Fox Blocked Trump from Going on Air During Capitol Attack, Exec Testified: ‘Would Be Irresponsible to Put Him On’
Then-President Donald Trump called into Fox Business Network on Jan. 6, 2021, and was not put on air by the network as top executives deemed doing so would be “irresponsible,” according to a court filing.
The revelation is yet another bombshell detail revealed by Dominion Voting System’s newly unsealed court filing in the company’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News.
“The afternoon of January 6, after the Capitol came under attack, then-President Trump dialed into Lou Dobbs’ show attempting to get on air,” the Dominion filing read.
“But Fox executives vetoed that decision. Why? Not because of a lack of newsworthiness. January 6 was an important event by any measure. President Trump not only was the sitting President, he was the key figure that day,” the filing added.
Fox Business Network President Lauren Petterson testified that the network believed at the time “it would be irresponsible to put him on air” and that Trump’s words “could impact a lot of people in a negative way.”
CNN reported on the Dominion filing revelations and noted, “The House select committee that investigated the January 6 attack did not know that Trump had made this call, according to a source familiar with the panel’s work.” CNN noted that Trump’s attempted call revealed that “gaps in the record” of what Trump did on Jan. 6 remain, despite the committee’s best efforts to piece together a timeline of his actions that day.
Notably, Dobbs’ show on Fox Business was canceled by the network weeks after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Dobbs’ regularly interviewed Trump on air during his presidency and became a vocal supporter of Trump’s roundly debunked allegations that the 2020 election was stolen, allegations which fueled the attack on the Capitol.
The Dominion filing revealed other internal communications from Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham who all voiced their concerns with some of the conspiracy theories being spread regarding the 2020 election and the events on Jan. 6.
Fox News issued a statement responding to the Dominion filing.
“There will be a lot of noise and confusion generated by Dominion and their opportunistic private equity owners, but the core of this case remains about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, which are fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution and protected by New York Times v. Sullivan,” Fox said. “Dominion has mischaracterized the record, cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law.”
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