Rupert Murdoch says Fox News hosts endorsed false election fraud claims
Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire owner of Fox News, has acknowledged some of the network’s stars endorsed false claims the 2020 election was stolen.
But he denied all of Fox backed Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud after his election defeat.
Mr Murdoch’s comments were revealed in a legal filing as part of a defamation lawsuit brought by ballot tech company Dominion Voting Systems.
Fox News denies defamation – saying the hosts’ words were taken out of context.
“Some of our commentators were endorsing it,” Mr Murdoch said in a sworn deposition filed on Monday.
Asked about certain on-air claims that echoed Mr Trump’s, he said: “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it, in hindsight.”
Regarding the Republican former president’s allegations of widespread voter fraud, Mr Murdoch said he was doubtful.
Dominion is suing Fox News for $1.6bn (£1.3bn), arguing the conservative outlet broadcast false and malicious rumours about voter fraud that harmed its business.
Fox News has argued that the comments are protected under the constitutional right to free speech, and that it was only reporting on Mr Trump’s allegations, not supporting them.
In a statement provided to BBC News on Monday, Fox said Dominion’s lawsuit “mischaracterizes the facts by cherry-picking soundbites, omitting key context, and mischaracterizing the record”.
In order to prove defamation, lawyers for Dominion would have to successfully argue that Fox presented false information, and did so knowing that it was untrue.
A jury trial is expected to begin in Delaware in April. BBC