Dominion case against Fox could worsen as battle rages over redacted passages
Laura Ingraham speaking with attendees at the 2018 Student Action Summit in 2018. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

A Dominion Voting Systems legal brief that contains a wealth of text and emails sent between Fox News executives and on-air personalities that admits they were spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election results also contains about 35 redacted passages — and now questions are being raised about what is being hidden.

In his column for the Washington Post, media critic Eric Wemple pointed out the redactions came at the request of Fox News lawyers over objections by Dominion, and that does not bode well for the conservative news network as it attempts to stave off the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit that some legal experts predict Fox will lose.

In one passage documented in the Washington Post report, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott is mentioned, stating her "email to Meade Cooper after Fox News Eric Shawn fact-checked Sean Hannity's claims of election fraud says it all," followed by four lines that have been redacted.

According to Wemple, "Impenetrable black expanses in the filing thwart a complete understanding of what was happening as Fox News faced down a ratings collapse."

He continued, "All told, there are about 35 redacted passages in the opening narrative of Dominion’s Feb. 16 filing, a collection of anecdotes that launched a frenzy of negative press for Fox News," before adding, "Both parties are working under an order allowing them to protect certain discovery materials — sensitive, proprietary, commercially sensitive information, for example — from unrestricted public release. All filings containing such designated material must be filed under seal and appropriately redacted before public release."

In a motion to unseal all the information in the Dominion brief, lawyers for NPR argued, "It has been the subject of widespread public interest and media coverage and undeniably involves a matter of profound public interest: namely, how a broadcast network fact-checked and presented to the public the allegations that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen and that plaintiff [Dominion] was to blame.”

Wemple also reported, "In a Feb. 17 filing, Dominion itself challenged the confidential treatment of material in three recent briefs by itself, Fox News and Fox Corp. All the redactions across all three briefs are there at the Fox Defendants’ request, the document notes."

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