GeekNights Thursday - Magic

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider Magic and illusions. In the news, Rangers, and America's openly fascist "news" network FOX admits they lied about voter fraud.

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If you think street magicians aren’t in control of their performance space, I got news for you.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. There is definitely plenty of magic that people can do any place and any time. A NYC friend once told me that they were waiting in line for a movie and someone else going to see the movie who happened to be in front of them did some amazing card tricks for them. Only later did they find out it was David Blaine.

About Fox admitting guilt by settling. Legally that just isn’t true. By reaching a settlement no party admits or is found guilty of anything.

That being said, we know they settled because they would very likely have lost. We also know that Dominion wasn’t 100% sure they would win, or be granted full damages if they won, hence they accepted the settlement.

It sure would be great if that whole network would be shut down.

They didn’t admit guilt in the legal sense.

What they did is make a public statement

In a statement made Tuesday after Fox News settled the defamation case brought by Dominion Voting Systems, Fox said:
“We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false.”

They admitted publicly that certain claims, their claims, about Dominion, were false claims. A translation of this sentence is “we lied.” Therefore, they admitted that they lied.

Presumably, a requirement that they make this public statement was one of terms of the settlement.

But did they make that statement on their own network and to their own audience? Those are the people who need to hear it.

Did Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity say during their shows that “We lied to you so Fox could make money?”


If Dominion wanted that to happen, they should have negotiated for that in their settlement.

True, but without that, Fox’s public statement is essentially worthless.

Fox and the hosts on Fox will not change their behavior, they just won’t be as stupid about documenting why they’re doing what they’re doing.

The Fox audience will never learn that Fox lied to them and reported falsehoods because they only watch Fox and Fox won’t admit that on their own station.

Dominion got paid. Good for them. But nothing has changed or gotten better for anyone else.

Did Dominion have an opportunity to make something like that happen, and they missed it? Maybe.

But Dominion is an evil corporate entity as well. Why should they care about anything other than the money and their reputation?

The fact that we are in a spot where we must rely on the benevolence of a corporate entity to achieve justice, that’s the problem.

Dominion did what was best for them, not for society as a whole, and I didn’t really expect anything different.

I just take somewhat issue with your comment that Fox:

Fox’s statement was about as weaksauce an admission as possible, and like I said, will have no bearing, impact, or change on how they “report” the news, so it’s essentially meaningless.

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It means they will either back off from this line in the future, or they’ll face similar cases from continuing to act as they did previously.

This is a step toward making it too legally and financially perilous to continue as usual.

Lawsuits against OANN and Newsmax and the other players in this space are ongoing. FOX is just the first milestone.

Based on court filings, six more defamation lawsuits are pending: right-wing networks Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN) and Trump loyalists Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell, and Patrick Byrne.

The six remaining lawsuits:

Newsmax: Dominion Voting Systems of Colorado was targeted by former President Donald Trump and his allies, filed a complaint against Newsmax in Delaware state court in August 2021, finding the news channel ‘created an entire brand out of defaming’ the company.

OANN: U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols has allowed Dominion’s lawsuit against One America News Network (OANN) to move forward and is expected to go to trial in 2024. The voting technology company claims the far-right network promoted fraud allegations despite knowing they were false, and ‘​​helped create and cultivate an alternate reality where … Dominion engaged in a colossal fraud.’

Rudy Giuliani: A federal judge refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit against Trump’s formal personal attorney after the voting machine company sued him in January 2021, alleging he ‘enriche[d] himself by falsely claiming that Dominion fixed the election.’ Giuliani and others have alleged a widespread Democratic election conspiracy involving multiple states and suspect voting machines.

Sidney Powell: the conservative and controversial attorney remains an ardent proponent of Trump, although she was dropped from his legal team after making incorrect statements about the voting process and promising to ‘blow up’ Georgia with a 'biblical lawsuit. Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages for spreading false fraud claims in the 2020 elections.

Mike Lindell: Denver-based Dominion separately sued Lindell and MyPillow for defamation in federal court, alleging the CEO ‘sells the lie’ about the company’s voting machines ‘because the lie sells pillows.’

Patrick Byrne: The CEO of Overstock is being sued for ‘manufactured and promoted fake evidence to convince the world that the 2020 election had been stolen’ using Dominion voting machines. A U.S. District judge ruled ‘a reasonable jury could find Byrne acted with actual malice’ in spreading provably false assertions about Dominion.

Some of the evidence from the FOX Discovery and the facts of the settlement are relevant to these.

No it won’t and no it isn’t.

Don’t let Dominion’s case fool you. These types of cases are incredibly hard to win. Almost impossible. There’s a reason why Trump and other Conservatives actually want to get rid of the NYT v. Sullivan Standard. The standard for First Amendment Cases and libel laws, as set down in New York Times V. Sullivan is incredibly high and incredibly difficult to meet:

"Because of the importance of free debate about public officials, the Court held that it was not enough that Alabama’s libel law—like most libel laws in the English common law tradition—allowed defendants to use the truth of their defamatory statements as a defense.[13] Instead, the Court held that under U.S. law, any public official suing for defamation must prove that the defendant made the defamatory statement with “actual malice”.

“The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with “actual malice” – that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

Most of these types of cases never make it as far as Dominion’s because it’s almost always impossible to prove “actual malice.” The only reason we can in this case is because the Fox people kept emailing and texting each other. Without that, there’s no way to prove “actual malice.”

So to go back to my comment above, all Fox needs to do is just not document why they’re “reporting” on certain topics and there’s no way to prove actual malice.

Fox will most assuredly NOT back off from this line, they’ll just be smarter and more devious about how they cross it in the future.

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This is in practice almost impossible to do while still maintaining operational cohesion.

I’m confident they won’t be able to walk the line without several “I did the crime on purpose with malice aforethought, per my previous email” smoking guns. I bet they just quietly drop voting fraud as a major topic and focus on safer nazi propaganda.

As for OANN, Newsmax, and the Pillow guy, I will bet money “actual malice” will be so easy to present a case over it’ll make the FOX case look weak in comparison.

I guess we’ll find out, but I just don’t see this settlement having a major impact on Fox or what Fox pushes out.

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