WASHINGTON D.C. (NBC) – The highly-anticipated and closely-watched defamation trial against Fox News will begin one day later than expected.
A judge delayed the start until Tuesday. It’s still not clear why.
Dominion Voting Systems is suing the conservative cable news network for a billion dollars alleging that Fox defamed the company.
Dominion has to meet a high bar proving that Fox aired false claims with actual malice.
And for Fox, a trial means potentially embarrassing information about the company could come out.
This case centers around the conservative cable news network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
Dominion argues Fox News knowingly amplified false claims that its voting machines rigged the election in favor of Joe Biden.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said, “We will prove Fox spread lies causing enormous damage.”
Experts say the burden of proof is high.
NBC News legal analyst Lisa Ruben said, “What Dominion has to prove is that Fox actually knew the statements were false or a reckless disregard of them.
Fox is defending itself on First Amendment grounds.
Newscorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch claims the company was “trying to straddle the line between spewing conspiracy theories on one hand, yet calling out the fact that they are actually false on the other.”
But court filings reveal behind-the-scenes people at the network were poking fun at the false narrative.
Ruben said, “In the form of e-mails, texts, between Fox News hosts, producers and even its executives. So I would say ordinarily it’s a really difficult thing to prove here. However, that might be a lot easier than some people think.”
Former President Trump weighed in on the case online, posting: “Back up those patriots at Fox instead of throwing them under the bus.”
As the legal fight continues, the stakes are high for the reputations of Dominion, Fox News and journalism itself.
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