Top Fox News executive worried audience was ‘furious’ after Trump loss
Fox News Media’s top executive worried the network had angered its viewers in the days following the 2020 election, and warned her leadership team it was losing control of the narrative being spun for its audience, newly revealed court documents show.
“This has to stop now,” Suzanne Scott, the network’s CEO wrote in an e-mail to Meade Cooper, who is charge of primetime programming at the network. “This is bad business and there clearly is a lack of understanding what is happening in these shows. The audience is furious and we are just feeding them materiel. Bad for business.”
The internal message was part of a slew of documents released by Dominion Voting Systems this week as part of its $1.6 Billion defamation lawsuit against Fox. The company is alleging the network knowingly aired false statements about its software from former president Trump and his allies following his election loss.
Internal communications between top hosts and Fox employees made public over the last month as part of the lawsuit show hosts and executives at the network throwing cold water on Trump’s election claims but worrying how fact-checks of those claims might anger its audience.
“Please get her fired,” top host Tucker Carlson wrote to fellow pundit Sean Hannity in one previously revealed text message about White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich after she fact checked a tweet from Trump promoting some of the Dominion claims. “Seriously….What the f—? I’m actually shocked…It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”
Fox has accused Dominion of “cherry picking” quotes from its executives and employees in an attempt to drum up press coverage of the case and embarrass the network.
The network said this week the messages from Scott “is not about fact checking – the issue at hand is one host calling out another.”
“These documents once again demonstrate Dominion’s continued reliance on cherry-picked quotes without context to generate headlines in order to distract from the facts of this case,” the network said in a statement. “The foundational right to a free press is at stake and we will continue to fiercely advocate for the First Amendment in protecting the role of news organizations to cover the news.”
A judge in Delaware is expected to rule on motions for summary judgement by both sides in the coming days. A trial is slated to being in April.
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