Dominion Voting Systems is seeking $1.6 billion in damages as part of its defamation suit against the Fox News Channel.
For its part, however, the cable news network is not backing down and has reportedly filed a motion to have the case dismissed.
“Allegations of paramount public concern”
In its response to the suit, Fox News argued that its election-related reports involving Dominion were part of ongoing and legitimate news coverage and covered under the U.S. Constitution.
“A free press must be able to report both sides of a story involving claims striking at the core of our democracy—especially when those claims prompt numerous lawsuits, government investigations, and election recounts,” read a preliminary statement from the network.
Fox News went on to argue that when the president and his top attorneys voice concerns about the legitimacy of an election, “the media can truthfully report and comment on those allegations under the First Amendment without fear of liability.”
Furthermore, the statement alleged that Dominion’s lawsuit “threatens to stifle the media’s free-speech right to inform the public about newsworthy allegations of paramount public concern.”
It was not Fox News that initiated allegations against Dominion, it asserted, citing prior legal challenges against the company dating back to a 2019 lawsuit in Georgia.
“Fairly and extensively”
In October, a federal judge “credited testimony in a case from an ‘array of experts and subject matter specialists [that] provided a huge volume of significant evidence regarding the security risks and deficits in the [Dominion] system,'” the network added.
At that time, Fox News continued, the “court warned that Dominion’s technology ‘presents serious system security vulnerability and operational issues’ caused by ‘fundamental deficits and exposure’ — risks the court found ‘neither hypothetical nor remote.'”
In any case, the network defended itself by declaring that its Dominion-related coverage fell squarely under its mandate to provide a balanced view of news and current events.
Rather than “shying away from reporting these controversies,” Fox News Channel’s response insisted that the network “fairly and extensively covered them just as it had reported the election results.”
In fact, covering “both sides” of the story is what “responsible journalists” should do, the statement concluded, noting that the “American people deserved to know why President Trump refused to concede despite his apparent loss.”