The Denver Post: In the wake of Fox News’ $787.5 million payout to Dominion Voting Systems — to avoid subjecting that cable network’s stars and corporate executives to embarrassing courtroom testimony — several commentators have expressed concern that the huge sum will spawn a rash of libel claims against other news outlets who provided a platform to the purveyors of lies about the 2020 election.
After all, under the so-called “republication doctrine” of libel law, any broadcaster or repeater of such blatant falsehoods stands in the shoes of the original defamer, and must defend the substance of those statements. So, why wouldn’t the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, AP, and countless others be on the same footing — subject to massive financial exposure — as the Fox News Channel?
The short answer is that they are not on the same footing. Fox — and a couple of other “conservative” cable channels — stand alone. Indeed, not a single legitimate news outlet, nor any press freedom advocacy organization, has risen to defend Fox’s so-called “reporting” on the real “fake news” that the 2020 presidential election was beset by massive voter fraud, widespread “irregularities,” and “rigged” voting machines that “flipped votes” from Trump to Biden. You know, the so-called “steal” that prompted the January 6, 2021, violent attack on the U.S. Capitol and our democracy.
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