Oregon AG sues Fox News over misinformation


Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed a lawsuit against Fox News, accusing the network of spreading false and misleading information about the 2020 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit alleges that Fox News breached its fiduciary duty to its shareholders, including the state of Oregon, by ignoring the risks of defamation lawsuits and reputational damage.


Fox News settles with Dominion for $787.5 million

The lawsuit comes after Fox News agreed to pay $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems, a company that provides election equipment and software, to settle a defamation case. Dominion sued Fox News for airing baseless claims that the company rigged the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden, and that its machines were vulnerable to hacking and manipulation. These claims were promoted by former President Donald Trump and his allies, who refused to accept the election results.

Dominion said that Fox News’ false allegations caused it to lose customers and contracts, and subjected its employees to death threats and harassment. The settlement was announced in April 2023, just before the trial was scheduled to begin. Fox News admitted no wrongdoing, but said that it was “pleased to have resolved this matter without litigation.”

Oregon has more than $5 million invested in Fox News

Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum said that the state has more than $5 million invested in shares of Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News. She said that the board of directors of Fox Corporation failed to protect the interests of its shareholders by allowing Fox News to spread misinformation that exposed the company to legal liability and reputational harm.

“The board of Fox Corporation took a massive risk in pursuing profits by perpetuating and peddling known falsehoods,” Rosenblum said. “The directors’ choices exposed themselves and the company to liability and exposed their shareholders to significant risks. That is the crux of our lawsuit, and we look forward to making our case in court.”

Rosenblum also said that Fox News made no good-faith efforts to monitor or correct the misinformation that it aired, unlike other major media organizations that issued retractions or apologies for inaccurate reporting. She said that Fox News’ conduct violated its own code of ethics and journalistic standards.

Oregon joins New York in suing Fox News

Oregon is not the only state that is suing Fox News over its misinformation. In June 2023, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a similar lawsuit against the network, saying that it misled investors and consumers about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. James said that Fox News downplayed the health risks of the virus, promoted unproven treatments and cures, and discouraged its viewers from following public health guidelines.

James said that Fox News’ misinformation contributed to the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 800,000 Americans and infected more than 40 million. She also said that Fox News’ misinformation harmed its own employees, some of whom contracted or died from COVID-19.

“Fox News has repeatedly and willfully deceived its viewers and the public, endangering lives, sowing distrust, and undermining our democracy,” James said. “Fox News has violated New York law by engaging in unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices, and we intend to hold them accountable for their actions.”

Fox News has denied the allegations in both lawsuits, and said that it will vigorously defend itself in court. The network has also claimed that it has a right to free speech and editorial independence under the First Amendment.

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