Tucker Carlson called Trump a ‘demonic force’ and other wild Dominion lawsuit texts End-shutdown


Tucker Carlson (Janos Kummer/Getty Images) / Donald Trump (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A new court filing claims that many of Fox News’ stars and executives knew the claims pushed by former President Donald Trump were lies, but Fox News continued to push the same conspiracies to its millions of viewers anyway.

The 200-page court filingfiled as part of the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit brought by election technology company Dominion against the media giant for airing unsubstantiated conspiracies about voting machine fraud, was published Thursday.

The presentation contains details of private messages, emails and testimonials from some of the most recognizable names in Fox News, including hosts Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. It also included messages from the station’s owners, the Murdoch family.

The claims made in the filing are monumental: the filing, in addition to claiming that Fox News continued to spread lies about voter fraud while ridiculing them in private, also shows how some of the stars and station executives fired guests such as former lawyers. of Trump. Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell as “a crazy person” and “a fucking nutcase”, respectively.

The filing also claims that Carlson called Trump “a demonic force” and said that Fox’s own internal fact-checking group, known as Brainroom, concluded that the Dominion allegations pushed by Trump were “incorrect” and that “there was no evidence of generalized”. scam.”

“It is almost impossibly difficult in this country for a public figure to win a defamation lawsuit,” Columbia School of Journalism Professor Bill Grueskin tweeted about the case Thursday night. “One of the only ways to do that is to show that the defendant exhibited ‘reckless disregard for the truth.’ Fox has come as close to doing that as any media company he’s ever seen.”

A Fox News spokesperson called the court filing “noise and confusion” and added that “at the core of this case remains freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which are fundamental rights granted by the Constitution.”

Here are some of the more scandalous details from Dominion’s new court filing:

“Trump is a demonic force”

Days after the 2020 election, Fox News host Tucker Carlson texted his producer Alex Pfeiffer about the station’s decision to call Arizona for President Joe Biden before any other network.

“We work so hard to build what we have,” Carlson wrote on November 5, 2020. “Those bastards are destroying our credibility. It infuriates me.

Pfeiffer responded, saying that “a lot of ‘our side’ are being reckless demagogues right now.”

“Of course they are,” Carlson replied, according to the file. “We are not going to follow them”, adding “What [Trump]He’s good at destroying things. He is the undisputed world champion of that. He could easily destroy us if we played poorly.”

Months later, on January 6, 2021, hours after the insurgents invaded the Capitol, Carlson texted Pfeiffer again: “Trump is a demonic force, a destroyer. But he’s not going to destroy us.”

“She’s a fucking crazy”

Sidney Powell, who filed dozens of so-called Kraken lawsuits on behalf of the Trump campaign in the weeks and months after the 2020 election, became a frequent guest on Fox News.

But behind the scenes, Fox staff, from hosts and producers to executives, admitted in text messages that they knew the claims he was selling were lies, the new filing claims.

“All that narrative that Sidney was pushing. I didn’t believe it for a second,” Fox News host Sean Hannity admitted in affidavits given in August 2022 despite repeatedly giving her airtime on his show, even after Trump had disavowed her.

Carlson, who also had Powell on his show multiple times, at one point texted his producer on November 16 to say, “Sidney Powell is lying. Damn bitches.” It’s unclear what Carlson was specifically referring to, as the earlier part of the presentation is redacted.

Days later, on November 18, Carlson texted his Fox News colleague Laura Ingraham, “Sidney Powell is lying by the way. he caught her from her It’s crazy.” Ingraham texted back: “Sidney is completely crazy. No one will work with her. Same with Rudy [Giuliani].”

But a day later, Fox News aired the press conference with Powell and Giuliani that took place at Four Seasons’ Total Landscaping company.

On November 22, Fox VP Raj Shah texted Carlson’s producer Pfeiffer: “The shit is so crazy right now that a lot of people are outright denying the obvious that Powell is clearly full of it.” . Pfeiffer responded, “She’s a crazy freak.”

