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Fox Fails to Kill Smartmatic Lawsuit against It

Fox anchors blamed Donald Trump's 2020 loss on rigged voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic. Both Companies sued Fox for billions of dollars. Fox has been doing its best to get rid of the pesky lawsuits, but not doing very well. It took another hit on Tuesday when a mid-level appeals court in New York, the Supreme Court Appellate Division, ruled against Fox and said that the $2.7-billion defamation suit can continue.

Just after the 2020 election, three different Fox hosts repeatedly allowed Trump's lawyers to state that Smartmatic was a foreign company that ran a multistate operation to flip votes across the country from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. They called it part of a criminal conspiracy. In reality, the company is located in Florida and its voting machines were used only in Los Angeles County, which always votes heavily Democratic, no matter who the candidates are or what race it is. None of the hosts ever challenged Trump's lawyers or asked for any evidence. They just let the lawyers lie to their hearts' content.

Fox argued that freedom of journalism allowed its on-air employees to express their opinions and run their shows as they wished. In the past, Fox has argued that it is in the entertainment business, not in the news business, so it has no obligation to check whether what its anchors and guests are saying on air is true. The five-judge court disagreed and said there is evidence that Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell defamed Smartmatic when they said the vote was tainted by Smartmatic's machines despite not having a shred of evidence indicating that. The opinion was unanimous. The Court also reinstated Smartmatic's claims against Jeanine Pirro, which a lower court had thrown out. Fox can still appeal to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, and will almost certainly do so.

The Smartmatic case isn't the only one Fox has to worry about. Denver-based Dominion sued the company for $1.6 billion. A trial date has been set for April. (V)

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