“Come on,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper said on Tuesday in response to a bold claim Fox News made after agreeing to pay Dominion Voting System nearly $800 million.
Fox News was of course sued for defamation by Dominion because, as part of the conservative network’s support of Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election, it allowed guests and even network hosts to falsely claim that Dominion had manipulated the election results. During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, a mountain of evidence came out proving that Fox News knew that the claims were false. Nevertheless, it continued to fight the lawsuit until Tuesday, when just before the jury trial was to begin, Fox and Dominion reached that settlement, agreeing to pay $787 million.
In a statement released as part of the settlement, Fox didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, and it offered no apology to Dominion. The closest it came was a passive, “we acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.”
Immediately after this, Fox added, “This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.” And Cooper, as you can see the video above (via Acyn on Twitter), found that particular claim risible, to put it mildly.
“As for the second part of that statement, that this settlement reflects Fox’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards,” Cooper said on Tuesday’s episode of his CNN show. “As Mike Wallace used to say when interviewing someone shoveling crap, ‘Come on.'”
Cooper continued, “If there is anything we learned from the depositions, texts, and emails that were released by Dominion in the lead up to this case, is that there was no commitment to even basic journalistic standards where the 2020 election was concerned.”
“Fox anchors said one thing on air to the audience – they feared might abandon them. Go over to some more conservative news channel and another thing off air in texts and emails to one another,” Cooper concluded.
As the defamation trial was set to begin, some of Fox’s biggest names like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram were expected to testify. Additionally, Fox News’ owner, Robert Murdoch, was expected to take the witness stand.
Cooper wasn’t the only person who was perplexed by Fox’s statement. Earlier in the day, CNN host Jake Tapper laughed during his show “The Lead” when he read that line in the Fox News statement.
“I’m sorry. This is going to be difficult to say with a straight face,” Tapper said.
“This is difficult to say with a straight face.” Jake Tapper laughs while reading Fox News’ statement on their “journalistic standards”. (Video: CNN) pic.twitter.com/ddmlxd3tqi
“This is difficult to say with a straight face.” Jake Tapper laughs while reading Fox News’ statement on their “journalistic standards”. (Video: CNN) pic.twitter.com/ddmlxd3tqi— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 18, 2023