Dominion might win its suit notwithstanding the general truth of what Kevin [Williamson] said in his piece, that “nothing short of a signed and notarized statement of intent to commit libel seems to satisfy judges or juries” in modern defamation litigation. What the company aimed to show in its nearly 200-page brief is that, by word and deed, Fox personnel from management on down did all but openly confess their intent to commit libel. They acknowledged privately that Trump’s conspiracy theories were false; they were warned repeatedly that those theories were false; they pressed ahead on the air with the big lie anyway.
But even if Dominion loses, it’ll have extracted a measure of moral compensation. Whatever else one might call programming that suppresses the truth if it might offend the audience, “news” ain’t it. (“Propaganda” sounds about right.) No one who reads Dominion’s pleading will ever look at Fox the same way. That’s why the company filed it.
I’ve been reading the pleading and … it’s something else. If Dominion doesn’t win this suit, then there is no law against defamation in this country, and “news” outlets can say anything they want about anyone at any time with absolute disregard for the truth. Which, come to think of it, is what they do already, I guess. Does anyone really believe that the NYT didn’t demonstrate “actual malice” against Sarah Palin when it repeatedly lied that she played a role in Gabby Giffords’ shooting? Of course not. It’s just that a lot of people believe that Palin is an official Bad Person and therefore deserves to be lied about.
Which is why Operation Diogenes must go on!