Many Fox News employees are reeling in the wake of stunning court filings released as part of the defamation lawsuit against the network by Dominion Voting Systems, according to The Daily Beast.
Court documents released in recent weeks have included bombshell revelations about the inner workings of the right-wing network, including text transcripts appearing to show that star hosts and network executives sought to mollify former President Donald Trump and his supporters by giving airtime to lies about the 2020 presidential election despite knowing the stories were bogus. Meanwhile, journalists in the network’s news side appeared to have caught flak for pushing back against those narratives.
The Daily Beast reported that it spoke to nine network staffers and insiders who felt that the court filings further damaged the reputation of the network’s news division and made it appear as though the network made decisions based on keeping viewers rather than disseminating the truth.
“We are not happy,” a Fox News reporter told The Daily Beast. Another employee, a news producer, said it was a “really bad time to be working here.”
One reporter told the news outlet that “it’s pretty damn clear the motivation is the money-based machine on the opinion side that drives all their business decisions, that drives a lot of their programming decisions.”
Another veteran journalist reportedly said he felt “incredibly angry” that the reputations of legitimate news people were being “dragged through the mud because of the buffoonish and dangerous actions of a few during that election.”
To make matters worse, it seems Fox News may be preventing its journalists from reporting on the lawsuit. According to “Mediabuzz” host Howard Kurtz, the network forbade him from covering the Dominion suit, a decision he said he strongly disagreed with.
One of the producers interviewed by The Daily Beast said she felt the news division was being censored.
Dominion is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, alleging the network gave airtime to Trump’s false conspiracy theories about the election, including claims that the company’s voting machines were rigged, despite knowing the claims were untrue.
Fox News has characterized Dominion’s lawsuit as an attempt to smear the network and “silence the press,” accusing it of “cherry-picking” quotes in the filings.
A spokesperson defended Fox News in a statement to The Daily Beast, arguing that the network had increased its investment in journalism and was “incredibly proud” of its journalists.