Fox News’ Disgraceful Legacy: Defamation Lawsuits on the Rise


Fox News’ Disgraceful Legacy: Defamation Lawsuits on the Rise

The cost of Fox News' defamation lawsuits likely to exceed £1bn

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The media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News network have reached a settlement of £633m ($788m) with Dominion Voting Systems, following accusations that the network knowingly broadcast false claims that Dominion’s technology was used to rig the 2020 election of Joe Biden. This settlement is expected to be the largest in a libel case in US history and is likely to exceed the £1bn paid out in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

The Last Minute Settlement with Dominion

The last-minute settlement with Dominion came as a surprise, with the network paying out less than half the $1.6bn in damages Dominion had been seeking. The deal was reached after a jury had been selected, and as the two sides were poised to begin opening statements. This settlement spared Fox from a potentially embarrassing trial that would have shed light on the heart of Mr Murdoch’s empire. The 92-year-old was expected to take the stand, with Fox News chairman Suzanne Scott and presenters including Tucker Carlson also expected to testify.

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The Continuing Legal Woes of Fox News

Despite the settlement, Fox’s legal woes are likely to continue. The company is now facing a $2.7bn lawsuit filed by another voting technology company, Smartmatic USA. Smartmatic secured approval for its case from a New York judge in March and has vowed to push ahead with legal action. Smartmatic’s lawyer, Erik Connolly, has said that “Dominion’s litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox’s disinformation campaign. Smartmatic will expose the rest. Smartmatic remains committed to clearing its name, recouping the significant damage done to the company, and holding Fox accountable for undermining democracy.”

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan have also been personally sued over claims they failed to stop Fox broadcasting “false and dangerous” claims. Robert Schwarz, a shareholder in Fox, has accused the billionaire media mogul and four other board members of failing to ensure Fox lived up to its ethical standards and avoided reputational risk.

The Prospects of the Bill Ballooning over £1bn

The litany of lawsuits raises the prospect that Mr Murdoch’s bill will balloon over the £1bn estimated to have been paid out to resolve claims related to phone hacking at News of the World. Analysts suggest that Smartmatic does not have the “same mountain of evidence” as Dominion, but it is still likely that the overall cost of legal action will amount to more than £1bn.

Fox News Acknowledges Court’s Rulings

In a statement issued following the Dominion deal, Fox acknowledged the court’s rulings “finding certain claims about Dominion to be false”. However, the channel will not be required to issue any retractions or on-air apologies. Coverage of the blockbuster deal was muted on Fox News. Hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, who had been expected to testify in the trial, did not reference the settlement during their primetime broadcasts on Tuesday night. Fox anchor Neil Cavuto broke into his headline afternoon news show “Your World” to report the settlement and read a statement by Fox, in which it said it was pleased to have reached an agreement to avert a trial but stopped short of an apology.


The settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems marks a significant moment in the history of libel cases in the United States, as it is likely to be the largest settlement of its kind. However, Fox’s legal woes are far from over, with Smartmatic USA pursuing a $2.7bn lawsuit and Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan facing personal lawsuits over claims they failed to stop Fox broadcasting false and dangerous claims. The prospect of the bill ballooning over £1bn is a real possibility, given the number of ongoing lawsuits. The lawsuits also shed light on the issue of media ethics, with shareholders accusing Murdoch of failing to ensure Fox lived up to its ethical standards and avoided reputational risk.

The legal battles facing Fox News highlight the importance of responsible journalism and media ethics. In an era where false information spreads rapidly, media outlets must be vigilant in their reporting and take responsibility for the impact of their stories.

The outcome of the lawsuits against Fox News will have implications beyond the media industry. They have the potential to impact democracy itself, with accusations of undermining democracy and sowing distrust in the election process.

It remains to be seen how these lawsuits will play out, but they serve as a warning to media outlets everywhere to uphold journalistic standards and take responsibility for the information they disseminate.


