"The Earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for President and Vice President of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged, or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable."

Thus begins the defamation suit against Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Rudy Giuliani, and Sidney Powell filed today by voting software company Smartmatic in New York State Court in Manhattan. Because Dominion Voting Systems can file separate complaints against Rudy and Sid personally, but Smartmatic's cutting to the chase and going directly to Rupert Murdoch's big piggy bank.


"Defendants have always known these facts. They knew Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 U.S. election. They knew the election was not stolen. They knew the election was not rigged or fixed. They knew these truths just as they knew the Earth is round and two plus two equals four," the suit goes on, describing the defendants' plan "to capitalize on President Trump's popularity by inventing a story."

"Defendants had an obvious problem with their story. They needed a villain. They needed someone to blame. They needed someone whom they could get others to hate. A story of good versus evil, the type that would incite an angry mob, only works if the storyteller provides the audience with someone who personifies evil," the complaint continues. "Without any true villain, Defendants invented one. Defendants decided to make Smartmatic the villain in their story."

Clearly this 285-page filing was meant for an audience beyond the court. But vamping aside, it lays out an extraordinarily damning picture of the Fox network and its opinion "journalists," who smeared Smartmatic for months despite clear public evidence that the claims they promoted were entirely false. And more to the point, that the defendants knew the claims about Smartmatic were bullshit, but they aired them anyway for their own personal enrichment.

Smartmatic's loss was Defendants' gain. Fox News used the story to preserve its grip on viewers and readers and curry favors with the outgoing administration – one of their anchors was even able to get a pardon for her ex-husband. Ms. Powell used the story to raise money and enrich herself. Mr. Giuliani used the story to guarantee himself a flow of funds from the sitting President and to sell products. Defendants knew the story could not change the outcome of the election. It could, and did, make them money.

Powell and Giuiani were intent upon overturning the election, Fox News "needed a way to reclaim its favored status with President Trump and his followers," and together they made up a story about Smartmatic and its competitor Dominion flipping millions of votes to hand the White House to Joe Biden. In reality, Smartmatic operated in exactly one US jurisdiction in the entire 2020 election cycle, and no one is arguing they fraudulently delivered Los Angeles County for Biden.

Sometimes Sidney Powell finessed this point by saying that "Smartmatic software is in the DNA of every vote tabulating company's software and systems," as she did November 16 on Lou Dobbs's show. Sometimes Giuliani claimed that "Dominion is a company that's owned by another company called Smartmatic, through its intermediary company named Indra," as he told Dobbs on November 12.

It was formed really by three Venezuelans, who were very close to [] dictator, Chávez, of Venezuela. And it was formed in order to fix elections. That's the, that's the company that owns Dominion. Dominion is a Canadian company, but all of its software is Smartmatic software. So the votes actually go to Barcelona, Spain. So we are using a foreign company that is owned by Venezuelans who are close to, were close to Chávez, are now close to Maduro, have a history, they were founded as a company to fix elections. They have a terrible record and they are extremely hackable.

Is any of this true? Any of it? Not on your life.

But in the main, the Fox crew just treated Smartmatic and Dominion, which are direct competitors, as one and the same. "Look, I want to show this graphic of the swing states [] that were using Dominion and this, this software, this Smartmatic software," Bartiromo said during a November 15 interview with Giuliani in which she endorsed his crazy theory of a "backdoor" in the software that would allow for vote manipulation.

To satisfy the actual malice defamation standard, Smartmatic must prove that Fox knew or acted with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of its hosts' claims about the company. The plaintiff points out that states put their voting software out for bid, so it's a matter of public record that Smartmatic was nowhere near the election in swing states. As is Smartmatic's ownership as an American subsidiary of a Dutch corporation, entirely unrelated to Venezuela or China or North Korea or Iraq or Iran as Powell has represented.

The network never approached Smartmatic to verify the fantastic allegations they allowed Powell and Giuliani to air multiple times a day in November and December, and it never demanded proof of the Trump allies' wild claims. But, tellingly, the "news side" did not repeat them.

Even after the company sent Fox a retraction demand on December 10, Fox only "acknowledged – partially and begrudgingly – that they had no basis for the statements and implications they published about Smartmatic." Dobbs did a segment on December 18 saying that there are "a lot of opinions" about the election, before introducing Eddie Perez, an election "expert," to walk back the network's bogus fraud claims in a pre-recorded video interview that was later aired by both Bartiromo and Pirro on their own shows.

Mr. Dobbs did not acknowledge, in his introduction, that he was one of the primary voices making claims about Smartmatic. Nor did Mr. Dobbs acknowledge that he and others on his program, including Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell, did not frame their statements about Smartmatic as opinions. Rather, they framed their statements about Smartmatic as being facts based on "tremendous evidence."

And so Smartmatic is asking for $2.7 billion in compensatory damages for defamation and business disparagement, since its name is now synonymous with "election fraud" in every red state in America.

"FOX News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court," a spokesman told NBC.

And good luck to 'em! Have fun deposing Judge Jeanine, fellas. Gonna need hardship pay for that one.

[Edit: Didn't Fox tap out and settle with Seth Rich's family right before they were about to depose Sean Hannity? What are the odds, huh?]

[Smartmatic v. Fox Complaint]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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