Under threat of lawsuit, Fox News backs away from some fraud claims

Fox News has felt free to parrot Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud and have even added to the charges and named companies that they claim colluded in it. Finally one outfit called Smartmatic got fed up and threatened to sue it and all the other right-wing news outlets for making false and defamatory claims.

Under that threat, three of their main shows that had been promoting these ideas, hosted by Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro, went into damage control and tried to walk back their claims. But the three did it in a strange way, by showing the identical pre-taped item.

Fox News has taken a further step back from Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of election fraud with a bizarre apparent legal retraction aired during shows hosted by some of the president’s most fervent supporters.

First broadcast on Fox Business on Friday, on Lou Dobbs Tonight, and repeated over the weekend on shows hosted by Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro, the segment was presented as a news interview with election technology expert Eddie Perez.

In the three-minute video, described as “a closer look at claims about Smartmatic”, Perez answers questions posed by an unidentified interviewer about a Florida company that provided voting systems for the November election.

All three hosts posted the same item and ended without any further commentary. It was clearly a coordinated effort to defend against the lawsuit’s claims and Perez had little idea of what was going on until later when he saw the clip on the shows.

Speaking to CNN, Perez said: “My reaction was to observe, as many others have, how kind of strange and unique that particular way at presenting the facts was.

“There was nothing in any of the preliminary conversations that I had with Fox News that gave me any indication that Smartmatic would be a matter of conversation. It was never mentioned that this was going to be a discussion about Smartmatic or even claims about private vendors. I was anticipating a broader discussion about the debate around the election [and] election integrity.”

Needless to say, the MAGAnuts were not happy at this walking back and saw the three as ‘sellouts’ to the cause and wondered who had ‘got’ to them.


  1. Bruce says

    The way all three showed the same clip without commentary suggests that top executives at FOX ordered them to do this, likely because Fox couldn’t trust the three to comment without erasing their emergency legal defense walkback. In other words, the three hosts are still nuts, but they couldn’t override this.
    In other words, Fox has no expectation and no plan of having sane hosts. Fox just does the minimum to avoid too many guilty verdicts in suits against themselves.
    In other words, Fox, as with most Republicans, doesn’t believe Trump, but won’t let the truth about anything get in the way of their goals. All will support Trump 100%, until they have to throw him under the bus, which they will try to do without leaving evidence. To them, Trump is like a Mafia Don, whom everyone in the Family celebrates, even though they know there will come a day when they have to quietly bury him in concrete in order to keep a clean image.

  2. Matt G says

    We see purifying selection in action. Only the truest of the true true true believers in the Orange Messiah will be left by January 20th.

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