Fox News successfully avoided a trial in the defamation case brought against it by Dominion Voting Systems — all it took was a $787.5 million payout. But according to legendary First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, the next defamation suit Fox faces from Smartmatic could be even more dangerous to the cable news giant.
I spoke with Abrams — a brilliant lawyer who successfully represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, and the father of Dan Abrams, the founder of this site — for this week’s episode of The Interview.
We discussed defamation law, the scene inside the Delaware courtroom where this case was settled on the first day of trial, whether Dominion should have pushed for a public apology, the trouble ahead for Fox News, and the future of the First Amendment.
Abrams said he was pleased this case didn’t go to trial and potentially test the First Amendment in appeals that could have reached the Supreme Court.
He said the Smartmatic suit, which is a similar case to Dominion’s, is “extremely dangerous” for Fox News.
And he said he expects heads to roll at the cable news giant over this massive settlement — because Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch “has to” show the Fox board that this kind of catastrophe will not happen again.
In a statement, Fox said: “We will be ready to defend this case surrounding extremely newsworthy events when it goes to trial, likely in 2025. As a report prepared by our financial expert shows, Smartmatic’s damages claims are implausible, disconnected from reality, and on its face intended to chill First Amendment freedoms.”
(Excerpt) Read more in: Mediaite