Fox News refuses to air advert revealing how stars rejected Trump election fraud claims: ‘They lied to you’

Fox News reportedly rejected a television advert from a progressive advocacy group and political action committee that highlighted recently uncovered reactions from the network’s top stars and executives to Donald Trump’s bogus election fraud claims and conspiracy theories surrounding a voting machine company that is suing the network for defamation.

The ad from MoveOn addresses viewers directly while quoting from text messages and emails uncovered in the lawsuit, which revealed how network personalities and Rupert Murdoch shared their behind-the-scenes irritation with false claims while the network continued to amplify them.

“Texts show they lied to you about the 2020 election for profit,” the ad says.

Those texts are then superimposed over images of some of the people who sent them, including Mr Murdoch, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

“Fox News lies to its viewers every single day, and the bombshell reporting of the Dominion lawsuit is the latest proof of that,” MoveOn civic action executive director Rahna Epting said in a statement to The Independent.

The network is “nothing more than a political propaganda machine that platforms conspiracy theories and outright lies,” she added. “They knew their broadcasts about the 2020 election ‘Big Lie’ were just that – a big lie. Since Fox News continues to avoid coverage of this expose and refuses to run our ad, we’re releasing this to the public to ensure the truth about Fox News gets heard by more audiences, especially its own viewers.”

Fox’s apparent refusal of the ad has underscored how the network has kept news of the lawsuit and its findings off of its airwaves as Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6bn lawsuit plays out in court.

The network’s MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz told his programme’s viewers on 26 February that “I believe I should be covering it.”

“But the company has decided that as part of the organization being sued, I can’t talk about it or write about it, at least for now,” he said. “I strongly disagree with that decision, but as an employee, I have to abide by it.”

Protesters demonstrate outside News Corp headquarters in New York City on 21 February. (Getty Images)
Protesters demonstrate outside News Corp headquarters in New York City on 21 February. (Getty Images)

Using testimony and messages from Fox News employees, Dominion’s 192-page bombshell filing appears to show how network hosts and executives feared viewer backlash after the network predicted Joe Biden would win the state of Arizona and, later, the 2020 presidential election, and sought to balance evidence-free claims about “irregularities” to keep viewers enthralled with conspiracy theories against their own private admissions that, in their words, were “nonsense” and “bull****”.

A statement from the network claimed that the plaintiff “cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context, and spilled considerable ink on facts that are irrelevant under black-letter principles of defamation law.”

The Independent has requested comment from Fox News.