Dominion Voting Systems drew widespread media attention earlier this year upon announcing massive defamation lawsuits against various individuals and corporations — including the Fox News Channel.
According to the Washington Examiner, the cable news network made a move of its own, seeking a dismissal of the 10-figure lawsuit.
“Right to inform the public”
In its argument, Fox News claimed that suing a network based on its reporting on a subject of interest would “stifle the media’s free-speech right to inform the public.”
The network’s petition to dismiss the Dominion lawsuit came after a similar move in February in which it asked a judge to toss out a lawsuit seeking $2.7 billion in damages related to alleged defamation.
Attorneys representing Fox News issued a statement declaring that there are “two sides to every story” and that the Dominion suit would potentially challenge the foundations of a free press.
“The press must remain free to cover both sides, or there will be a free press no more,” lawyers Chip Babcock and Scott Keller asserted. “The freedoms of speech and press would be illusory if the prevailing party could obtain billions of dollars from the press because it provided a forum for the losing side.”
They further argued that Dominion failed to provide clear proof of “any actionable defamation,” adding that the voting machine company also failed to provide facts “alleging that FOX published the challenged speech with actual malice.”
“A false story of election fraud”
A statement by the network concluded that both federal and New York state law serve to “protect media reporting and commentary on newsworthy allegations, and allegations from the sitting President of the United States and his legal tea are inherently newsworthy.”
In March, Dominion announced its billion-dollar lawsuit, claiming that Fox News “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”
Tom Clare, counsel for the voting services firm, charged Fox News at the time with airing reports of alleged election fraud involving the company’s voting machines that were part of a disinformation campaign “to purposely mislead its viewers.”
Fox News responded by calling the assertions “baseless.”
Several other high-profile figures and entities are also facing similar defamation lawsuits, including Fox News personalities Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo.