In the first weeks after the 2020 general election, it was the Wild West over at Fox News. They’d let anyone say anything, no matter how divorced it was from reality. Now they might have to pay for it. The news network is one of the places or figures being sued by Dominion Voting Systems, which was the center of some of the looniest conspiracy theories. Some of the network’s hosts have even been forced to admit they always knew that talk was bunk.
As per The New York Times, Fox News superstars like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity had been forced to sit down for depositions for the case. They did not go well. During a court hearing on Wednesday, before the case goes to jury trial in April, it was revealed that Hannity was asked if he bought the claims notorious Trump lawyer and Diet Dr. Pepper fanatic Sidney Powell had made about voter fraud, including on his own show.
“I didn’t believe it for a second,” Hannity replied under oath.
That’s not good news for Fox News. Defamation trials are tricky because prosecutors have to persuade juries that those accused of such were saying one thing while believing another. Hannity admitting he thought Powell was full of it is strong evidence that the network was doing just that.
Hannity wasn’t the only one to tell the truth about helping Fox News spread nonsense. A lawyer for Dominion revealed that many of the “highest-ranking Fox people have admitted under oath that they never believed the Dominion lies.” That includes not only Hannity but also Carlson, the latter who when asked what he really believes about the 2020 election “tried to squirm out of it at his deposition,” as a Dominion lawyer put it.
Some at the network allegedly tried to stop the self-incriminating spread of misinformation. One employee, another Dominion lawyer said, thought voter fraud claims were “outlandish,” even begging Trump’s staff to jettison Powell before she made things worse. Alas, the network may soon find itself in deep doo-doo, all over a guy they don’t even like anymore.