The Washington Post

Stick to just one lie


Regarding the March 2 Style article “Fox’s risky defense maneuver”:

Though the revelation­s about Fox News’s lies after the 2020 election are fascinatin­g, there’s one point that is frequently overlooked: Fox News would not be in court had it lied only about election fraud. Fox News’s defense invokes the First Amendment, and it is right.

The First Amendment protects the spreading of false statements to the public. The exception to that protection is when those false public statements actually cause damage. Here, Fox News’s hosts and guests didn’t just insist — falsely — that President Biden lost the election, they added or allowed their guests to say unchalleng­ed that the reason President Donald Trump should have won was because Dominion’s voting machines were intentiona­lly programmed to change Trump votes to Biden votes, causing Dominion, according to its lawsuit, to lose more than $1 billion as jurisdicti­ons canceled their contracts for Dominion’s voting machines. Dominion must prove not only that the statements about the election and Dominion were false but also that Fox News either knew or should have known they were false. That’s why the internal texts and emails are important.

Had Fox News confined its knowingly false statements to the election, there would be no lawsuit and the texts and emails would not have been disclosed. The only basis for the lawsuit was the alleged harm to Dominion.

George Chuzi, Mclean

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