(CNN) — Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of Fox Corporation, acknowledged in a deposition taken by Dominion Voting Systems that some Fox News hosts endorsed false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Murdoch’s remarks in a deposition were made public in a legal filing as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News.
“Some of our commentators were endorsing it,” Murdoch said, singling out Fox hosts Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro as Fox hosts who promoted the false stolen election claims on air, according to a transcript of his deposition. Murdoch acknowledged the hosts frequently invited guests who made similar claims.
But Murdoch pushed back against Dominion’s lawyers who claimed that Fox was endorsing “this false notion of a stolen election?”
“Not Fox. But maybe Lou Dobbs, maybe Maria, as commentators,” Murdoch said in his deposition.
In another filing made public earlier this month, a trove of messages and emails from the most prominent stars and highest-ranking executives at Fox News showed they had privately ridiculed claims of election fraud in the 2020 election, despite the right-wing channel promoting lies about the presidential contest on its air.
The messages showed that Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham brutally mocked lies being pushed by former President Donald Trump’s camp asserting that the election was rigged.
The court filings have offered the most vivid picture to date of the chaos that transpired behind the scenes at Fox News after Trump lost the election and viewers rebelled against the right-wing channel for accurately calling the contest in Biden’s favor.
Fox News has not only vigorously denied Dominion’s claims, it has insisted it is “proud” of its 2020 election coverage.
The network argued that the court filing contained cherry-picked quotes lacking context.
“There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan,” Fox News said in a statement.
– This is breaking news and will be updated.
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