Fox News Reportedly Insisted Seven-Figure Seth Rich Settlement Be Kept Secret Until After Election
Fox News had a very unique mandate attached to their settlement with the parents of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, Joel Rich and Mary Rich, stemming from their lawsuit against the cable news network: the seven-figure settlement amount would stay a secret until after the presidential election.
The revelations came Sunday night in a column from The New York Times media columnist Ben Smith.
The lawsuit from the Rich family came after Fox News fueled the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich, a DNC staffer police believe was killed in a botched robbery, was actually assassinated because he sent DNC emails to Wikileaks. The baseless theory was pushed by supporters of President Donald Trump in a bid to absolve Russia in the DNC hack.
“Fox’s decision to settle with the Rich family came just before its marquee hosts, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, were set to be questioned under oath in the case, a potentially embarrassing moment. And Fox paid so much that the network didn’t have to apologize for the May 2017 story on FoxNews.com,” Smith reported.
Smith then added in his column that Fox “insisted” on the settlement coming after Election Day.
“But there was one curious provision that Fox insisted on: The settlement had to be kept secret for a month — until after the Nov. 3 election. The exhausted plaintiffs agreed,” Smith noted.
Smith sent the following questions to Fox regarding the timing of the settlement:
Why did Fox care about keeping the Rich settlement secret for the final month of the Trump re-election campaign? Why was it important to the company, which calls itself a news organization, that one of the biggest lies of the Trump era remain unresolved for that period? Was Fox afraid that admitting it was wrong would incite the president’s wrath? Did network executives fear backlash from their increasingly radicalized audience, which has been gravitating to other conservative outlets?
Both Fox News and their lawyer Joe Terry “declined to answer” the Times’ questions on the matter, Smith said.
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