New docs reveal how one Fox News anchor was lambasted for his 'anti-Trump' coverage
A new court filing in connection with Dominion Voting Systems' lawsuit has revealed on Fox News analyst was lambasted and ousted for his “smug” coverage that was described as being consistently too “anti-Trump.”
According to Mediaite, the incriminating behind-the-scenes remarks made by former Fox News anchor Leland Vittert are now coming to light.
At the time, Vittert became a target of criticism for his coverage following the 2020 presidential election as former President Donald Trump continued to spin conspiracy theories to explain his election loss.
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One section details the way then-Fox anchor Leland Vittert — who has since moved on to an anchor role at NewsNation — was targeted for criticism in a pipeline that went from Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott right to the control room because his 'anti-Trump' coverage was deemed 'smug and condescending.'
Excerpts from the filing have also been highlighted:
... Lachlan continued to advise on how Fox should cover the news related to the 2020 Presidential Election. For instance, he told Scott on November 14 during Fox’s coverage of a rally in support of Donald Trump that 'News guys have to be careful how they cover this rally. So far some of the side comments are slightly anti, and they shouldn’t be. The narrative should be this is a huge celebration of the 25 president.' Ex.627; see Ex.130, L.Murdoch 116:4-119:11.
The excerpt also noted: "Scott responded: 'Yes thanks'; and when Lachlan then criticized Leland Vittert’s coverage as '[s]mug and obnoxious,' Scott said she was 'calling now' to direct Vittert’s producer to fix the issue. Ex.627; Ex.130, L.Murdoch, 122:1-15. And indeed she did. Executive David Clark reported: 'Also got called by Jay who heard from SS that Leland was being smug and condescending. I texted him and told him to cut it out and DC EP spoke to him.' Ex.628."
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"Lachlan even gave his input on the chyron that appeared at the bottom of broadcasts, telling Scott that 'the ticker at bottom of screen is all wrong. Way too wordy and long. And anti trump whenever possible.' Ex.629," it also reads.
Responding to the latest filing, a public relations representative for Fox News released a statement addressing the situation.
"Dominion’s lawsuit has always been more about what will generate headlines than what can withstand legal and factual scrutiny, as illustrated by them now being forced to slash their fanciful damages demand by more than half a billion dollars after their own expert debunked its implausible claims," the statement reads. "Their summary judgment motion took an extreme, unsupported view of defamation law that would prevent journalists from basic reporting and their efforts to publicly smear FOX for covering and commenting on allegations by a sitting President of the United States should be recognized for what it is: a blatant violation of the First Amendment."
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