As a result of the $787 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, it appears that the changes in network executives and broadcast personalities have been prompted. This and other pending lawsuits concern the Jan. 6 events at the United States Capitol.
In addition to the two shareholder lawsuits related to the Dominion settlement, Fox still confronts a $2.7 billion lawsuit filed by electronic voting machine company Smartmatic and a $2.7 billion lawsuit filed by electronic voting machine company Smartmatic. “It is also facing a defamation suit filed last month by Ray Epps, a key figure in the January 6, 2021 Capitol incursion,” reported the Western Journal.
It appears that the buck is being passed, and professional casualties at Fox News persist.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the network’s chief legal officer, Viet Dinh, will leave the organization by the end of the year. The settlement weakened his position at the company, according to sources familiar with the matter quoted by the Journal.
The New York Times reported that instead of resolving the Dominion lawsuit early, Dinh clung to a “overly rosy scenario” that relied on free speech protections. Dominion filed a lawsuit against Fox after multiple guests accused the company of rigging the 2020 presidential election against then-President Donald Trump.
“He insisted that Fox was on firm legal footing and could take the case, if need be, all the way to the Supreme Court, where he believed the company would prevail on First Amendment grounds,” the Times reported.
As assistant attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, Dinh was the principal author of The Patriot Act.
Dominion’s legal team was able to obtain copies of internal communications during the discovery phase because, according to reports, Dinh chose not to resolve the case until just hours before it was scheduled to go to trial. They indicated that Fox News management was skeptical of the allegations of election fraud.
“Fox’s legal case was severely hindered when the judge ruled that it wasn’t entitled to use a First Amendment defense,” the Journal reported.
Unidentified sources told Mediaite that Dinh’s departure is directly related to the massive settlement. Dinh may not have been fired promptly due to his relationship with Murdoch. According to Mediaite, Dinh was a “close confidante” of Fox News CEO Lachlan Murdoch and the godfather of one of his children.
“He screwed up and mishandled all the legal and passed [Dominion] $787 million when they should’ve settled this right away,” a “source close to the Murdoch Camp” said. “He hung in there for a while only because he’s Lachlan’s son’s godfather.”
Another person allegedly told the outlet: “He cost the company $800 million in the lawsuit with another pending. It’s a no brainer: you don’t settle for $800 mill and jeopardize the prized asset of Fox News without a head rolling.”
Fox’s Top Lawyer, Viet Dinh, Will Depart https://t.co/6DsqVHHuyN
— Tatiana Rivera (@TatianaRiver2) August 17, 2023
For his part, Murdoch is officially praising Viet as he lets him go.
Conservative Brief reports that in a statement, Murdoch said: “We appreciate Viet’s many contributions and service to Fox as both a board member of 21st Century Fox and in his role over the last five years as a valued member of Fox’s leadership team.”
The decision to abruptly remove Tucker Carlson from the air in late April was the most high-profile casualty suffered by Fox News after the Dominion settlement began the network’s gradual decline. Carlson’s popularity at the network and his subsequent success in immediately disseminating his dispatches via Twitter have not reflected well on the network.
According to Conservative Brief, new information indicates that Lachlan Murdoch and Suzanne Scott, chief executive of Fox News Media, decided to terminate Carlson, making it appear as though Carlson was unpopular and problematic.
“The power that Mr. Carlson, 53, wielded outside Fox News could not insulate him from a growing list of troubles inside the network related to his conduct on and off the air, some of which had been grating on Mr. Murdoch and his father, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corporation, who co-founded the network in 1996, according to the two people with knowledge of the company’s decision,” it was reported.
“The host, a polarizing and unpopular figure at the network outside of his staff, was exposed as part of a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems as a bully who denigrated colleagues and sources, often in profane and sexist language, and called for the firing of Fox journalists whose coverage he disliked. He has also drawn condemnation from the right and left for his role in fostering a revisionist account of the assault on the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021,” the outlet added.
NBC News reported that Carlson “netted roughly 26 million video views” for one of his stories in June, with an average in the millions for all of his stories despite the difficulty of tracking his Twitter views. Whether the liberal media like it or not, it is evident that Carlson is providing America with the information it desires.