Contributed by Jim Hayes
The much publicised case of fox News v Dominion Voting Systems in the United States has been settled outside the court for a payment of $US787.5 million. Fox News, and this means Rupert Murdoch have escaped punishment for spreading the lies that Donald Trump really won the 2020 presidential election and that this was due to massive electoral fraud.
Fox as good as admitted guilt when in its statement it said, “…we acknowledge the court rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” adding “…we are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.”
The bottom line is that Fox, and therefore Murdoch, have paid to avoid justice. Who says money doesn’t talk? Murdoch has paid for silence. Dominion walks away with the cash.
One of Dominion’s lawyers put this down to “money is accountability,” and in doing so, underlined the truth about American democracy style and the market. Everything is for sale.
Fox has an estimated value of an estimated value around $US17 billion. The payment handed over for the settlement is hardly a punishment. Justice is a commodity to be bought and sold. Dominion has been compensated. At the expense of selling out the American nation, which had the most rising on this case.
Despite admitting culpability, Murdoch won’t have to face the prospect of public disclosure of damaging evidence.
There was not even the pretence of an apology from Fox. Tucker Carlson might have been given his marching orders. He has been merely a pawn piece in the Murdoch game, easily sacrificed. It does not mean that the reporting style, with the constant use of distortions and outright lies won’t continue as before. It will.
Mudoch’s media has said almost nothing about the case.
Other cases are pending. Another election technology company has lodged its own claim. This is Smartmatic. It is seeking $US2.7 billion in damages. There will probably be another out of court settlement. Another case by Fox investors is about access to internal corporate documents, revealing the overseeing of the allegations made over the 2020 presidential elections. This could be more problematic for Murdoch.
Meanwhile, the stolen election allegation continues to be peddled by Fox and the rest of the Murdoch empire.
It is clear. Murdoch is a major threat to democracy in the United States. It is even worse here in Australia, where his monopoly over the media is far more complete. This warrants serious consideration. We allow it to continue at our peril.