As Donald Trump continues to stamp his feet and throw lunatic Twitter tantrums insisting that he really did win the presidential election, his media enablers are finally being held to account.
A Washington Post story details the efforts that Fox News was forced to make after the election technology company Smartmatic sent a 20-page legal demand letter to the network demanding that it issue “a full and complete retraction of all false and defamatory statements and reports” aired in its coverage of the presidential election and its tallying.
With numerous hosts on Fox News amplifying Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him by a massive campaign of coordinated voter fraud and interviewing guests such as members of the defeated president’s motley legal team who spouted tin-foil hat conspiracy theories about Smartmatic’s supposedly malicious vote-counting software, the letter was the first salvo in the company’s response to the unproven, evidence-free accusations by the Trump campaign.
“Fox News has engaged in a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic. Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by [the late Venezuelan President] Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes,” Smartmatic’s letter asserted.
According to the software company, its role in this year’s election was relatively minor, acting only as an election contractor for Los Angeles County in California.
Thanks to the legal threat from the tech company, Fox News viewers this weekend were treated to the viewing of an early holiday feast as some of the network’s top hosts were forced to eat their words by broadcasting a segment refuting all the claims they had earlier been gleefully disseminating.
On Friday evening, the anchor of the top-rated program on Fox Business Network, Lou Dobbs, could be seen introducing a very different segment than his usual post-election rants about how a second term was stolen from Trump by a rigged election.
“There are lots of opinions about the integrity of the election, the irregularities of mail-in voting, of election voting machines and voting software,” Dobbs said while introducing Edward Perez, an expert with the nonprofit Open Source Election Technology Institute, to give “his assessment of Smartmatic and recent claims about the company” in a pre-taped segment that was obviously mandated by Fox‘s legal department.
Indeed, Dobbs’ program has in recent weeks included what Smartmatic called “false and defamatory statements/implications” from both Dobbs himself and Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, with the Fox Business host characterizing the company’s management as “left-wing radicals.”
The segment that aired on Dobb’s show on Friday night also aired on other programs hosted by the most vociferous of the president’s election fraud-claim enablers on Fox News channels including those of Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo.
Smartmatic’s legal team has reportedly sent similar letters to both Newsmax and OAN, two other right-wing media outlets that have made similar false claims on their airwaves about the company, but neither of those channels has yet to make efforts to address the tech company’s demands.
You can read the entire article regarding Smartmatic’s efforts to rehabilitate its reputation after the coordinated campaign by Trump and his media lapdogs to destroy it in an effort to reverse his landslide loss to Joe Biden here in The Washington Post.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.