A number of media personalities, particularly at Fox News, are being dragged into court thanks to a wide-ranging and massive lawsuit being pursued by election technology firm Smartmatic.
According to The New York Times, the company filed suit in New York’s Supreme Court, targeting three prominent Fox News Channel hosts — Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro — over on-air statements they made regarding the security and reliability of November’s presidential election results.
A “disinformation campaign”
Smartmatic is claiming in its legal action that Fox News, along with the three hosts, directly and knowingly spread misinformation that damaged its reputation.
In a statement on the matter, Smartmatic executive Antonio Mugica said “one of the biggest challenges in the Information Age is disinformation.”
“Fox is responsible for this disinformation campaign, which has damaged democracy worldwide and irreparably harmed Smartmatic and other stakeholders who contribute to modern elections,” Mugica added, according to The Washington Post.
Of course, they aren’t the only ones: in the wake of concerns about election fraud and irregularities, many progressives have made it clear that they want to punish anyone who posed such questions.
For its part, Fox News provided a platform for dissenting opinion on the topic — and as such, Smartmatic and others believe they must pay the price.
“Another golden opportunity”
And the tech company is not limiting its suit to the cable news network and its staff. Court documents also name Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
Smartmatic claims that they engaged in a misinformation campaign that was subsequently picked up by Fox News and spread even further. The suit also connects the rhetoric employed by Powell and Giuliani to the riot on Capitol Hill last month.
For his part, Giuliani’s response to the news indicates his willingness to fight the allegations. According to The Hill, he asserted that the “Smartmatic lawsuit presents another golden opportunity for discovery” and declared that he is looking “forward to litigating with them.”
In order to win in court, Smartmatic will need to prove that the named individuals and entities actually spread false information. Given the difficulty of meeting that burden of proof, Giuliani might indeed relish the opportunity to get into the firm’s inner workings.
Still, the company insists that it is justified in filing the $2.7 billion suit, stating in court documents that the defendants “knew the election was not stolen” and “knew the election was not rigged or fixed…just as they knew the Earth is round and two plus two equals four,” according to NPR.