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It's official, America: Fox News is a farce

A recently released filing in the Dominion v. Fox News legal saga argues that hosts on the network willfully promoted lies about the 2020 election.


The following is an excerpt from Joy's open on Friday's episode of the "The ReidOut." It has been slightly edited for length and clarity.

You might want to send this to your MAGA hat-wearing parents or uncles, because frankly, they deserve to know.

OK? Ready? Here it is:

You need to know that most of what you hear on Fox News about the 2020 election is a lie. The hosts you love and whose every word you hang on likely don’t believe a single thing they’re saying to you. In fact, according to the legal brief released by Dominion, the voting machine company that is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion for lying about them, many major Fox News talk show hosts are only pretending to support Donald Trump. And faking that they believe the 2020 election was stolen from him.

[Fox News has denied all wrongdoing, invoking the freedom of the press and freedom of speech in a statement Thursday.]

And they are lying to you for the most obvious reason of all, which Dominion calls out on page 35 of their blockbuster filing, in which they quote an email from Ron Mitchell — the vice president of primetime programming and analytics at Fox News — who emailed his bosses — the president of Fox News and the CEO — nearly two weeks after the election on Nov. 18 2020, saying, “Viewers are watching less." And he suggested a solution: “Do not ever give viewers a reason to turn us off.” 

Why were viewers turning them off? Consider Fox News on election night. Fox News was the first network to call Arizona, a key battleground state, for Joe Biden. Behind the scenes, the entirely accurate call triggered a collective freakout at the Trump White House and throughout Fox News. According to Dominion’s filing, the senior vice president and managing editor of Fox News’ Washington bureau, Bill Sammon, received an angry text from a member of Trump’s team claiming it was “way too soon to be calling Arizona.” Minutes later, Sammon received a similarly angry phone call from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Fox News was so concerned, that senior executives discussed the backlash the following morning during their daily editorial meeting. 

The trifecta of professional Trump apologists — Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham — were equally livid. Carlson wrote his producer, Alex Pfeiffer, on Nov. 5, saying, “We worked really hard to build what we have. Those efforts are destroying our credibility. It enrages me." He added, “What Trump’s good at is destroying things. He’s the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we play it wrong.”

In another text to his producer, he added, “Do the executives understand how much credibility and trust we’ve lost with our audience? We’re playing with fire, for real ... an alternative like Newsmax could be devastating to us.” 

You see that? Tucker didn’t care about the facts. What he cared about were things like the company’s stock price, and keeping Trump’s fanbase tuning in. And frankly, he wasn’t wrong to be concerned.

Check out Friday's episode of “The ReidOut” for more on the defamation cases against Fox News.