Smartmatic Calls Bulls–t on Foxs First Amendment Argument – Vanity Fair

Posted: April 19, 2021 at 6:53 am

Smartmatic, the election technology company suing Fox News for defamation, responded on Monday to the media empires recent motion to dismiss its $2.7 billion lawsuit, denouncing Foxs free speech argument as flagrant self-deception. The First Amendment does not provide the Fox defendants a get-out-of-jail-free card, Smartmatic lawyer Erik Connolly wrote in the 120-page brief reported by the New York Times. This is not a game.

In February, Smartmatic filed a lawsuit accusing Rupert Murdochs Fox Corporation of damaging the companys reputation and business with false claims broadcast in the aftermath of the 2020 election, naming current and former network stars Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs as defendantsall of whom stood by then-President Donald Trump throughout his democracy-defying crusade to reverse his loss to Joe Biden and, to that end, helped advance conspiracy theories peddled by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell about Smartmatics voting machines. The Fox defendants wedded themselves to Giuliani and Powell during their programs and cannot distance themselves now, Smartmatic said in Mondays brief, contending that the outlets election-related disinformation was no accident, according to the Times. The Fox defendants do not get a do-over with their reporting now that they have been sued.

Fox responded more or less predictably. In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson said, The filing only confirms our view that the suit is meritless and FOX News covered the election in the highest tradition of the First Amendment. Motions to dismiss Smartmatics case filed by Fox and its anchors have cited free speech protections and journalistic responsibility, claiming that covering Smartmatic was a necessary part of its reporting on Trumps newsworthy post-election efforts to overturn the results. Such claims are Foxs attempt to cloak themselves in the First Amendment in a situation where the cloak does not fit, Smartmatic argued in this weeks filing.

Connolly told CNNs Oliver Darcy that the company has a straightforward case of defamation against Fox and on Monday attempted to hold Fox and the anchors responsible for their coverage, which Connolly called the theme of their opposition. Fox reportedly has weeks to respond to Smartmatics brief before a judge ultimately decides if the case will proceed. The Smartmatic case is just one of two massive defamation suits Murdochs outlet is facing as a result of its conspiracy-addled election coverage: earlier this month, Dominion Voting Systems, another election technology company targeted by Trump and his allies baseless claims that there was widespread fraud and manipulation of voting machines, sued Fox for $1.6 billion.

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

Inside the Messy Breakup of an OnlyFans Model and Her ber-Wealthy Boyfriend Wyoming Tells Donald Trump Jr. to Sit Down and STFU A Wave of Displaced New Yorkers Is Upending the Hamptons Social Order How a Group of Rich Memphians Acted on Trumps Big Lie During Capitol Attack Prosecutors Are Lining Up Witnesses in Trump Investigations Republicans Brave Plan to Stop Mass Shootings: Do Nothing Next-Level Harassment of Female Journalists Puts News Outlets to the Test Six Photographers Share Images From Their COVID Year From the Archive: American Nightmare, the Ballad of Richard Jewell Serena Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Gal Gadot, and more are coming to your favorite screen April 1315. Get your tickets to Vanity Fairs Cocktail Hour, Live! here.

Follow this link:
Smartmatic Calls Bulls--t on Foxs First Amendment Argument - Vanity Fair

Related Post