CNN Legal Analyst Tells Don Lemon That Dominion Lawsuit ‘Is A Real Threat To Fox News’


CNN legal analyst Elie Honig told Don Lemon that the $1.6 billion lawsuit by Dominion Voting systems is “a real threat to Fox News.”

On Friday night’s edition of CNN Tonight, Lemon introduced viewers to the story of the massive lawsuit by playing multiple clips from Fox News personalities like Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, and Maria Bartiromo making claims that are the subject of the  suit.

He followed the montage by noting “Well, a spokesperson for Fox tells CNN the network is proud of its election coverage and describes it as being in the highest tradition of American journalism,” then added a wry “Okay.”

The Fox News statement provided to Mediaite read, in full, “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.”

“Yeah, Don, it’s right in front of us,” Honig said, then added “This lawsuit is a real threat to Fox News. This thing has real teeth.”

Honig and Lemon then broke down the suit, and what the plaintiffs need to prove:

HONIG: Look, there are two things, let’s bring it down, that Dominion has to prove. One, the statements were false. We don’t even need to waste any time on that. We all know the statements were false.

The second thing is that Fox News knew they were false or recklessly disregarded the falsity. I mean, look, take it from Sidney Powell. Sidney Powell herself, one of the main architects of this whole big lie, has said this was so ridiculous that no reasonable person would have believed it. Now, Fox News, what are they going to say? We were so dense. We were so dumb that we believed it? They’re in a tough spot.

LEMON: Yeah. I just want to read from the suit, OK? And it says here, it says, Fox took a small flame and turned it into a forest fire. As the dominant media company among those viewers dissatisfied with the election results, Fox gave these fictions a prominence they otherwise would never have achieved.

This suit is a systematic takedown of Fox’s role in spreading that big role, and Dominion is not expected to settle here. So, what if they take this all the way to court? What are we going to learn here?

HONIG: Boy. Well, first of all, Fox has to be a little worried about the discovery process here. That’s the process where you get information from the other party. I mean, if they get to that point, if they don’t settle this thing, that means Dominion is going to get to take depositions of Fox News anchors, producers, executives. That means they’re going to see internal Fox memos, e-mails, that kind of thing. This could be really ugly for Fox.

The other is, Don, there will be accountability here. It is a Friday night, I’ll bring some good news. The big lie is crumbling and it’s crumbling from within. We’re seeing the leading perpetrator, whether it’s Sidney Powell, Fox News is even saying our own anchors aren’t to be believed. So, they’re turning on each other, the big lie is being exposed.

LEMON: Well, I mean, Dominion is specifically naming Maria Bartiromo in this lawsuit. Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, some of Fox’s most popular hosts. Dobbs’ show was actually cancelled two days after another company sued Fox over the same lies. So how much risk, if any, are they personally facing?

HONIG: Yeah, look, there’s real risk. You’re responsible for what you say on air. And, you know, Fox has taken this interesting tack with respect to its anchors. When Tucker Carlson got sued in another case, Fox argued in court, successfully actually, at the trial court level, he is not to be believed. Who takes him seriously? He is essentially a carnival barker.

At a certain point, if you call enough of your anchors carnival barkers in circus acts, you become a circus. So, I don’t know how long Fox can sustain that line of defense and remain a viable, credible media entity.

LEMON: That’s the Sidney Powell defense, right? No reasonable person would —

HONIG: Yeah.

LEMON: — think that she was telling the truth. We shall see. Elie, thank you.

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