Fox News is learning there may be big consequences for allowing its employees to throw out wild conspiracy theories about last November’s election. One of the voting companies on the other end of the “disinformation campaign” is now suing Fox and others who pushed “false and defamatory statements.”
Smartmatic, an election technology company, filed the suit in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday against the Fox Corporation, Fox News and the anchors Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. As part of the same action, the company is suing Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who made the case for election fraud as guests on Fox programs while representing President Donald J. Trump.
One part of lawsuit reads “They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil.”
In a statement, Smartmatic CEO 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.”
The company’s attorney went on to say:
“Fox News engaged in a conspiracy to spread disinformation about Smartmatic. They lied, and they did so knowingly and intentionally. Smartmatic seeks to hold them accountable for those lies.”
The Associated Press adds:
Fox News Media, in a statement on behalf of the network and its hosts, rejected the accusations. It said it is proud of its election coverage and would defend itself against the “meritless” lawsuit in court.
Fox “is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion,” the company said in a written statement.
Giuliani and Powell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.