Title: Fox News and the Dangerous Dominion Conspiracy Theory
Fox News, long criticized for its biased reporting during the 2020 election, faced scrutiny once again when host Maria Bartiromo amplified baseless claims about election fraud. This incident, which led to a staggering settlement payment, highlights the role the Murdoch family played in perpetuating false information and promoting the “Big Lie” that continues to harm American democracy. As Rupert Murdoch prepares to step aside from his media companies, Fox Corp and News Corp, the network still grapples with the consequences of its actions.
The Problematic Interview:
On November 8, 2020, Maria Bartiromo welcomed guests Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell onto her show, Sunday Morning Futures. While Giuliani’s appearance raised concerns due to his accusations against Fox News, it was Powell who caused significant damage. Powell, known for her defense of Michael Flynn and criticism of the Mueller probe, alleged a massive and coordinated effort to steal the election from Donald Trump, pointing specifically to Dominion Voting Systems.
Fox News’ Failure to Challenge:
During the interview, Bartiromo failed to challenge Powell’s claims effectively. Instead, she provided a platform for the spread of misinformation. Bartiromo even suggested a nonexistent link between Nancy Pelosi and Dominion. Despite warnings from Fox’s PR team, Bartiromo allowed the interview to proceed without proper scrutiny, perpetuating the false narrative.
The consequences were severe. The Dominion conspiracy theory gained traction, leading to widespread belief among Republican voters that the election was stolen. Fox News played a significant role in mainstreaming these baseless claims, despite knowing their potential impact on American democracy.
The Role of the Murdochs:
Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the patriarch and heir of the Murdoch family, respectively, allowed these events to unfold without expressing any regrets publicly. As Rupert prepares to step aside, Fox News remains entangled in the aftermath of its actions. Trump’s continued promotion of the “Big Lie” further exacerbates the network’s predicament.
The incident involving Maria Bartiromo’s interview with Sidney Powell highlights Fox News’ complicity in spreading false information about the 2020 election. Despite warnings from their PR team, the network failed to challenge Powell’s baseless claims, leading to the widespread belief in a stolen election among Republican voters. As the Murdoch family transitions leadership, Fox News remains mired in the consequences of its actions, with the damage done to American democracy still echoing.
Original Story at www.politico.com – 2023-11-15 10:00:00