News staffers, particularly Rupert Murdoch himself, knew that many of the conspiracies that Fox broadcast on its platform were false. Namely, thanks to those reports suggesting that Murdoch denounced the idea that the election was stolen. Judge Davis further pointed to other Murdoch-owned press outlets debunking the 2020 election conspiracy theory, suggesting that Murdoch not only agreed with them but that he knew that Fox was lying.

In his ruling, Judge Davis explained that:

“These allegations support a reasonable inference that Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch either knew Dominion had not manipulated the election or at least recklessly disregarded the truth when they allegedly caused Fox News to propagate its claims about Dominion…Thus, Dominion has successfully brought home actual malice to the individuals at Fox Corporation who it claims to be responsible for the broadcasts.”

Judge Eric M. Davis in the case of U.S. Dominion INC v. Fox Corporation (2022)

With the case proceeding, it is increasingly likely that Fox will try to settle. Though it is not guaranteed. If Fox chooses to face the suit directly, they will face discovery, putting the right-wing network in an awkward and compromising position. If said discovery falls in support of Dominion, then Fox could be on the hook for a massive price of $1.6 billion if an alternative set of damages are not established.

While it is unlikely that a court would allow for such a massive cash prize for Dominion, any failure in this case outside of a pre-discovery settlement would prove disastrous for Fox’s reputation and its parent company, News Corps. Nor would it be unprecedented for right-wing news organizations to suffer due to their election coverage.

Newsmax, the infamous right-wing news organization, has faced similar issues as Fox, with the same judge rejecting the network’s attempt to throw out Dominion’s defamation suit against them. Putting the network in the exact same place as Fox. Former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani are all facing similar suits by Dominion and have also lost their motions to dismiss.

While it is unclear what will happen, the fact that a judge has suggested that actual malice has been present in not just one instance of right-wing media but in multiple cases sets a dangerous path forward for the right at large. It also incentivizes Dominion to pursue damages to the fullest extent possible. Unless Fox and its ilk can turn the case around soon, they are in for one hell of a ride. And I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where it will end.


Did the Supreme Court Just Send Trump to Prison?

What is left for a president facing oil price gouging, a crazed Russian dictator, an intransigent subservient to the coal industry, and a Supreme Court run amok?

How do you salvage your old-timey presidency if you’re Joe Biden? All that’s left for Biden is to throw us a bone. Get Trump off his golden toilet and onto a steel one.

Arrest Trump. Now.

Order Merrick Garland to lock him up. Millions of real Americans who aren’t Russian stooges are arrested and convicted through plea bargains before prosecutors finish gathering all the evidence. The Justice Department won’t be doing anything thousands of other prosecutors do if it arrests Trump before the case is ready for trial.

Besides, after watching even just a few minutes of the January 6 hearings, how can anyone scratch their head and say, “Well, I still have my doubts?”

This should be a hundred-count indictment. Stop screwing around. We’re all tired of getting our asses kicked, Mr. President. Do something in our name, something you actually have some control over.

Oh, and another thing. Convince the judge presiding over the case to demand that Trump use his own money for bail. I doubt he has any of his own. Not even Deutsche Bank should be allowed to lend him the scratch.

I’ll say it again. We’re tired of getting our asses kicked. We need a win.

The Supreme Court has just legalized the surveillance of women as soon as they get pregnant.

Ladies, all your phone records and internet activity can now be legally tapped by prosecutors who think you might terminate your pregnancy.

I won’t go into all the lurid possibilities here.

I suspect that as I write this, an American Taliban state representative is moving a bill through his local house of representatives to ban Misoprostol, an abortion pill that requires some guidance from medical professionals. So be careful if you get it and be extra careful if you talk to a medical provider about it.

Other laws, some more ghastly than even my dark imagination can conjure, are surely being hastily scribbled down by Taliban law clerks as you read this.

Soon, ladies, you too, can be Latice Fisher, who was charged with murder after having a miscarriage. According to several news sources, she…

…made eleven dollars an hour as a police-radio operator, experienced a stillbirth, at roughly thirty-six weeks, at home. When questioned, she acknowledged that she didn’t want more kids and couldn’t afford to take care of more kids. She surrendered her phone to investigators, who scraped it for search data and found search terms regarding mifepristone and misoprostol, i.e., abortion pills.

The New Yorker, June 24, 2022

So they arrested her for second-degree murder and shoved an unconstitutional hundred thousand dollar bond at her.

If these Supreme Court justices care so much about the constitution, how does someone like Latice Fisher end up with a hundred thousand dollar bond? Unlike the Second Amendment, the Eighth Amendment is crystal clear:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Nobody on this green earth (but rapidly browning, thanks to Republicans and Joe Manchin) can say that $100,000 is not excessive bail for someone making eleven dollars an hour.

Oklahoma authorities put her through three years of hell before finally letting her go.

But with the coming new laws, prosecutors will be rubbing their hands together with glee as they work to make sure you carry your baby to term and commit the next twenty years of your life to the child’s care. Circumstances, Shmirkcumstances.

Oh, you say it’s your daddy’s baby? Them’s the breaks. You’ll still become part of a new surveillance state that would give Margaret Atwood chills.

Of course, once the child is born, if it is massacred in school as a result of this week’s other Supreme Court decision, well, the American Taliban will find a way to pin that on you, too.

There are going to be enough stories of angst and outrage on Medium and elsewhere that I don’t need to add to them.

But Biden now, I hope, is also outraged.

There’s not much he can do about a lot of this stuff. That’s all up to you. Everyone needs to mobilize and remove the American Taliban from politics by voting at every level of government they can find.

Some people will rightly feel a sense of true rage. But there’s no excuse for violence over any of this.

We voters have allowed these idiots into office. Maybe you didn’t vote for them, but you helped them by not voting in lower-level local elections. When’s the last time you voted for anything smaller than a presidential election?

Yeah. I thought so.

If there’s a local election for the school board, get your ass to the voting booth and shit-can these bastards. The worst of these people are infesting places like that because they know you won’t vote against them. Because nobody votes in local elections except the crazies, pretty much.

So they’re busy banning books and trying to pretend slavery didn’t happen.

So, you know, let’s fix that, too. One fix leads to another.

In the meantime, President Biden can throw us that one sweet morsel that will, in truth, now be a Pyrrhic victory.

If he doesn’t arrest Trump now, and I mean, today, then he is beyond hope.

But, listen up. Biden’s anticipated cowardice is not a reason to skip voting in the midterms. Don’t like the candidate running against the American Taliban? You know, the crazy right-winger who wants to continue the assault on your rights, welfare, and planet? Suck it up and vote. Stop with the litmus tests.

And when the primaries come, vote again for a better candidate. You can haul out the litmus paper then.

Stop complaining. Vote. And if you really think the price of gas is more important than all these other things, then America will have earned its collapse.