In the same day Trump finally disavowed Powell. Later that night, Carlson texted Ingraham that he was the one who suggested to the White House that they distance themselves from Powell.

Powell is crazy, like you said at the beginning. he totally ruined my weekend. Wow, I had to try and get WH to disavow her, which they obviously should have done long before then,” Carlson said in a text message, according to the new filing.

“Internally Decapitated”

When Fox News host Maria Bartiromo asked where Powell got all his information, Powell sent her, and Lou Dobbs, an email he had received from a “source” titled: “Voting Fraud Information.”

“Wer bin ich?” asks the author of the email. “And how do I know all this? I have had the strangest dreams since I was a child, I was decapitated internally and yet I am alive. The wind tells me I’m a ghost, but I don’t believe it.”

The email alleged, without evidence, that Dominion was the common thread in election irregularities in several states. He also made some other wild claims:

“The email also claimed that Justice Scalia was purposely killed at the annual Bohemian Grove campout during a week-long manhunt expedition and that former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (who died in 2017), and Rupert Murdoch meet in secret on most days to determine how best to portray Trump as worst as possible,” the new court filing reads.

Powell’s source also claimed in this email that he gets his information by experiencing “something like time travel in a semi-conscious state,” which allows him to “see what others don’t see and hear what others don’t hear.”

Dominion claims in the filing that the “full force of the email craze comes out upon reading it in its entirety,” but sadly the full email was not provided in the court filing.

“Giuliani is so full of shit”

Behind the scenes, Fox News staff mocked Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who pushed many wild election conspiracies, including those involving Dominion voting machines.

Hannity called Giuliani “a crazy person” in a November 11, 2020 text message, and in January 2021, Ingraham sent a text message calling him “a jerk.” However, both repeatedly hosted the former mayor of New York on their shows. John Fawcett, producer of “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which also repeatedly featured Giuliani, sent a message on January 3, 2021, saying, “Giuliani is so full of shit.”

According to the filing, Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch emailed Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott while watching Giuliani spout conspiracies on the channel: “We don’t want to antagonize Trump any more, but Giuliani [should be] taken with a large grain of salt. Everything is at stake here.”

“Please Get Her Fired”

A group conversation between Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham provided many of the insights contained in Thursday’s presentation, including a Nov. 12 conversation in which Carlson suggested a Fox News reporter should be fired for deciding to fact-check a Trump tweet. on your own. Twitter account.

The filing says that reporter Jacqui Heinrich “accurately verified” Trump’s claims in a tweet of his own, noting that “top election infrastructure officials” had concluded that “there is no evidence that any voting system removed or lost votes, changed votes, or was compromised in some way.”

Referencing Heinrich’s tweet, Carlson told Hannity: “Please get her fired. Oh really. What the fuck? Actually surprised. She has to stop immediately, like tonight. She is hurting the company considerably. The stock price has gone down. It is not a joke.”

Hannity took action, and hours later, Fox News CEO Suzanna Scott messaged Wallace and Fox News SVP of corporate communications Irena Briganti:

“Sean texted me, he’s refraining from replying but he’s not happy about this and doesn’t understand how someone in the End-shutdown allows this to happen. she [Heinrich] He has a lot of nerve to do this and if this is caught, viewers will be even more upset.”

Hours later, Heinrich deleted the tweet.

“The elections are over and Joe Biden won”

Dominion’s presentation makes it clear that many of the Fox hosts and executives knew that Donald Trump lost the election. The day before the riot at the Capitol, Rupert Murdoch floated the idea that his main presenters (Carlson, Ingraham and Hannity) should make a joint statement to that end.

“It has been suggested that our primetime three should independently or together say something to the effect that the election is over and Joe Biden won, and that such a statement would go a long way to stop the Trump myth that the election is over. [was] stolen,” Murdoch wrote in an email to Scott.

Scott forwarded the email to Fox News executive End-shutdown president Meade Cooper, stating that she “told Rupert that privately they’re all there, we need to be careful using the shows and pissing off viewers, but they know how to navigate.”

Such a statement was never made public.

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