Fox Corp CEO praises Fox News leader as network faces $1.6 billion lawsuit

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch praised Fox Information CEO Suzanne Scott on Thursday, even because the community faces a authorized reckoning over lies it repeatedly broadcast following the 2020 presidential election.

“The place of the channel may be very sturdy and doing very nicely,” Murdoch stated at an business convention hosted by Morgan Stanley. “It is a credit score to Suzanne Scott and all of her staff there. They’ve accomplished an incredible job at operating the enterprise and constructing this enterprise.”

He cited the corporate’s enlargement into climate and on-demand information, and asserted Fox Information attracted a various viewers as a result of its programming appealed to their values.

“They see Fox Information as not only a information channel, however actually a channel that speaks, to form of, center America and respects the values of center America as a media enterprise that’s most related to them,” he stated.

“That is laborious enterprise to run,” Murdoch added. “And I believe, you recognize, Suzanne Scott has accomplished an incredible job.”

Lawsuit raises questions on Suzanne Scott’s future

But Scott’s management of Fox Information is on the coronary heart of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit introduced by a voting tech firm named Dominion Voting Programs. The corporate accuses Fox of intentionally broadcasting lies that its expertise modified votes for then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden in a bid to lure again the Trump loyalists who make up a lot of its core viewers. A lot of them sought different right-wing networks after Fox appropriately known as the important thing state of Arizona for Biden earlier than different information retailers.

Authorized proof made public in current weeks present Scott upset in regards to the lack of viewers, and discussing what to do about it with Murdoch and his father, Rupert Murdoch, the controlling proprietor.

In authorized depositions, each Murdochs asserted that whereas they’d common, even every day, discussions with Scott about information protection and would provide recommendations, she calls the pictures at Fox Information.

Emails and textual content messages from the weeks after that election recommend a extra nuanced course of.

For instance, on Nov. 14, 2020, Lachlan Murdoch despatched Scott a message of dismay over how Fox Information reporters had been overlaying a Trump rally.

“Information guys should watch out how they cowl this rally,” he wrote. “To date among the facet feedback are barely anti, they usually should not be. The narrative ought to be it is a enormous celebration of the president. And so forth”

Murdoch went on to name one reporter, Leland Vittert, “smug and obnoxious.”

Scott stated she agreed and that she was “calling now.”

About 40 minutes later, Murdoch thanked her and noticed that Vittert “appears to have calmed down.”

Scott replied, “Sure we bought all of them in line!”

On Thursday, Murdoch was requested in regards to the lawsuit by Ben Swinburne, who heads Morgan Stanley’s U.S. media analysis.

“A information group has an obligation — and it’s an obligation — to report information fulsomely, wholesomely and with out concern or favor,” Murdoch stated. “And that is what Fox Information has all the time accomplished, and that is what Fox Information will all the time do.”

The widespread consideration to the case, he stated, was not in regards to the regulation or journalism, however politics.

“That is sadly extra reflective of this form of polarized society that we stay in right this moment,” he stated.

The case is ready to go to trial in April in Delaware.

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