The post-2020 election drama continued last week when it was announced that Smartmatic — a voting technology software company — launched a staggering $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, several of the network’s hosts and others who were involved in claiming that voting systems were “rigged” to favor President Joe Biden.
But according to the Washington Examiner, Fox News’ lawyers have taken steps this week to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit entirely, citing the protection of First Amendment rights and also claiming that litigating against the network equates to stifling fair debate.
Attorney Paul Clement, a partner at the network’s law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, filed the motion to dismiss the lawsuit while issuing a statement which made clear that Fox News doesn’t believe for a second that Smartmatic has a valid case.
“This suit strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Smartmatic’s theory is fundamentally incompatible with the reality of the modern news network and deeply rooted principles of free speech law,” Clement wrote.
Another network spokesperson echoed that statement, saying the network was “proud” of its election coverage and news outlets can’t be held accountable for reporting claims that emerged early on after the election was over.
“If the First Amendment means anything, it means that Fox cannot be held liable for fairly reporting and commenting on competing allegations in a hotly contested and actively litigated election. We are proud of our election coverage which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism,” the anonymous spokesperson said.
A number of Fox News personalities were also named in the lawsuit, including Judge Jeanine Pirro, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo and Fox Business host Lou Dobbs. In a shocking announcement late last week, Fox abruptly canceled Dobb’s show in the wake of the lawsuit announcement, though Fox claims the move was pre-planned.
Dobbs had the highest-rated show on the Fox Business network and his millions of fans were outraged that his employer seemingly threw him under the bus just days after the lawsuit was announced.
Former President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was named in the lawsuit, along with attorney Sidney Powell, who was a prolific pusher of a conspiracy theory that Dominion Voting System and Smartmatic were part of a secret, global plot to rig America’s 2020 election.
Both Powell and Giuliani spent much of their early airtime on Fox News and Fox Business promoting the conspiracy, claiming to have proof of their claims, but ultimately never making headway on the matter after numerous attempts to have various courts hear the case.
The two were also named in a similar-sized lawsuit by Dominion last month.
Smartmatic didn’t name Newsmax TV or One America News Network in their lawsuit at this time — which are networks that also gave airtime to the conspiracy claims — but said that they’re taking a “measured approach” to the matter and analyzing the situation.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org