- New emails and texts released in Dominion Voting System’s case against Fox News highlighted internal strife.
- The three prime-time hosts, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, felt sidelined after the Arizona call.
- “We are officially working for an organization that hates us,” Ingraham texted the two hosts in November 2020.
New emails and texts released as a part of Dominion Voting System’s defamation lawsuit against Fox News revealed how top hosts panicked and felt sidelined after the network correctly called Arizona for Joe Biden on election night 2020.
On Tuesday, a new series of internal emails, private texts, and depositions helped illuminate the internal rifts between Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and their coworkers after the network called Arizona for Biden.
The transcripts were released Tuesday as part of Dominion’s 1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which claims that the network gave prominence to the election-fraud claims as a tactic to revive viewership as ratings dropped after President Donald Trump’s loss.
In a text thread included in Tuesday’s filing, the three hosts lamented that Fox’s election decision desk director Arnon Mishkin made the call, and bashed other colleagues who defended it.
“We are officially working for an organization that hates us,” Ingraham texted Hannity and Carlson on November 16, 2020, according to court documents. “Why would anyone defend that call,” Hannity responds. “I’m disgusted at this point.”
In the text thread, the hosts strategize as to how to push back against the stance the network took in officially recognizing Biden’s election victory.
“I think the three of us have enormous power,” Ingraham adds. “We have more power than we know or exercise.”
“The first thing we need to do exactly what we want to do,” Carlson writes in the thread. “That’s the key.”
By January 2021, according to the new filings, network chief Rupert Murdoch emailed Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and said, “It’s been suggested that our prime time three should independently or together say something like ‘the election is over and Joe Biden won. We are all dissapointed but it happened. We love America and have to turn the page.'”
Murdoch was also quoted from his depositions in the case, agreeing that he “seriously doubted” any claims of widespread election fraud pushed by the Trump camp.
The transcripts have further pulled the curtain back on Fox News leaders in the wake of the 2020 election and the conspiracy theories that spread afterward.
Last week, Dominion released new filings which included deposition excerpts and claims that Murdoch gave former Trump advisor Jared Kushner confidential information about Joe Biden’s strategic moves in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
Dominion Voting Systems opposed Fox News’ move to throw out the lawsuit in a new filing last week, in a high-stakes case set for an April trial.
A Fox News spokesperson told Insider, in part, that Dominion’s legal team took Fox News comments out of context.
“Thanks to today’s filings, Dominion has been caught red-handed using more distortions and misinformation in their PR campaign to smear FOX News and trample on free speech and freedom of the press,” a Fox News spokesperson told Insider in a statement on Tuesday. “We already know they will say and do anything to try to win this case, but to twist and even misattribute quotes to the highest levels of our company is truly beyond the pale.”
Dominion manufactures and sells electronic voting hardware, software, and voting machines, and was repeatedly targeted with conspiracies in the wake of the 2020 election.
In the company’s lawsuit, Dominion claimed that Fox News “sold a false story of election fraud in order to serve its own commercial purposes, severely injuring Dominion in the process.”
Two months later, Fox News filed to dismiss the motion, and by December 2021, a judge had rejected Fox’s motion.