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“If I may quote God on Judgment Day, I’d like to start with Fox News Channel, the network that answers the question, ‘What was on TV when Grandpa died?'”
Indeed, John Oliver took one of his least favorite networks to task — again — Sunday night during the latest episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Specifically, he brought up more revelations from Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News related to the 2020 election fraud claims. It’s a topic he also addressed last month during his show’s 10th-season premiere.
Dominion, which sells electronic voting hardware and software, is suing Fox News and parent company Fox Corporation, claiming some of the network’s employees deliberately hyped up false claims of election fraud against Dominion, suggesting that its machines had changed votes from Trump to Biden in the 2020 election, and that Fox News allowed guests to make false and defamatory statements in line with those accusations.
“Now, thanks to that lawsuit, this week, we learned that even Rupert Murdoch was concerned about the tone some of his anchors were taking,” Oliver said, before sharing a news clip in which the reporter noted documents showing that the Fox Corp. and chairman had emailed Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott opining that “maybe Sean [Hannity] and Laura [Ingraham] went too far.”
And in his January deposition, when Murdoch was asked by Dominion’s lawyers if he had ever believed Dominion was “engaged in a massive and coordinated effort to steal the 2020 presidential election,” the executive replied no.
“Wow, just a straight-up no from Murdoch there,” Oliver said, adding: “I will say in their defense, of course Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham went too far. That is their whole thing. Laura delivers every monologue with the energy of your concussed PTA parents and Hannity spews bullshit while looking like one big neck. You made these monsters, Rupert. You don’t get to act surprised.”
Oliver noted that texts from Tucker Carlson also have come to light, showing “that for all of his on-air defenses of Trump, privately he was telling a very different story.”
Those texts included: “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait.” And: “I hate him passionately.”
“OK, first, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but, girl, same,” Oliver joked of Carlson, a frequent target of his. “But also, that is so harsh. I’d almost feel bad for Trump if I wasn’t so sure he’s incapable of feeling anything besides anger, hunger and the lower back of the nearest blond woman.”
Oliver then noted another comment of Tucker’s about Trump’s time in office that’s been made public: “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on, there isn’t really an upside to Trump.”
Replied Oliver: “Wow, a man on a news network cannot be afraid to tell the truth because it’s too tough to digest. That is what the news is. If anchors didn’t report what was too tough to digest, Walter Cronkite would have opened his most famous broadcast [about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination] with ‘The president had a lovely car ride in Dallas today. His head feels better than ever.'”
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