Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the head of the media conglomerate that owns Fox News, has admitted that he knew that Fox News hosts spread lies about the USA 2020 presidential election.
Mr. Murdoch has openly confessed how he allowed the news channel to keep doing so on air to millions of viewers.
According to court documents released on Monday, the wealthy media owner acknowledged in a deposition that several hosts for his networks promoted the myth that the 2020 election was stolen from the outgoing president Donald J. Trump and that he could have stopped them but didn’t.
“They endorsed,” Mr. Murdoch said under oath in response to direct questions about the Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and Maria Bartiromo, according to a legal filing by Dominion Voting Systems. “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” he added, disclosing that he was always dubious of Mr. Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
Asked whether he doubted Mr. Trump, Mr. Murdoch responded: “Yes. I mean, we thought everything was on the up-and-up.” At the same time, he rejected the accusation that Fox News as a whole had endorsed the stolen election narrative. “Not Fox,” he said. “No. Not Fox.”
Mr. Murdoch’s remarks, which he made last month as part of Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, added to the evidence that Dominion has accumulated as it tries to prove its central allegation: The people running the country’s most popular news network knew Mr. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election were false but broadcast them anyway in reckless pursuit of ratings and profit.
Proof to that effect would help Dominion clear the high legal bar set by the Supreme Court for defamation cases. To prevail, Dominion must show not only that Fox broadcast false information but that it did so knowingly. A judge in Delaware state court has scheduled a month-long trial beginning in April.