The nearly-$800 million settlement that Fox News agreed to pay to Dominion Voting Systems over promoting knowingly false election claims reportedly came down to a "secret mediator" who made calls from a boat and hotel while on vacation.
Fox News on Tuesday agreed to the massive $780 million settlement with Dominion, and then issued a statement in which the network appeared to act like absolutely nothing had changed. The deal came as a surprise to many onlookers, who expected a trial after which Fox might ultimately be held responsible for false claims spread as news.
That resignation to a difficult trial was also the attitude of many at Fox, according to the Washington Post. The outlet reported that, upon request of the court, a vacationing "secret mediator" was able to get the job done when everyone was expecting the talks to fail ahead of trial.
"The two sides obliged, and lawyers spent the weekend attempting to hammer out a deal without getting far. The space between them was still vast. Running out of time, they sent an emergency email Sunday morning to longtime mediator Jerry Roscoe, who was floating down the Danube River," according to the WaPo report.
Roscoe reportedly saw the gap in the two sides' requests, and made as many as 50 calls to both parties to try resolving them. The vacationing mediator made those calls from a hotel, a boat, and a bus, according to the report.
“Both sides had good lawyers and wanted to see if they could resolve the case,” he told the outlet. “But I wasn’t sure we would resolve it until it was actually resolved.”
The deal was made and the problems were resolved. And now the world is looking to Smartmatic, another voting-machine company with similar litigation pending against Fox News and other.