Latest Court Filings From Dominion Show Fox News Works Hard to Protect Its Brand

By Mark Mwachiro 

Court filings made public on Thursday from Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News revealed new intimate details of the inner workings of the cable news network in the aftermath of the 2020 election cycle.

One thing that stood out was that Fox News works hard to protect its brand.

The filings revealed that news executives and hosts acknowledged off-camera that Joe Biden won the election. Still, they were aware that such an admission would turn off viewers, potentially pushing them away from the network, according to reports from The New York Times and other outlets.


In one example, Tucker Carlson, in a series of text messages between Carlson and fellow primetime host Sean Hannity, wanted White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich fired after Heinrich fact-checked Former President Donald Trump‘s claims of election fraud on Twitter.

“Please get her fired,” Carlson reportedly told Hannity. “I’m actually shocked,” he continued, “It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”

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 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.”

On election night, Scott messaged Fox News communications chief Irena Briganti on how it was “astonishing” that Bill Sammon, the network’s former DC-based managing editor and vp, made the call for Arizona.

Scott said that Sammon did not understand the “impact to the brand and the arrogance in calling AZ.”

She was said to have added that Sammon’s job was “to protect the brand.”

Later, Scott messaged Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch with a plan to win back Fox News viewers with a promo that would “highlight our stars and plant flags, letting the viewers know we hear them and respect them.”

According to the filings, Murdoch replied by saying, “Yes. But needs rebuilding without any missteps.”

A short time later, Fox News debuted its new promo campaign, which featured its marquee talent and went with the slogan, “Standing up for what’s right.”

In a statement to The Times on Thursday, a Fox spokesperson said, “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 company also responded to the recent filings in a statement to TVNewser, adding, “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.”