A Fox News producer warned the network to stop putting host Jeanine Pirro on the air before the network was hit with a defamation lawsuit for spreading election conspiracy theories, NPR reports.
An unnamed producer in November 2020 sent an email to colleagues warning against letting Pirro spew false election claims on air.
The producer warned that Pirro was spreading former President Donald Trump’s election claims but she was far from alone.
Numerous Fox stars and guests echoed the false claims in the subsequent days.
The comments largely focused on entirely baseless allegations that Dominion voting machines “flipped votes” from Trump to President Joe Biden.
The company has since filed a $1.6 billion defamation suit against the network.
Stars grilled under oath:
The lawsuit has proceeded through the courts, with prominent Fox News stars Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity testifying under oath in recent weeks.
Former Fox hosts Shepard Smith, Lou Dobbs and Ed Henry have also testified, as well as producers and executives.
Dominion argued that it has suffered “enormous and irreparable economic harm” and projects losing $600 million over the next eight years due to canceled contracts.
Along with its lawsuit against Fox News, the company is also targeting Fox Corp., its parent company which is owned by the Murdoch family.
Fox pushes back:
Fox News pushed back on the report.
"Freedom of the press is foundational to our democracy and must be protected," a spokeswoman told NPR, calling the damages claims "outrageous, unsupported and not rooted in sound financial analysis, serving as nothing more than a flagrant attempt to deter our journalists from doing their jobs."
"All you're reporting to the public is that somebody — in this case, the president of the United States — has made the allegation of voter fraud by Dominion," Dan Webb, Fox News' outside attorney on the case, told the outlet. "I don't know how anything could be more newsworthy than the president of the United States making the allegation, and his lawyers making the allegations in court, because that's so fundamental."