Longtime Fox News MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz says the network is not currently allowing him to cover the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against his employer, Fox News.
And he’s not particularly happy about the decision.
“The company has decided that as part of the organization being sued, I can’t talk about it or write about it, at least for now,” Kurtz said this past Sunday on his weekly media news and analysis show. “I strongly disagree with that decision. But as an employee, I have to abide by it.”
Kurtz added that some viewers have asked why he hasn’t mentioned the high-profile case.
“Some of you have been asking why I’m not covering the Dominion voting machines case against Fox involving the unproven claims of election fraud in 2020,” he said. “It’s absolutely a fair question. I believe I should be covering it, it’s a major media story, given my role here at Fox.”
— TV News Now (@TVNewsNow) February 26, 2023
The omission of the story from last week’s show seems especially notable considering just days earlier, news broke that Dominion’s most recent filing included a series of revelations about Fox News which shed the network in a poor light. The filings revealed that Tucker Carlson, in a series of text messages with Sean Hannity, wanted White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich fired after Heinrich fact-checked Former President Donald Trump‘s claims of election fraud on Twitter. Hannity responded by saying he had spoken with Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott about the issue. Not long after that, Heinrich deleted the tweet.
In another instance, Fox News reportedly pulled away from its live coverage of a White House press briefing during Neil Cavuto’s 4 p.m. show just as administration officials were ready to discuss election misinformation. The call to pull away came from senior Fox executives who said providing coverage of that press briefing was seen as a “brand threat.”
Fox News says Dominion “has mischaracterized the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law.”
The network added in a statement, “There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan.
Dominion has mischaracterized the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law.”