  1. What was the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News about?
  • Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for knowingly broadcasting false claims that Dominion’s technology was used to rig the 2020 election of Joe Biden.
  1. How much did Fox News settle with Dominion Voting Systems for?
  • Fox News settled with Dominion Voting Systems for £633m ($788m).
  1. What is the Smartmatic USA lawsuit against Fox News about?
  • Smartmatic USA is suing Fox News for similar claims related to the 2020 election.
  1. How much could Rupert Murdoch’s legal bill exceed?
  • Analysts suggest that the overall cost of legal action could exceed £1bn.
  1. What do these lawsuits highlight in terms of media ethics?
  • The lawsuits highlight the importance of responsible journalism and media ethics, as media outlets must take responsibility for the impact of their stories.


  • comment-avatar

    I am surprised Fox News didn’t settle earlier, much earlier. After all, this is just money and what they were about to walk into would have made them look the complete fools they are. It would have shown a part of their audience how their inner workings look and discredit a lot of their known figures.

    • comment-avatar
      Connor 8 months ago

      Murdoch doesn’t want to waste his precious money if he doesn’t have to. And it probably took a while for him to see the writing on the wall. Once he realized they will be in for some serious bad publicity and will surely lose a part of their viewers once this trial started, well, spending under $1bn was the best option.

      • comment-avatar
        Albert A. 8 months ago

        Fox News would have had to show their inner workings, their major stars would have had to come to court, etc. All of this would have been disastrous, I think because they would have surely made numerous mistakes and blunders and many, many more people would have realized what these people really are. They don’t care about their viewers, they care about money and fame and power. That’s it.

  • comment-avatar

    Fox News was the premier false news spreader and I’m super disappointed to see Dominion just giving up on their lawsuit. They shouldn’t have settled for any amount. The truth should have come out for everyone to see and Fox News should have at least been required to offer live apologies for deceiving their audience.

    • comment-avatar
      Simon 8 months ago

      Me too. I was sure this was going to court and wasn’t expecting Dominion to just let Fox News off the hook like this. At least get a much bigger payout out of it. It was clear that this was the only way (or the best way) for Fox to get out of all of this. So sad they managed to avoid this scandal because they’ve learned nothing and will do it again in 2024. Just wait and see.

      • comment-avatar
        Charlie 8 months ago

        I hope more people and companies sue Fox because they’ve done irreparable damage to the US. The Capitol riot is partially because of their false narrative. They need to pay a lot more to get it. $1bn is just pennies for Murdoch. He should have had to pay $50bn to maybe feel something.

        • comment-avatar

          If I was a Fox News viewer I would search for other people that are upset they’ve been lied to and group up to sue them. They need to learn to respect their viewers and not just try to peddle such lies. I think 10k or even 100k people could be willing to go for such a lawsuit and it would probably be successful.

  • comment-avatar
    Benjamin 8 months ago

    I hope Smartmatic doesn’t settle and takes them to court. We need Fox to feel the burn and think 10 times before pulling a stupid stunt like this. Everyone needs to present evidence before throwing such accusations on live TV. Because some people will take it as truth and do bad things about it like the Capitol riot.

  • comment-avatar
    Christopher B. 8 months ago

    Unfortunately Fox doesn’t have much ethical standards and seem to be going lower and lower. A lot of people that were actually good have left in these past years and most that have remained are ones that don’t like debate, they just want to protect certain interests and that’s it. Nothing else matters and the truth certainly doesn’t matter for them.

  • comment-avatar
    Isaac 8 months ago

    Since Fox was not required to apologize it looks like they’ve learned nothing from this. I was really hoping to see a trial on this and I’m disappointed that Dominion took this deal.

  • comment-avatar
    Jerry 7 months ago

    I wonder what were the real reasons why Tucker Carlson was let go and how much it had to do with these lawsuits Fox is facing. I’m glad he’s gone because he seems like he isn’t on America’s side from my perspective but I wonder what prompted this move.