By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business
Fox News has been exposed like never before.
A trove of newly-released text messages and emails have laid bare how the right-wing media giant operated with little regard for fact in the weeks and months following the 2020 presidential election. The correspondence reveals that the network’s senior-most executives and highest-profile hosts chose not to disclose what they believed to be the truth of the election out of fear that that the facts would alienate Fox News’ audience and throw the highly profitable business into ruin.
The messages were contained in a stunning legal filing made public on Thursday as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News, showing the network’s executives and talk hosts privately trashing lies pushed by former President Donald Trump’s camp and his supporters asserting the 2020 election was rigged.
But, despite privately acknowledging the realiity of the situation, the network allowed the lies to take hold on its air, in large part because executives and hosts were terrified that telling its sizable audience the truth would prompt them to tune out.
After the election, an incensed Trump had attacked Fox News and encouraged his followers to switch to Newsmax, a smaller right-wing talk channel that was saturating its airwaves with election denialism.
Trump was enraged that Fox News was the first network to call the critical swing state of Arizona for now-president Joe Biden. And he couldn’t stand that the network, rightfully, declared Biden as the winner of the presidential contest…..