Fox News host Jeanine Pirro is finally having to explain herself — testifying along with several of her on-air colleagues for unsubstantiated claims made against Dominion Voting Systems. Now it has been revealed that a Fox News producer told their co-workers in an email that the former Judge could be more trouble to keep on the air than she’s worth.
The November 2020 email from an anguished Fox News news producer to their colleagues sent up a flare amid a fusillade of false claims, according to NPR.
“The producer warned: Fox cannot let host Jeanine Pirro back on the air. She is pulling conspiracy theories from dark corners of the Web to justify then-President Donald Trump’s lies that the election had been stolen from him. The existence of the email, confirmed by two people with direct knowledge of it, is first publicly disclosed by NPR in this story. Fox News declined comment,” NPR reported.
After then-president Trump’s election loss, his allies at Fox News echoed the delusional outgoing commander-in-chief’s baseless claims of mass voter fraud, making the longtime election software maker the target of their lives.
Pirro, along with Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Sean Hannity have been subpoenaed to testify in Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation suit.
A part of the discovery of evidence, a treasure trove of electronic communications is in the hands of Dominion’s attorneys, who allege that the company has been “irreparably harmed” by the lies, conspiracy theories, and wild claims of election fraud that aired on Fox News.
A former Westchester County district attorney, Judge Pirro made wild claims on the November 14, 2020 episode of Justice with Judge Jeanine that votes were “switched” from Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
“We heard complaints that 6,000 votes from Trump to Biden were switched. Repeated complaints of people not asking for ballots, but receiving many have been sworn to and affidavits. The Dominion Software System has been tagged as one allegedly capable of flipping votes. Now, you’ll hear from Sidney Powell in a few minutes, who will explain what she has unearthed in the creation of Dominion. And yet, we are criticized because we’re asking questions,” Pirro said in the broadcast.
Just asking questions? Sounds like another Fox News host we know.
Always skewing heavily toward the right, in recent years Fox News has gotten brazen and bold with its theories with less news coverage, and more opinion-mongering – playing fast and loose with the truth in such a reckless way that most other developed countries have banned the faux news network. The network’s “Money Honey,” Maria Bartiromo said in an interview with Trump shortly after the election, “This is disgusting and we cannot allow America’s election to be corrupted.”
The Fox Business host also claimed that an “intel source,” told her that Trump won – without providing a scintilla of evidence or context.
“Asked by NPR whether Fox still considers Bartiromo a news anchor, and thus part of Fox’s news and reporting division, rather than its opinion side, a network spokeswoman declined to comment. It is the first time Fox has not identified Bartiromo as a news-side journalist when directly asked by NPR”, the public broadcaster reported
The $1.6 billion lawsuit includes claims by Dominion Voting Systems that project that the company will lose over half a billion dollars over the next eight years – having had multiple contracts canceled since the conspiracy theories and lies began – including a $10 million contract in Ohio and losing out on a $100 million deal in Louisiana.
Dominion has the task of “proving” whether or not Pirro and other Fox employees were aware that they were spreading malicious lies. A media law professor at the University of Georgia, Jonathan Peters, told NPR via email:
“This usually takes into account such factors as what the personnel knew at the time they published, whether the sources were reliable, whether the defendant ignored clear signs that the statements were wrong, whether the defendant investigated the facts, and what motives shaped the statements.”
As a former judge and prosecutor, one expects Jeanine Pirro to know better. Whether or not she knew she was spreading lies – she darn well should have.
Original reporting by David Folkenflik at NPR.
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