Dominion Voting Systems lawyers and its CEO have been making the rounds on TV news since news of its settlement with Fox to the tune of $787.5 million was announced late-Tuesday afternoon.
Dominion CEO John Poulos joined Good Morning America Wednesday morning in person and was pressed by George Stephanopoulos on whether he feels content now that the matter has been settled.
He asked Poulos what the final sticking points were.
“We weren’t ready to settle until all of the facts that we had discovered had come to light in the public,” said Poulos. “That was something that we had committed to from the beginning. We had complete support with our partners and it was something that we owed to our customers.”
Stephanopoulos followed up by asking Poulos if he was surprised it took Fox so long to settle, to which the executive replied, “Personally, no, I wasn’t surprised,” adding, “This was not the case of a media company pursuing the truth and making a mistake. They knew.”
After noting that the $787.5 million is the largest media settlement in history (the second-largest, ironically, is Beef Products Inc.’s 2017 settlement with Stephanopoulos’ own employer, ABC News), the GMA anchor wondered aloud if Fox would really change since its “just a fraction of what they earn every year.” He also pointed out that “what you didn’t get was an apology” in Fox’s statement on the settlement.
“There was an acknowledgment. Certainly, it was not the way I wrote it,” Poulos responded. “At the end of the day, the court system really is about accountability. We feel we got it. All of the facts we had discovered during the case had already come to light.”
For reference, here’s Fox’s statement: “We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards. We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.”
Stephanopoulos didn’t let up, adding, “But they just acknowledged the judge said they were falsehoods. They didn’t admit to falsehoods or apologize for them,” Stephanopoulos countered. “Is that enough?” To which the Dominion chief exec replied, ““If you look at the documents, I think they speak for themselves. They did acknowledge. They did not argue falsity, and the motion for summary judgment was extremely clear.”
“It’s a big step forward in democracy if our system can send a signal that if media companies lie … and they do so knowingly, they will be prepared to pay a very, very high price.” — Dominion Voting Systems CEO John Poulos on $787.5 million settlement reached with Fox News. pic.twitter.com/Wtx9BXFAXF
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 19, 2023