Fox News was facing an existential crisis after the 2020 elections and its executives were panicking, according to new documents released in a lawsuit against the network.
A new legal filing by Dominion Voting Systems in their ongoing defamation suit against Fox News on Monday paints a picture of nervous executives attempting to shore up ratings while fielding concerns about the false claims of election fraud being pushed by allies of then-President Donald Trump in the days and weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — often on the network’s air.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in his sworn deposition that the decline in ratings Fox News experienced after the 2020 election made him lose sleep. A Fox Corp. senior vice president in charge of monitoring criticism of the brand, Raj Shah, warned top executives that Fox News was “underwater” with viewers and told a pollster they faced “heavy fire” from its base after the election, according to an email cited in the filing.
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch made clear in an email to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott that the network’s post-election coverage had to not “antagonize Trump” while also not completely buying in to some of false claims about what happened.
“Everything at stake here,” he wrote.
Fox News has defended its coverage and called Dominion’s lawsuit “baseless.” They said in a statement on Monday that Dominion’s arguments take “an extreme, unsupported view of defamation law.”
Read exactly what the filing says about this and other allegations in the nearly 200-page document.