‘This Has to Stop Now’: New Bombshell Emails Show Fox News CEO Warning Fact-Checking Trump is ‘Bad Business’
Dominion Voting Systems made slides used during a Tuesday court hearing public on Wednesday, offering additional details into the response from top Fox News executives to then President Donald Trump’s outlandish claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Dominion is currently suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, alleging defamation.
One newly un-redacted email from Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott to Executive Vice President of Primetime Programming Meade Cooper showed Scott insisting Fox News journalists stop fact-checking Trump claims. Fox News anchor Eric Shawn on multiple occasions pushed back on Trump’s false claims on air.
The email from December 2nd, 2020 with a subject line “Re: Fox News’ Eric Shawn Fact-Checks Trump ‘Dump’ Claims” read:
I’m going to address this with you and Jay and Lowell tomorrow.
This is bad business and there clearly is a lack of understanding what is happening in these shows.
The audience is furious and we are just feeding them material.
Bad for business.
See the Dominion slide of the email below:
Fox News tells Mediaite, “This is not about fact-checking – the issue at hand is one host calling out another.”
An additional email from Scott on November 11th, 2021 read, “Our talent must stop disrespecting the audience.” Scott blasted Fox News host Neil Cavuto for abruptly cutting away from a November 9th press conference by then Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany — who is now a Fox News host — for making baseless accusations days after the 2020 election that Democrats committed voter fraud.
In another email from November 19, Scott wrote, “I’m getting major incoming on her editorializing at the top of Dana’s now and her dismissive tone and indifference to the audience.”
“We need to manage this,” she continued, expressing alarm that Fox News fans were canceling their subscriptions to streaming service Fox Nation:
I saw she just did a hit in Cavuto. I hope she didn’t double down
I can’t keep defending these repoders who don’t understand our viewers and how to handle stories
The audience feels we crapped on and we have damaged ther trust and belief in us.
We lost 25k subs from FOX NATION
We can fix this but we can’t smirk at our viewers any longer
Scott appeared to be referring to Kristin Fisher in the email, a Fox News White House correspondent who left the network in May of 2021. Fox News tells Mediaite, however, “This is about the tone and delivery of the correspondent; it has nothing to do with fact checking.”
An additional email shows Scott pushing to book conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell as a guest, writing on December 19, 2020 – also mentioning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – “They would both get ratings.”
The voting technology company is suing Fox News, alleging the network knowingly aired election lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election — falsely implicating Dominion.
“Executives at all levels of Fox — both (Fox News Network) and (Fox Corporation) — knowingly opened Fox’s airwaves to false conspiracy theories about Dominion,” Dominion wrote in a recently unsealed filing. A five-week trial is currently scheduled to begin on April 17.
A Fox News spokesperson responded to Mediaite with the following statement, “These documents once again demonstrate Dominion’s continued reliance on cherry-picked quotes without context to generate headlines in order to distract from the facts of this case. The foundational right to a free press is at stake and we will continue to fiercely advocate for the First Amendment in protecting the role of news organizations to cover the news.”
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