Smartmatic USA, a voting machine software company suing Fox News for defamation, told a New York state court Tuesday that the Fox personalities intentionally spread disinformation about election fraud and that’s not protected by the First Amendment.
“This is not a game. The First Amendment does not provide Fox … a Get Out Of Jail Free card,” the court filing read. “Their decision to defame Smartmatic had real-world consequences. Smartmatic’s reputation will never be the same.”
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Fox News had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that sought $2.7 billion in damages, saying the network covered allegations by former President Trump about election fraud, which was newsworthy.
“The filing only confirms our view that the suit is meritless and FOX News covered the election in the highest tradition of the First Amendment,” a Fox spokesperson said.
Smartmatic has ties to Dominion Voting Systems, whose machines and software were the focus of unsubstantiated allegations of vote tampering in the 2020 presidential election.
The Dominion lawsuit, filed in Delaware, where both companies are incorporated, said Fox News personalities made false claims that Dominion had rigged the election in favor of President Biden.
Fox News stood by its reporting.
In November, anchor Eric Shawn interviewed Dominion spokesperson Michael Steel, who rebuffed allegations of fraud. The interview was promoted across other shows, according to Fox.
“FOX News Media is proud of our 2020 election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism, and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court,” said a spokesperson from Fox News Media.
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