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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Fox News Settlement In Defamation Lawsuit Brought By Dominion Voting Systems And Fox News Undermining Our Democracy By Knowingly Spreading The Big Lie

Washington, D.C.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Fox News’ nearly $800 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Schumer stated that Rupert Murdoch and Fox News’ legacy is forever sealed as the network that sought to undermine American democracy through the Big Lie. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday, Fox News agreed to pay nearly $800M to end a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems after Fox spent months lying about the 2020 election. It’s one of the largest settlements ever in a defamation case.

Trial or no trial, the world sees that Fox News knowingly and intentionally lied to the country about the 2020 election. The amazing thing is that Fox knew that these were lies and they still put that propaganda on the air. And it’s not just trivial lies—lies that go to the essence of our democracy! To think that the leaders of Fox News—Rupert Murdoch—don’t give a hoot about democracy and still will put these lies on for political or mercenary purposes is just galling, appalling, and frankly, downright against what America stands for and has stood for for hundreds of years.

Fox commentators spread conspiracy theories and passed them off as news. They spread distrust in our democracy and claimed it was legitimate concern.

So, Fox News’s legacy and Rupert Murdoch’s legacy is forever sealed as the network that sought to undermine American democracy, one prime time segment at a time.

Fox News’s legacy is sealed as the network that has miniscule regard for the truth and will knowingly lie to achieve political and mercenary goals.

Even without a single witness taking the stand, what we do know about this case is shocking.

Under oath, Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News, admitted his hosts were spreading the narrative of the Big Lie. We’re not just throwing rhetoric around here—these are facts! Here’s what Mr. Murdoch said: “Maybe Sean [Hannity] and Laura [Ingraham] went too far,” he admitted in one email. That’s certainly a way to put it!

Asked if he could have stopped the lies, Mr. Murdoch admitted “I could have…but I didn’t.” Amazing! Amazing.

So, settlement or not, there is no question that Fox News lied. Sadly, too much damage has already been done: a significant segment of voters—by some measures as much as thirty percent of the electorate—still do not believe the 2020 election was legitimate. And when people start doubting that elections are legitimate, that’s the beginning of the end of a democracy. It’s just galling! Again, this is not lying about some trivial thing, this is lying that undermines the essence of what America has been all about.

And two years after the presidential election, Fox News still lies about what happened in 2020. Not two months ago, Tucker Carlson claimed January 6th was not an insurrection, and using manipulated security footage provided to him exclusively by Speaker McCarthy. Fox News has not shown any remorse—any remorse—for undermining our democracy and blatantly lying.

Again, Rupert Murdoch’s legacy and Fox News’s legacy is sealed: they will forever be remembered as the ones who sought to break American democracy from within by lying about it.

For their own sake, even more importantly for the sake of our great country, Mr. Murdoch and Fox News’s leadership should put a halt to the spread of the Big Lie on their network. Because when enough people believe elections are not on the level, that is the beginning death knell of a democracy.