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Fox says it settled Dominion lawsuit to ‘buy peace,’ as it tries to block release of more material in the case

<i>Andrew Kelly/Reuters</i><br/>Fox says it settled Dominion lawsuit to 'buy peace
Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Fox says it settled Dominion lawsuit to 'buy peace

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

Fox said in a court filing Wednesday that it settled the monster defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million to “buy peace,” and strongly opposed motions to unseal additional redacted material in the case.

“Fox agreed to settle this case, with this Court’s encouragement, in large part to bring to an end the continued media spectacle, and chill on First Amendment rights, that this case had become,” Katharine Mowery, an attorney for Fox, wrote in a letter to Judge Eric Davis.

“It would create profoundly perverse incentives the next time parties are encouraged to settle a high-profile trial,” Mowery added. “After all, if $787.5 million is not enough to buy peace, parties will certainly think twice before settling in the future.”

In the letter, Mowery told the judge that Fox strongly opposes motions filed by news organizations to unseal additional redacted material contained in thousands of pages of court filings. Fox has redacted significant swaths of the material, which news outlets have objected to.

Days after Fox settled the lawsuit with Dominion, the company fired its star prime time host, the right-wing extremist Tucker Carlson. Reporting from several news outlets has indicated that some of Carlson’s communications, redacted in the court filings, played a crucial role in Fox’s decisions to sever ties with him.

In one message, which was first reported by The New York Times and confirmed by CNN, Carlson made a racist comment as he confessed he briefly hoped to see a group of Trump supporters kill a protester.

“It was three against one, at least,” Carlson wrote in the hours after the Jan. 6 attack. “Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it.”

Soon after, “an alarm went off” in his brain, Carlson added, telling his producer he realized he was “becoming something” he didn’t “want to be.”

Neither Fox nor Carlson have commented on the message.

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