Fox News Reaches Eye-Popping Settlement With Dominion Voting Systems
Happy Wednesday! You wouldn’t know it from reading the mainstream media, but the United States was nearly hit with a constitutional crisis yesterday.
Had two Secret Service agents not valiantly intercepted the curious toddler who squeezed through the fencing on the north side of the White House, who knows what kind of adorable hijinks he could’ve gotten into?
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Fighting in Sudan continued yesterday even after the two sides—the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire. The death toll in the conflict, which broke out late last week, is nearing 300, and reports continue to emerge of armed personnel targeting employees of the United Nations and other international organizations; a gunman believed to be affiliated with the RSF fired on a U.S. embassy convoy Monday night. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said no Americans were killed or injured in the incident—which he called “reckless and irresponsible”—while White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said yesterday Americans in Sudan should continue to shelter in place and not expect a U.S government-coordinated evacuation of American citizens.
- The Justice Department charged four U.S. citizens and one Russian national on Tuesday for their alleged participation in an influence campaign run by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The DOJ says the defendants attempted to influence elections by infiltrating the African People’s Socialist Party and the Uhuru Movement—two political parties active in Florida—as well as parties and political organizations in Missouri, Georgia, and California. Prosecutors also accused one defendant—Moscow-based Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov—of funding and directing a campaign for local office in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- Detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich showed up in Russian court on Tuesday—his first public appearance since his arrest by Russian security services last month—as a judge dismissed his request to be released from pretrial detention. Designated “wrongfully detained” by the U.S. State Department, Gershkovich has been charged with espionage, which could carry a 20-year prison sentence. After today’s ruling, he will be detained until at least May 29.
- The Chinese Communist Party claimed Tuesday the Chinese economy grew 4.5 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023 as the country reopened in earnest after intense COVID-19 lockdowns that continued well into 2022. Retail sales purportedly experienced strong rebounds, while the real estate sector faltered. The CCP said the overall unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, but youth unemployment remained near all-time highs at 19.6 percent.
- The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it has updated its authorization of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to favor the one-shot bivalent vaccine developed to boost immunity to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants of COVID-19 as well as the original strain. The original, monovalent vaccines, the FDA said, are no longer authorized for use in the United States. Most people who’ve received a bivalent vaccine are not yet eligible for another dose, but the agency authorized a booster for certain immunocompromised individuals and those ages 65 and older. An outside Centers for Disease Control panel is set to vote on the changes to the vaccine regimen later today.
- Fox News agreed on Tuesday to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million as part of a last-minute settlement resolving the latter’s defamation lawsuit against the cable news network. The payout is about half of the $1.6 billion for which Dominion originally sued, but is still one of the largest-ever sums handed out in a defamation case. “We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” Fox said in a statement.
- President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden released their federal income tax return Tuesday, showing they made $579,514 in 2022 and paid $137,658 in federal income taxes—about 23.8 percent, above the national average of 14 percent for all U.S. households. The Bidens also reported over $20,000 in donations to almost two dozen charities, including the Beau Biden Foundation, their home parish in Delaware, and National Fraternal Order of Police Foundation.
- Three more House Republicans—Reps. John Rutherford, Greg Steube, and Lance Gooden—have pledged their support to former President Donald Trump’s 2024 bid this week, with Gooden’s endorsement coming immediately after he had a “positive meeting” with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Washington, D.C. Just one House Republican from Florida—Rep. Laurel Lee, a former member of DeSantis’ administration—has endorsed DeSantis thus far.
- Damar Hamlin—the Buffalo Bills defensive back who collapsed and went into cardiac arrest during a game in January—announced Tuesday he’s been medically cleared to return to the NFL, and he plans to do so. “I just wanna show people that fear is a choice, that you can keep going in something without having the answers and without knowing what’s at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “This event was life changing, but it’s not the end of my story.”
Fox Pays Up
WILMINGTON, Del.—In July 2021, Lachlan Murdoch sent an email to all Fox Corporation employees expressing his gratitude for their hard work and letting each and every one of them know they’d be receiving a bonus of at least $2,000. “Thank you for the important role you played in FOX achieving its business goals while also fulfilling our responsibilities to the communities and audiences we serve,” he reportedly wrote.
If those checks come in a little smaller this year, the Fox rank and file will know who to blame. Late Tuesday afternoon, Fox News reached a staggering $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, resolving a defamation lawsuit that had roiled the right-wing media organization for more than two years—just minutes before it was set to go to trial. At issue, of course, were the myriad falsehoods the network aired and endorsed concerning the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.