In a stunning plot twist that could rival any courtroom drama series finale, Fox News managed to pull off an eleventh-hour settlement with Dominion Voting Systems on Tuesday. The eye-watering deal cost them a cool $787 million and marked the end of a two-year legal rollercoaster ride that did more shredding of the right-wing network’s credibility than a paranoid office manager with access to an industrial paper shredder.
With its whopping price tag of $787.5 million, Fox News’ settlement with Dominion is now officially the largest publicly known defamation payout in US history involving a media company. It’s like winning the lotterySponsored Product, but instead of matching numbers, you match false allegations.
The surprise announcement came just hours after the jury had been sworn in at Delaware Superior Court. Whisperings of a possible settlement began to circulate around lunchtime when proceedings mysteriously ground to halt for nearly three hours without explanation — presumably while both parties hammered out their agreement or perhaps enjoyed some suspenseful elevator music.
“The parties have resolved their case,” announced Judge Eric Davis, before dismissing the 12-member jury. It was as if he’d just cancelled Christmas for courtroom drama enthusiasts everywhere by ending the so-called media “trial of the century” before it could even begin.
Dominion lawyer Justin Nelson described the groundbreaking settlement as representing “vindication and accountability,” with all the gravitas of a superhero delivering a one-liner after saving democracy itself.
In its statement, Fox News acknowledged that some claims about Dominion were false – kind of like admitting you ate your roommate’s last slice of pizza but refusing to apologize or replace it.
The $787.5 million payout is roughly half what Dominion initially sought (so maybe they got off lightly?), though it’s nearly ten times more than what my uncle made selling his collection of rare stamps.
This last-minute agreement means we won’t get to see influential Fox News executives and prominent on-air personalities squirm under cross-examination in court – which would no doubt make for riveting television.
But don’t worry conspiracy theorists! There are still plenty of other high-profile figures who might be called upon to testify about their role in spreading lies about voter fraud during the 2020 election coverage, including Rupert Murdoch himself!
Despite this major setback for Fox News, there’s still another defamation lawsuit looming on the horizon from Smartmatic, another voting technology company that was similarly smeared by Fox News after the 2020 election. So grab your popcorn folks, because this show isn’t over yet!
Meanwhile, Dominion is still pursuing lawsuits against right-wing TV networks Newsmax and OAN along with Trump allies Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell. They all deny any wrongdoing… but then again, who doesn’t?
Reporting for CNN’s Comedy Division: Liam Reilly and Danny Freeman.
Fox News settles with Dominion at the last second, pays more than $787 million to avert defamation trial over its 2020 election lies | CNN Business