This is it.
The media defamation trial of the century is on the precipice of kicking off in Wilmington, Delaware, in simply days.
Jury choice in Dominion Voting Systems’ monster $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit befell all of Thursday, with 300 potential jurors being summoned to courtroom. Good progress was made and the presiding judge famous that there have been “greater than sufficient jurors” to begin the trial as scheduled on Monday.
It is there, in Courtroom 7E, the place the most important figures in Murdoch Media, accompanied by a throng of high-powered legal professionals, will try and mount their protection after repeatedly failing to persuade a judge to toss the now-historic case.
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It’s, frankly, extraordinary to jot down these phrases. When I watched Fox News broadcast election lies within the aftermath of the 2020 election, by no means did I anticipate the community to be held accountable in a significant approach.
I’ve coated Fox News for some time now. I’ve watched 1000’s and 1000’s of hours of the right-wing channel’s programming. I’ve seen its hosts through the years undermine public well being, make gross anti-immigrant remarks, peddle lies and propaganda and push deranged conspiracy theories that have been as soon as reserved for the right-wing’s furthest fringes.
The community has all the time appeared to discover a strategy to sail by way of the controversy, even essentially the most hellish storms it has confronted. Sometimes it has emerged even stronger and extra emboldened than earlier than.
But this time is totally different. This time, the traditional tips the community turns to throughout instances of disaster won’t free it from bother. This time, in a courtroom of regulation, the community might want to put ahead an trustworthy, fact-driven argument.
Fox News is about to enter the true No Spin Zone, the place deception is strictly prohibited. Where it isn’t in cost. And the place its prime executives like Rupert Murdoch and Suzanne Scott and hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity can not merely ignore a request for remark and resort to, as a substitute, attacking “the media” on-air.
In this setting, the place lies can’t be casually advised and fact can’t be distorted past actuality to suit a dishonest narrative, it is going to be fascinating to see how the community fares. If the pre-trial hearings are any indicator, it gained’t be fairly. The case hasn’t even began and the presiding judge has already misplaced his endurance with Fox’s authorized staff and put them on discover.
Perhaps the winds will shift for Fox News when the judge gavels within the trial on Monday. But in the event that they play out like the previous few weeks of courtroom have, Fox News is in for a brutal experience.