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Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-American media tycoon has accumulated billions of dollars since his Fox News Channel has been in existence. It’s done it by monetizing and stoking the rage of a large segment of the public against their fellow Americans through tens of thousands of contrived controversies like “The War on Christmas,” and constant obsessions over cartoon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Lego building blocks—even M&Ms chocolate candy.
But now, for the first time in 27 years, Fox Corporation is facing a real serious threat to its bottom line from Dominion Voting Systems, an election logistics company that launched a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the right-wing infotainment channel for spreading lies that Dominion had cheated in the 2020 election which Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden.
The case is one of the most serious threats against a large American media company in decades, but the lawsuit’s court filings have also been very illuminative in that they’ve given everyone a look at the inner-workings of Fox.
Thousands of emails and text messages produced in the litigation have shown that Fox’s leadership and hosts think their audience cannot bear to hear too many things that conflict with their false beliefs. They also reveal irrevocably that Fox isn’t a news channel. It’s a Republican campaign organization.
In this episode, we're featuring two reporters who have done a lot of great work covering Fox over the years. Justin Baragona is a senior media reporter at the Daily Beast and also Diana Falzone, who is a contributing editor at the Daily Beast. They just published one this week about how the lawsuit disclosures are affecting the employees at Fox.
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Theory of Change is hosted by Matthew Sheffield about larger trends and intersections of politics, religion, media, and technology. It's part of the Flux network, a new content community of podcasters and writers. Please visit us at flux.community to learn more and to tell us about what you're doing. We're constantly growing and learning from the great people we meet.
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Matthew Sheffield on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattsheffield