So at the moment, it seems to be raining lawsuits and Fox News is getting drenched.
Let's talk about that because holding news organizations accountable for trying to peddle fiction as fact.
Like justice matters. Hail Glenn Kershner here, so more lawsuits are being filed against Fox News first, Smartmatic Voting Systems sued Fox News for two point seven billion dollars in a defamation suit.
And now Dominion Voting Systems has sued Fox for one point six billion dollars. Here's how The Washington Post reported that out. False claims from Fox News and Trump allies cited in Dominion's one point six billion dollar lawsuit. Now, Fox issued a statement in response to that suit being filed. Here's what it said. We are proud of our twenty twenty election coverage, which stands in the highest tradition of American journalism and will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit in court.
Well, that might sound good. But here's the problem, one of Fox News's marquee guests, Sidney Powell, Fox News, put Sidney Powell on TV over and over and over again to talk about how the election was rigged and fraudulent and stolen, while Sidney Powell has also been sued for defamation. And guess what she said in response to that lawsuit being brought against her? She didn't say that. What I said on Fox News was true to the contrary.
She said my statements about the election being rigged were not to be credited.
Here's how Vox reported that out. Sydney Powell gives up the game, admits Trump's election conspiracies weren't factual.
In response to Dominion's defamation lawsuit, Powles lawyers say reasonable people wouldn't buy her claims.
Yeah, but the problem is Fox News put her claims on and Donald Trump's base, the Fox audience did buy her claims and were inspired to attack the US Capitol as a result. But I'll tell you, folks, that puts Fox in a really tough litigation position when they are the ones who put Sidney Powell on TV over and over and over again.
And now Sidney Powell said, yeah, I wasn't really being straight about the election being rigged. No reasonable person should have credited what I had to say. Well, I think Fox lawyers should probably already be discussing a negotiated settlement of these defamation lawsuits, but let's move past that for the moment, because all of this raises one core question.
How do we stop fake news faux news from peddling fiction as fact? Well, there are three things that we could do. We could regulate via the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission. We can legislate via Congress and we can litigate parties can bring defamation suits once the laws have already been told, once the reputations have already been damaged. OK, litigation only gets us so far because the damage has already been done.
And then litigating defamation suits is something of a cleanup mission. So let's focus on the first to regulate and legislate, because these are things the federal government can do.
So I suggest that the executive branch, the FCC, should draft and adopt regulations designed to prohibit news organizations from peddling fiction as fact. And I propose Congress should legislate should enact laws designed to prohibit news organizations from peddling fiction as fact.
And I know easier said than done because we have this wonderful thing in our country called the First Amendment, and it provides robust protections of our free speech rights and our freedom of the press. And that is as it should be.
But here's the thing, if responsible, honorable, ethical public servants in our federal government, in both the executive branch and in the legislature, and when I say responsible, honorable, ethical public servants, that can be Republicans, Democrats, independents, you know, everybody who cares about accuracy in news, reporting, truthfulness in news, reporting, everybody can come along for this ride.
If those folks get together and they regulate and they legislate in a way that is thoughtful and careful and honest and tries to strike a balance between protecting free speech and free press rights while prohibiting news organizations from peddling fiction as fact, then. We should welcome the court challenges attacking the regulations and attacking the legislation, the laws, we should welcome those court challenges. Why do I say we should welcome court challenges, because if we try to regulate and we try to legislate carefully striking the right balance and we get it wrong, well, then the courts will brush us back.
The courts will say, look, we understand what you were trying to accomplish, but the way you went about it still sort of interferes with some of the First Amendment protections of free speech and a free press.
And then you know what we do, we take the court's ruling, we take the court's opinion, we learn from it and we try again.
We go back to the regulatory drawing board. We go back to the legislative drawing board and we try again. Nobody said governing was going to be easy.
But there is no shame in going into court and losing a court battle while trying to do the hard work of the American people, the shame is in not fighting the fight for fear of losing.
But here's the thing, folks, if we don't try to do something, if we don't try to regulate and legislate, if we don't try to stop fake news from masquerading as fact, well, then we're just sitting and waiting for arguably even welcoming the next insurrection. And that's no kind of justice. And justice matters. As always, folks, please stay safe, please stay tuned. And I look forward to talking with you all again tomorrow.