Fox Stars Privately Expressed Disbelief About Trump’s Election Fraud Claims

“Fox knew,” the Dominion filing declares. “From the top down, Fox knew.”

The brief cites senior executives and editors responsible for shaping Fox’s coverage behind the scenes who weren’t buying the election denial, either.

“No reasonable person would have thought that,” said the network’s politics editor at the time, Chris Stirewalt, referring to the allegation that Dominion rigged the election. Bill Sammon, Fox’s managing editor in Washington, is quoted as saying, “It’s remarkable how weak ratings make good journalists do bad things.”

Fox pushed out both journalists after the 2020 election.

Ron Mitchell, a senior Fox executive who oversaw the Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham shows, texted privately with colleagues that the Dominion allegations were “the Bill Gates/microchip angle to voter fraud,” referring to false claims that microchips were injected into people who received Covid-19 vaccines.

At times, Fox employees are described as disparaging one another. The president of the network, Jay Wallace, is quoted at one point criticizing the former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs — one of the biggest megaphones for Mr. Trump’s lies. “The North Koreans do a more nuanced show” than Mr. Dobbs, the brief says.

On Nov. 6, 2020, three days after Election Day, as Mr. Biden pulled into the lead, Mr. Murdoch told Ms. Scott in an email that it was going to be “very hard to credibly cry foul everywhere,” and noted that “if Trump becomes a sore loser, we should watch Sean especially,” referring to Mr. Hannity.

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