'Hunter Biden could crush Fox News' for 'actual malice': ex-GOP congressman
Last Wednesday, a man named Ray Epps who voted for former President Donald Trump twice, participated in the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the United States Capitol, and subsequently became the face of a Fox News conspiracy theory sued the outlet and its erstwhile chief instigator Tucker Carlson for defamation.
"Carlson and Fox settled on Epps as a 'villain' who could serve as a distraction from the network's own 'culpability for stoking the fire that led to the events of January 6th,'" The New York Timesreported. Epps' complaint said that Carlson "became 'fixated on Epps' and began the promoting the idea that Epps and the federal government were responsible for the Capitol riots."
Fox's scapegoating of Epps is not the only spurious narrative that has come back to bite Fox. Fox famously settled a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which resulted in a massive fine and preceded Carlson's firing. Nonetheless, Fox continues to push unfounded claims about President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and that pattern of behavior was a topic of discussion on Saturday's edition of MSNBC's Ayman.
Guest host Michael Steele recalled of Fox's fake Epps story:
The thing that's interesting to me is it wasn't just Fox and Tucker Carlson making these claims. You had individuals like Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, also making Epps a target. This was, you know, this guy's a diehard Trump supporter whose life has been destroyed by the very right-wing conspiracy theories that he was out promoting. Then shouldn't this be like a cautionary tale for Republicans and loyal Fox watchers that, guess what? Yeah, they could come for you too.
Ex-Congressman David Jolly (R-Florida) agreed:
You're exactly right, Michael. Cautionary tale for different reasons. Politically, Republicans are showing that they're not focused on the economy and healthcare and transportation and ladders of opportunity like Joe Biden are [sic], and so they're outta step with the American people. But for Fox News, critically for their financial stability, I think what Dominion ushered in this question of actual malice, and we saw the $800 million settlement has really ripped open, if you will, the opportunity for others to go at Fox News. So Ray Epps is following a similar trajectory saying, look, as Cynthia says, it doesn't have to be actual malice in the case of Ray Epps.
Jolly then envisioned what another round of justice would look like:
But I'll give you a wild card here on Saturday night, Michael Steele. And it's this, I think Hunter Biden could crush Fox News. Financially, I think what Dominion showed us — the discovery involved in Dominion — is that actual malice has occurred within the editorial decisions of Fox News. Dominion got an $800 million settlement. Smartmatic wants theirs. Ray Epps wants theirs.
Who have they targeted more than anybody else? I guarantee you discovery of Fox News' editorial notes and emails and conversations would suggest that they have engaged in actual malice against Hunter Biden. The most judicious irony of all of this would be of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, is the one that cripples Fox News financially.
Steele loved Jolly's idea:
Put a pin in that one, folks, where the hunted becomes the Hunter. I love Saturday night.
Watch the clip below or at this link.
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