Six-week landmark trial between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems abruptly ended with a settlement between the two companies and ousting of Fox News host Tucker Carlson

Jenna Saltzman, Staff Writer

While a poll conducted with 20 DHS students concluded that only four out of 20 were even somewhat aware of the recent Fox News Dominions lawsuit, its significance as a monumental defamation case in U.S. history as well as the possible effect it could have on the upcoming 2024 presidential election, is evidently overlooked by many people nationwide. 

It all began after the 2020 election when in response to Trump’s defeat, many Fox News anchors including Tucker Carlson spread harmful conspiracies about Dominion Voting Systems which according to Dominion CEO John Poulos, “caused enormous damage to [the] company, [their] employees and the customers that [they] serve.” 

Dominion originally sued Fox News for $1.6 billion but as of April 18th, settled for $787,500,000 which equates to about half of Dominion’s original ask. 

Nevertheless, as of April 18th, 2023, Fox News’s net worth was said to be $16.44b and many who sided with Dominion Voting Systems, believed their settlement did not harm Fox News nearly enough. 

According to Peter Kafka from Vox, in obvious opposition to the Fox-News Dominion settlement payout, he emphasized the little affect the lawsuit with have on Fox News as “Even after Fox agreed to pay nearly $788 million in a settlement, investors have decided the payout will have no impact on Fox’s operations.” 

Including the profits Fox News posted from the last three months of 2022 accounting to $321 million in his article, Kafka explained, “means [Fox News] can build back up its cash pile pretty quickly.”

With that being said, many Fox News supporters believe the company should have never been sued in the first place let alone fire popular Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson because of his First Amendment right to speech. 

An anonymous high school student remarked on Fox News firing Tucker Carlson for his claims against Dominion Voting Systems as “unconstitutional.” The student goes on to explain that Tucker Carlson’s “right to speak like that should have been protected under the First Amendment.”  

According to Fox News however, the action that set Carlson off of the deep end was a leaked text he sent to a producer that reportedly “set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox on the eve of its billion-dollar defamation trial.”

In the text, Carlson admitted towards rooting for the death and pain of as he described “an Antifa kid” while he was jumped by 3 Trump supporters. At the end of his text, Carlson expressed alarm for the hateful emotions he experienced that did not matter as according to New York Times, “the text alarmed the Fox board, which saw the message a day before Fox was set to defend itself against Dominion Voting Systems before a jury.” This led to Fox News firing Tucker Carlson as they grew worried that his text could become public while Carlson was on the stand. 

However, Tucker Carlon’s influence over his supporters is not over and many suspected he would reappear, this time starting his own show or podcast. 

Recently on May 10th, Carlson announced through a social media video that he will be relaunching his program on twitter. In response to this statement however, Elon Musk stated “We have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever,” adding on that “Tucker is subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators.” 

Upon asking DHS students aware of the situation how they feel about the possibility of Tucker Carlson relaunching his program on twitter, their responses were very split. One anonymous student, despite their emphasized opposition to Tucker Carlson’s opinions, referenced the Supreme Court case Snyder V. Phelps when they made the claim that “because of freedom of speech and expression protected under Synder, Tucker Carlson should be able to continue voicing his opinions.” 

Another student strongly disagreed with the other student’s statement and explained that “ freedom of speech has to be controlled in order to protect our country’s democracy.” That student then went on to make their own claim that “Tucker Carlson needs to deal with the consequences of his harmful lies and spread of misinformation instead of being allowed to move on to his own program to maintain the same negative influence.”