Hello and happy Saturday. If you are one of those readers whom we affectionately call our “freelisters”—meaning you’ve given us your email address but not signed up for a paid membership—you already heard from me once this week. From time to time, we send out emails reminding you that we think The Dispatch is a good value and we’d like to have you join us.
In my email, I recalled my own experience of observing how the media world changed as internet publishing evolved: While in the before times there were few options for readers who wanted a conservative perspective on things, what emerged from the primordial soup of the early online years was a bit of a mixed bag. The proliferation of news and opinion sources spawned a race to the bottom in a quest for eyeballs and clicks.
What I was not anticipating was that my point would be made so dramatically and succinctly by one of the big stories of the week.
Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for defamation in March 2021, claiming that Fox News smeared the company by elevating false claims of fraud during the 2020 election. The network’s hosts and guests—including Sean Hannity, Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, and Trump sycophant Mike Lindell—made outlandish claims about Dominion machines being used to rig the election in favor of Joe Biden. (If you would like to be reminded of the specifics, please see our fact checks here, here, and here.)