Media

Shareholder sues Murdoch, Fox board members over 2020 election coverage

A Fox Corp. shareholder is suing leaders at the company and chairman Rupert Murdoch over Fox News’ coverage of the 2020 election, according to a new report.

Shareholder Robert Schwarz alleges in a lawsuit filed in Delaware Chancery Court that Murdoch and other board members breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders by failing to uphold the company’s ethical reputation, Reuters reported.

“FOX knew – from the Board on down – that Fox News was reporting false and dangerous misinformation about the 2020 Presidential election, but FOX was more concerned about short-term ratings and market share than the long-term damages of its failure to tell the truth,” Schwarz said in his lawsuit.

Rupert Murdoch, his son Lachlan Murdoch and several other board members are reportedly named in the lawsuit. The younger Murdoch serves as executive chair and CEO of Fox Corp., which owns and operates Fox News.

A representative for Fox Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.

Fox is separately fighting a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, which has alleged the network knowingly aired false information about its software being promoted by former President Trump’s allies and associates.

As part of its discovery process, Dominion has revealed a number of private communications and statements from top executives at Fox that show them throwing cold water on Trump’s claims about the election but worrying how fact checking those claims publicly might upset the network’s massive audience.

Fox has argued the revelations contained in the depositions have been “cherry picked” to embarrass the network and has defended itself in court on First Amendment grounds, saying Trump’s allegations about Dominion were newsworthy and needed to be covered.

“This case is and always has been about the First Amendment protections of the media’s absolute right to cover the news,” the network said in a recent statement about the case. “Fox will continue to fiercely advocate for the rights of free speech and a free press as we move into the next phase of these proceedings.” 

A judge in the Dominion case ruled last week Murdoch could be compelled to testify if called by the voting systems company as a witness.

A trial is slated to begin on Monday.

Tags 2020 election claims Fox News Lachlan Murdoch Rupert Murdoch Rupert Murdoch

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