Sean Hannity Never Believed Those Election Lies He Flogged, What Do You Think He Is, An Idiot?
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Sean Hannity may be stupid, but he's not crazy.

“I did not believe it for one second,” he testified under questioning by Dominion Voting Systems' lawyers in the company's defamation suit against Fox. Hannity never bought the bullshit he and his compatriots were flogging about a stolen election, and he's not willing to lie about it under oath either.

Yesterday the New York Times reported that Hannity was singing a different song in a deposition than he did when the cameras were rolling. And it's a tune that's likely to send chills down the spine of his employers, since the voting machine company claims damages of $1.7 billion from Fox's relentless coverage of Trump's false election claims and its willingness to give lunatics like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani a platform to air their lies about the ghost of Hugo Chávez colluding with Hunter Biden's penis to steal the election.

For instance, on November 30, Hannity hosted Powell on his evening program, where she told his enormous audience that Dominion “ran an algorithm that shaved off votes from Trump and awarded them to Biden. And they used the machines to trash large batches of votes that should have been awarded to President Trump. And they used the machines to inject and add massive quantities of votes for Mr. Biden.”

Beginning on November 12, Dominion started blasting out regular letters to 90 people at Fox, including Hannity and his producers, to debunk these nonsensical claims, which is what lawyers call a BAD FACT for Fox.

And of course Hannity wasn't the only one airing obvious lies.

“Sidney, we talked about the Dominion software. I know that there were voting irregularities. Tell me about that,” Maria Bartiromo asked Powell in a November 8, 2020 interview.

“That’s putting it mildly. The computer glitches could not and should not have happened at all. That is where the fraud took place, where they were flipping votes in the computer system or adding votes that did not exist. We need an audit of all of the computer systems that played any role in this fraud whatsoever,” Powell ranted. “They had the algorithms … That’s when they had to stop the vote count and go in and replace votes for Biden and take away Trump votes.”

It is very hard to win a defamation case against a media defendant, particularly when the subject is legitimately newsworthy. But the name of the game here for Dominion is to prove that Fox either knew it was airing false claims about Dominion, or acted with reckless disregard of the falsity, so having the network's top talent admit under oath that they knew all along those claims were bullshit is extremely helpful! And while the depositions of Fox figures such as Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs are sealed, the things that Dominion's lawyers have said in open court certainly convey the impression that they think they got the goods.

"Tucker Carlson, he tried to squirm out of it at his deposition," attorney Stephen Shackelford Jr. said yesterday in a Delaware courtroom. He added that Meade Cooper, Fox's executive VP for Primetime Programming, "confirmed under oath she never believed the lies about Dominion."

Unlike most of the other high-profile election challenges, this case is taking place in state court because both of the parties are in some wise "residents" of Delaware. If the suit were in federal court, it would be getting a lot more attention — not only because the docket would be easily searchable online, but because it would be in New York or DC, where lots of reporters live, instead of Wilmington, where they're not so excited to camp out for weeks on end. As it is, the story is flying relatively under the radar, although it did make news when Judge Eric Davis allowed Dominion to depose Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch.

In addition to the depositions of Fox hosts, Dominion has obtained tens of thousands of pages of internal communications in discovery, and its in-court declarations suggest that there are some smoking guns in the pile. Dominion would like to make more of this stuff public, while Fox, unsurprisingly, would like not that. If we had to take a wildass guess based on reporting from the Times and NPR, we will soon see motions from media outlets to intervene and shake loose some of those documents. Indeed, Shackleford's attempt to characterize Tucker Carlson's private texts, before being cut off by Judge Davis, all but dared the major news outlets to call up their Delaware counsel and file a motion demanding access.

So put a pin in this one for next year, because we're likely to hear a lot more about this case going forward.


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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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