Victor Davis Hanson: Dominion vs “Russian Collusion” and “Disinformation”
Written by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness,
Massaging an American election conspiring to invent a disinformation campaign must be as actionable as Dominion’s post-election claim for $757 million in damages. This is exactly what happened in 2016…
Fox News is reeling, both financially and talent-wise, after suffering a lengthy lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems.
The network just settled for an incredible $757.5 million and soon after launched Tucker Carlson, the network’s highest-rated host.
The voting machine company had alleged that some of Fox’s hosts had promulgated, or allowed their guests to push, a false narrative that the corporation’s voting machines were “fixed” and misreported the vote count. votes in some precincts of the 2020 presidential election.
In other words, Dominion walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars on the charge that some delusional guests and a few Fox reporters falsely insinuated that machines had thrown the election to Joe Biden.
However, no one argues that these post facto accusations influenced the election. Instead, the post-election dispute was over whether a news organization was responsible for everything its hundreds of guests and hosts say that it later proved to be uncorroborated, false or defamatory.
Fox settled with Dominion to avoid messy revelations of its internal texts and to stop the bleeding of its brand.
But in doing so, the network may have inadvertently set a dubious standard that any speculative opinion, expressed in public media, no matter how crazy and later proven to be inaccurate, will be actionable.
If this is the standard, we will see much more expensive lawsuits.
Compare Dominion’s brief with the twin hoaxes of “Russian collusion” and “Russian disinformation.”
Many reporters and guests on network, cable, public broadcast and Internet news sites ran daily with the outright lie that the Christopher Steele dossier was accurate.
Four years later, they were still claiming that Donald Trump had won the 2016 election only with the help of the Russians, as an “asset” and puppet of Vladimir Putin.
All that was demonstrably false.
No one on these news programs ever produced any information that validated the dossier, let alone offered an apology to those whose lives they ruined, such as Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
Two years of constant media hype and DNC manufactured lies neutralized the first two years of the Trump administration.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s $40 million, 22-month “investigation” leaked wild and lurid rumors about Trump’s allegations, but ultimately found no evidence of collusion.
Do not care. The agendas of the Democratic Party’s collaboration with the media were fulfilled. The Trump Administration was wounded, forced on the defensive to respond to countless new inventions, and smeared into caricature.
The incumbent president entered the 2020 election crippled by years of media lies about collusion. With all that in mind, did these miscreants learn anything the second time around?
No. They redoubled their efforts. This time the new hoax was “Russian disinformation,” though the smear playbook remained the same.
First, once again, the left recruited the media. He helped spread the lie that Hunter Biden’s incriminating laptop was a product of “Russian disinformation” meant to help Donald Trump.
Second, once again, the The FBI helped improve what the agency knew was a lie. Thus, the agency persuaded or paid Silicon Valley social media companies to delete news stories pointing to a genuine Biden laptop, the contents of which revealed embarrassing details about Joe Biden’s apparent pro quo (” The Big Guy”) with foreign nations.
Twitter was hired as a suppressor of news. The FBI paid the company $3 million to report the “misinformation.”
Joe Biden campaign agent, current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, tapped former acting CIA director Mike Morell on the eve of the 2020 presidential debate to round up 50 former senior intelligence officials.
The “experts” publicly promulgated the lie that the laptop “bears the hallmarks of Russian disinformation.”
Then, as planned, Biden in the debate used the fake consensus of experts— dreamed up by his own campaign team — to be the victim of Trump and Russia’s disinformation.
He blasted Trump as a demagogue who had unfairly suggested that Biden and his family were trading influence for cash.
A conservative poll suggested the farce swayed enough voters to swing the election.
Again, no one has apologized, not the current secretary of state, not the former acting director of the CIA, not the 50 experts who signed the bogus letter.
Massaging an American election conspiring to invent a disinformation campaign must be as actionable as Dominion’s post-election claim for $757 million in damages.
Didn’t Twitter, the FBI, CNN and MSNBC try to influence an election by spreading what they should have known was an absurd lie?
Hardly anyone after the election swallowed the idea that Dominion had tampered with their voting machines. But millions before the election may have been influenced by the Biden campaign and the media-generated lie that the real Biden laptop was part of a Russian intelligence operation.
And that lie, unlike Dominion’s post-election defamation suit, might have changed history.