In what appears to be the largest known media defamation settlement in US history, Fox will pay $787.5M to settle Dominion’s defamation suit. But it’s leaving a lot of us disappointed.
Then Greg and Jane let Kristin know what she missed while on vacation and give her ideas of what to do with all those Southwest points she doesn’t want to use anymore.
Before starting its hugely anticipated libel trial (and right during Kristin’s many flight delays), Fox News told Dominion Voting Systems, “How about we pay you $787.5 million and we did not do this.” And Dominion, which had sued it for $1.6 billion, replied, “You’ve got a deal.” So, the two sides shook hands in what appears to be the largest known media defamation settlement in US history.
We, like so many others, are wildly disappointed that Murdoch and his employees will not have to testify let alone apologize for what they did. But Kristin is also wildly relieved that we don’t have to talk about Fox, Dominion, and this trial every day for the next five weeks.
For Fox: The amount to be paid is significant, but not enough to cause financial hardship (representing nearly 20% of their available cash). Additionally, settling the case allows Fox to avoid a potentially damaging trial that would have required top figures, including Rupert Murdoch and Tucker Carlson, to testify and possibly reveal unsavory details about their newsroom practices. Moreover, Fox will not have to issue an on-air apology as part of the settlement, as reported by the WSJ. Fox News is not out of the legal woods yet. It’s facing a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from another election tech company, Smartmatic, over claims similar to Dominion’s. Last month, a NY judge allowed the case to proceed.
For Dominion: Considering the company generates lless than $100 million per year, $787.5 million will probably have Dominion bosses looking like this:
For Democracy: Critics of Fox News were universally disappointed that the case didn’t go to trial. They say that in pushing former President Trump’s false “rigged election” narrative, Fox News helped foment the distrust of elections that led to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol—and this settlement doesn’t hold the network accountable.
Kristin had a hell of a time getting home from California because it was déjà vu all over again for Southwest. The airline temporarily grounded all its flights across the US yesterday after it suffered “intermittent technology issues.”
The brief disruption was a far cry from the total meltdown it experienced over the winter holidays, but more than 1,800 flights were delayed, and it’s not a great look for a company trying to restore trust with passengers.