Dominion never intended to save democracy with its lawsuit: report

Dominion never intended to save democracy with its lawsuit: report
Fox News' Rupert Murdoch at 2009 World Economic Forum (Creative Commons)
Why Rupert Murdoch’s statements alone may not torpedo Fox News in Dominion's defamation lawsuit: media critic

Dominion Voting Systems "was probably always going to settle" its massive defamation case against Fox News, and any talk of holding the media company accountable for its lies was likely a negotiating tactic to score the settlement, according to Slate writers who spoke about the issue on the outlet's podcast.

Dominion and Fox surprised almost everyone when they settled in the eleventh-hour before a trial that would have been seen around the world. This was in part attributed to a "secret mediator" who was making phone calls from a boat and a hotel.

In retrospect, however, Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern says it should have always been the expected move for a corporate entity.

"Dominion is a private company and what they really wanted here, above everything else, was to be made whole after Fox News slandered it relentlessly and threatened its entire business," Stern said in an edited version of the Amicus podcast by Slate. "You know, Fox tried to persuade election officials that they couldn’t trust Dominion’s voting machines, and that their machines were the key to massive voter fraud that let Joe Biden steal the election."

Stern added that Fox's lies represented "existential threat to Dominion’s ability to continue making a profit, so the company had to sue" the news network.

"They used the threat of a trial, in which all these secrets would come out, as a bargaining chip. They went all the way to jury selection because they were pressing Fox as hard as they could for a big settlement," Stern said. "And that’s what they got. Now they can expand further into the market."

Fellow Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick said the settlement was "yet more proof positive that the law is not going to keep saving us."

"We keep thinking that there is this thing called 'the law that is going to keep making us whole,' but it's not," Lithwick said, adding, "Capitalism is not going to save us, either."

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