Fox News anchor Howard Kurtz said Sunday it had been a “very rough week” for the conservative network in its defense against Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial on Tuesday.
“I can assure you that I will provide fair and down the middle coverage of this $1.6 billion suit about coverage of false election fraud claims in 2020, despite the fact that I work here,” Kurtz told “MediaBuzz” viewers. “And with that, it’s been a very rough week for Fox.”
Kurtz explained to viewers that the judge overseeing the case, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis, had sanctioned Fox News last week and launched an investigation into potential legal misconduct. The dispute revolves around Rupert Murdoch’s role at Fox News and its parent corporation, which Fox lawyers were accused of misrepresenting to the court.
Kurtz also discussed leaked audio tapes of Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, telling Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo that he did not have evidence to back up his false claims about election rigging by Dominion in the 2020 election. Fox News was sanctioned by the judge on Wednesday for failing to hand those recordings over to Dominion’s lawyers during discovery.
“That’s not all,” Kurtz said. “In other pretrial rulings, Judge Davis undercut part of Fox’s defense. The judge said Fox News could not argue that it carried false allegations of election fraud by Trump allies because they would be newsworthy. Judge Davis said just because someone is newsworthy doesn’t mean you can defame someone.”
At the time of Kurtz’s remarks, the Dominion trial was expected to begin Monday. However, Davis announced late Sunday that the trial had been delayed until Tuesday. The judge did not give a reason; however, the Wall Street Journal reported that Fox News had made a late push to settle the dispute out of court.
In February, Kurtz said the network had prohibited him from reporting on the lawsuit, noting that he “strongly disagreed” with that decision.
Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox over allegations the network damaged the voting software company’s reputation by repeatedly amplifying claims that the company helped rig the 2020 election against Trump, despite knowing those claims to be false.