Mar 11 • 53M

Theory of Change #063: Justin Baragona and Diana Falzone on Dominion's Fox Files

Dominion’s Fox lawsuit has utterly exposed that Rupert Murdoch's Fox isn’t news


Appears in this episode

Matthew Sheffield
Lots of people want to change the world. But how does change happen? History is filled with stories of people and institutions that spent big and devoted many resources to effect change but have little to show for it. By contrast, many societal developments have happened without forethought from anyone. And of course, change can be negative as well as positive. In each episode of this weekly program, Theory of Change host Matthew Sheffield delves deep with guests to discuss larger trends in politics, religion, media, and technology.
Episode details
Then-president Donald Trump participates in a town hall interview taping with Sean Hannity of Fox News at Green Bay-Austin Struble International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin. June 25, 2020, (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

The Australian-American media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel has accumulated billions of dollars by monetizing and stoking the rage of a large segment of the public against their fellow Americans through thousands of contrived controversies like “The War on Christmas,” and constant obsessions over cartoon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Lego building blocks—even M&Ms chocolate candy.

But now, for the first time in 27 years, Fox Corporation is facing a real serious threat to its bottom line from Dominion Voting Systems, an election logistics company that launched a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the right-wing infotainment channel for spreading lies that Dominion had cheated in the 2020 election which Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden.

The case is one of the most serious threats against a large American media company in decades, but the lawsuit’s court filings have also been very illuminative in that they’ve given everyone a look at the inner-workings of Fox.

Thousands of emails and text messages produced in the litigation have shown that Fox’s leadership and hosts think their audience cannot bear to hear too many things that conflict with their false beliefs. They also reveal irrevocably that Fox isn’t a news channel. It’s a Republican campaign organization.

In this episode, we’re joined by two reporters who have done a lot of great work covering Fox over the years. Justin Baragona is a senior media reporter at the Daily Beast and also Diana Falzone, who is a contributing editor at the Daily Beast. They just published one this week about how the lawsuit disclosures are affecting the employees at Fox.

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