Fox Chief Described Fact-Check as 'Bad for Business'

'This has to stop now,' she wrote in email after correspondent debunked election claims
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2023 7:40 AM CDT
Fox Chief Said Election Fact-Check Was 'Bad for Business'
The Fox News studios and headquarters in New York City on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

"This has to stop now," Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott wrote to another exec after one of the network's correspondents fact-checked some of then-President Trump's falsehoods about his election loss. In emails released Wednesday as part of Dominion Voting Systems' $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the network, Scott described Eric Shawn's fact-check of Trump and a Sean Hannity guest as "bad business," CNN reports. "There is a lack of understanding what is happening in these shows,” she wrote in the December 2020 email. "The audience is furious and we are just feeding them material. Bad for business." the Guardian reports.

In a November 2020 email, Scott complained about another fact-check, reports the Guardian. "I can't keep defending these reporters who don’t understand our viewers and how to handle stories," she wrote, complaining that the audience felt "crapped on" and Fox Nation had lost 25,000 subscribers. In other emails made public Wednesday, Lou Dobbs' producers said any day with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, two of the most prominent proponents of election conspiracy theories, was "pure gold"—and Rupert Murdoch said Trump's lies about the election were "pretty much a crime." "Trump insisting on the election being stolen and convincing 25% of Americans was a huge disservice to the country," he wrote to Scott on Jan. 20, 2021, per CNN. "Pretty much a crime. Inevitable it blew up on Jan 6th. "

Dominion says the emails and other communications previously released show that Fox aired material that had been debunked by its own fact-checkers. In a statement, Fox News said the newly released emails "demonstrate Dominion’s continued reliance on cherry-picked quotes without context," Mediaite reports. A trial expected to last five weeks will begin on April 17. (More Fox News stories.)

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