Defamation Frustration


Diego Ponce

Photo of money sign covering the truth

Liam Hollon, Assistant Athletics Editor

Fox News has recently been involved in a defamation case that cost them large amounts of credibility and especially, money. This has shown a light on news stations as a whole and the bias they can produce when making “factual” claims.

Dominion, in order to keep its reputation as a trustworthy voting source, filed a lawsuit to go to court over defamation in March of 2021. 

“The case goes back to a company called Dominion which makes voting machines, and after the election in 2020,” said Millikan’s Principles of Law teacher Mr. Reynolds. “People were claiming that there was some fraud going on with the voting machines and Fox News had aired several different people making those claims that were untrue.”

Photo of the weight of money on a scale. (Diego P)

What did Fox News choose to pay to not go to court? According to an AP News article, $787 million dollars. Fox felt that they had little to no chance of winning the case so they opted out by paying.

“As much as people wanted to hold Fox accountable for wrongdoings, and no matter the lofty language that Dominion was using, it was in both corporations’ best interest to settle and move on. Which is what happened,” said another Principles of Law teacher at Millikan, Paul Flores. 

This all brings up the discussion of whether news stations should be able to give out biased information on air and if so, what disclaimers should they be forced to give?

“I get the impulse to push for disclaimers. A lot of people, especially on the left, think that if people learn the truth then they will change their minds. But research shows that doesn’t work. People won’t change their minds, they’ll just change the station,” said Flores.

This case has proven that it is up to the news stations what they want to put out and up to the viewer to take it as either fact or opinionated info and that there the financial consequences for sharing fake claims.