Rupert Murdoch and Fox News sued for sharing Biden’s ads with Trump campaign before they aired
Rupert Murdoch and Fox News’ parent company are being sued over claims that they shared campaign strategy from Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential run with Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The suit filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by progressive activist group Media Matters on Friday alleges Fox made an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign when they shared his opponent’s ads before they had aired on the network.
“(Fox’s) actions are not only an egregious violation of the (Federal Election Campaign) Act and the Commission’s regulations, but also a nefarious attempt by people in power to operate a press entity as a political organisation, in blatant disregard of the rules that govern our elections and democracy,” Media Matters CEO and president Angelo Carusone writes in the filing, which was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The allegations emerged last week in a filing from Dominion Voting System’s $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against Fox. Dominion cited internal communications and a deposition with Mr Murdoch.
Campaign finance laws ban corporations from providing contributions to political candidates. Media Matters argues in the suit that the FEC should treat private information about campaign strategy, advertising and messaging as a contribution.
Exemptions exist for media companies, but Media Matters claims that Fox Corporation was “not acting as a press entity when Murdoch provided the Committee with the Biden advertisements”.
The lawsuit emphasises that the Biden’s campaign advertisements were shared before they had run on air, and that steps were taken to hide any alleged wrongdoing.
“Murdoch’s secret conveyance of the Biden advertisement is even less like press activity than a cablecasting company sending campaign flyers in its bills – and neither can be protected by the press Exemption,” Mr Carusone argues.
Fox did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.
The sharing of confidential campaign information was just one of many damning revelations about Fox’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election contained in Dominion’s filings.
Mr Murdoch also admitted that Fox hosts platformed conspiracy theorists and spread false claims that the election had been rigged, despite trashing them in private.