Dominion Voting Systems has filed suit against Herring Networks-owned One America News Network (OAN) and Newsmax Media, seeking $1.6 billion from each media company for what the election machine tech company calls the deliberate spread of false reporting about wide-scale 2020 presidential election voter fraud.
Dominion is also suing Patrick Byrne, the former Overstock.com CEO, for $1.6 billion.
The suits follow a similar $1.6 billion lawsuit filed against Fox News in March.
“Newsmax and OAN both endorsed, repeated, broadcast, and amplified a series of verifiably false lies about Dominion to serve their own commercial purposes,” wrote Dominion lawyer Stephen Shackelford, a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP.
“Patrick Byrne is responsible for bankrolling and promoting a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion that reached millions of people worldwide. We are suing to set the record straight, to vindicate Dominion’s rights, to hold the defendants accountable, and to recover damages for the devastating economic harm done to Dominion’s business,” Shackelford added.
In its suit, Dominion cited bogus reports that it created software algorithms in its voting machines to rig the election, and that it had previously supplied late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez with vote-rigging tech. Among other claims reported on by the defendants, Dominion was also accused of paying kickbacks to government officials to get its machines used in swing states.
Newsmax claims not to have read the suit yet. But the media company seemed to outline its defense: It was merely reporting those unsubstantiated claims, not making them up itself.
"Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress—Dominion’s action today is a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press," Newsmax said in a statement.
In April, Newsmax settled a defamation lawsuit filed against the network by a Dominion executive and issued an apology to the executive, Eric Coomer, stating that Newsmax could find no evidence to support claims aired earlier on the network about Coomer and about the 2020 election.
Separately and perhaps relatedly, Fox News pundit Dan Bongino has accused the network of doctoring an interview he conducted with former president Donald Trump, removing a portion of the interview in which Trump renewed his election fraud claims from its YouTube archives.
The interview, conducted by one of Trump's biggest media supporters, was run in full on the linear cable TV network. But the election fraud segment was taken out of the YouTube iteration.
"This is just as bad as Big Tech," Trump rep Liz Harrington responded. "They are putting President Trump's honest statement, and the concerns of tens of millions of Americans, down the Memory Hole."
A litany of state and federal judges reviewed more than 50 lawsuits filed by Trump and his associates, alleging election fraud, but none of these claims were deemed worthy of litigation.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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