- Newsmax on Monday aired a nearly two-minute video ticking through items it had “not reported as true” related to President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated election-fraud theories.
- Fox News also aired clarifications on several shows over the weekend.
- Newsmax, Fox News, and One America News Network could face defamation lawsuits from a pair of voting-system companies, The New York Times reported.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The right-wing news outlet Newsmax on Monday broadcast a lengthy statement to “clarify” false and baseless claims made on its platform about two vote-processing companies, Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, and the 2020 election.
“Newsmax would like to clarify its news coverage and note that it has not reported as true certain claims made about these companies,” John Tabacco said on the network.
Newsmax just aired this note to "clarify" its coverage of Smartmatic and Dominion. pic.twitter.com/I5XZ7CQpAk
— John Whitehouse+ (@existentialfish) December 21, 2020
Smartmatic, a digital-security firm, has threatened to sue Newsmax, Fox News, and One America News Network over promoting false and defamatory claims that the firm engaged in or covered up voter fraud, The New York Times reported.
Clarifications that aired on Fox News and Fox Business Channel over the weekend were different from the one that aired on Newsmax. The Fox hosts Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs used interlocutors to correct the record on various claims instead of reading a statement.
Fox News hosts caught in a web of lies. Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs all forced by the network to air exact same video of an expert debunking all the conspiracy theories they’ve been peddling. Expect it to run on Hannity, Tucker, and Laura too. pic.twitter.com/lJrMO2m7l4
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) December 20, 2020
The Times said Dominion Voting Systems had also threatened to sue the Trump campaign and Sidney Powell, a lawyer who worked for the campaign who has spread lies and disinformation about the election results and the voting companies.
President Donald Trump and his allies, including Powell and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, have aggressively promoted baseless claims that the companies were part of a global cabal bent on stealing the race.
Various theories about nefarious players involved in voting machines and mail-in voting systems became central to Newsmax’s coverage in the weeks after the election. The network finally said last week that it would call Joe Biden the president-elect.
Powell and Giuliani found in Newsmax a receptive audience for some of their most outlandish claims, such as that the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez managed to orchestrate the conspiracybefore his death in 2013, with other actors such as the Clinton Foundation and the CIA then carrying it out.
At one point in the segment, Tabacco, who was filling in for the host John Bachman, rattled off a series of political figures and entities the network had wrongly implicated.
“Dominion has stated the company has no ownership relationship with the Pelosi family, the Feinstein family, the Clinton family, Hugo Chavez, or the government of Venezuela,” he said.
“Smartmatic is a US company and not owned by the Venezuelan government, Hugo Chavez, or any foreign official or entity,” Tabacco continued. “Smartmatic states that it has no operations in Venezuela … It was never founded by Hugo Chavez, nor did it have a corrupt relationship with him or the Venezuelan government.”
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said in a statement later Monday that the clarification segment would air across its shows.
Newsmax's Chris Ruddy tells me that the statement that's making the rounds will be aired on ALL Newsmax TV shows. This began over the weekend and will continue today.
Here it is: pic.twitter.com/h5i8uKrVPM
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) December 21, 2020