Fox Corp Hit With Yet Another Lawsuit Over ‘Longstanding Practice of Allowing Conspiracy Theories’
Fox News parent company Fox Corporation found itself embroiled in yet another lawsuit on Tuesday related to Fox News’ coverage of the 2020 election.
According to the New York Times, New York City pension funds and the state of Oregon filed a lawsuit against Fox News for neglecting its fiduciary duty to shareholders by “allowing conspiracy theories” that made Fox the target of several defamation lawsuits.“
The complaint alleged that Fox Corporation and its board “chose to invite robust defamation claims, with potentially huge financial liability and potentially larger business repercussions, rather than disappoint viewers of Fox News.”
In a statement, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander added, “We are shareholders at a company that, unfortunately, has a longstanding practice of allowing conspiracy theories that its executives and its board know are false to be repeated over and over and over again, despite the very clear and present risk of defamation lawsuits eroding shareholder value.”
Lander accused the company of having made “no effort to make governance reforms,” before concluding, “Nobody likes losing their money as a result of preventable lawsuits.”
In its own statement, the Oregon Department of Justice claimed that the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund was also a “Fox investor” and that “the board of Fox Corporation took a massive risk in pursuing profits by perpetuating and peddling known falsehoods.”
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wrote, “The directors’ choices exposed themselves and the company to liability and exposed their shareholders to significant risks. That is the crux of our lawsuit, and we look forward to making our case in court.”
The Oregon Department of Justice specifically cited claims that the “murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich provided hacked emails to WikiLeaks” and “that election technology companies U.S. Dominion, Inc. and Smartmatic USA Corp. rigged the 2020 presidential election,” as just some of the conspiracy theories which had allegedly risked the investment of shareholders.
It also alleged that “Fox made no good-faith efforts to monitor for or mitigate defamation risk, unlike effectively every other major media organization in the country.”
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read said, “We aim to hold Fox’s board of directors, including Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, accountable for their decisions. We believe that this action is necessary in fulfilling our obligation to our beneficiaries.”
A defamation lawsuit filed against Fox by Dominion Voting Systems was settled for a whopping $787.5 million in April. Dominion Voting Systems sued both Fox Corporation and Fox News for airing commentary that suggested the company helped rig the 2020 presidential election.
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