White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy spar over claim that Biden’s snubbing the network

Jen Psaki
White Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House on March 26, 2021.

  • Jen Psaki and Peter Doocy had a tense back-and-forth exchange about Biden’s first press conference.
  • Doocy contended that Fox News was being skipped over, while Psaki said she frequently calls on him.
  • Biden and Doocy have had contentious interactions in the past.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday shut down complaints from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that President Joe Biden did not call on him during the president’s first press conference.

In a back-and-forth exchange with Psaki, Doocy said Biden generally had a “list” of reporters to call on and said Fox News was the only network out of the five-network press pool that was never included on the list.

“I’m curious if that is official administration policy,” he said.

Psaki flashed several quick smiles, but appeared unamused.

“We’re here having a conversation, aren’t we?” Psaki responded. “And do I take questions from you every time I come to the briefing room? Has the president taken questions from you since he came into office – yes or no?”

Doocy said Biden sometimes responds to his questions at the White House, but complained that it only happens after he has “shouted” at the president.

“The president has been very generous with his time with Fox,” he said. “I’m just curious about this ‘list’ that he is given. [Fox is] the only member of the five-network pool never on it dating back to when he resumed in-person events in Wilmington during the campaign.”

Read more: Meet the presidential confidants, Delaware’s closely-knit and well-positioned congressional delegation, Joe Biden’s entrusted with cementing his legacy

Psaki said that she frequently takes questions from Doocy during White House press briefings and even confirmed an upcoming Fox News appearance.

“I’d say that I’m always happy to have this conversation with you, even about the awesome socks you are wearing today, and have a conversation with you even when we disagree,” she said. “The president’s taken your questions and I’m looking forward to doing ‘Fox News Sunday’ this Sunday for the third time in the last few months.”

On Thursday, Biden answered questions from 10 reporters, but did not interact with Doocy.

That same day, Doocy said he had a lot to ask Biden, from the economy to COVID-19.

“I mentioned last night I had a binder full of questions,” he said, flipping through pieces of paper. “I think some people were kidding, I was not kidding.”

Throughout the 2020 campaign and over the the first few weeks of Biden administration, Doocy has had contentious exchanges with the president, often asking about issues such as immigration or the president’s son Hunter Biden.

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Dominion’s lawyers demand Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Parler preserve posts by Trump and other far-right figures, ahead of threatened defamation lawsuits

Giuliani Fox News interview

Lawyers for Dominion Voting Systems sent letters Thursday to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Parler, asking them to preserve posts by more than a dozen high-profile far-right individuals and news outlets ahead of threatened defamation lawsuits.

“A number of posts on your website must be preserved because they are relevant to our client’s libel claims; these claims are based on false accusations that Dominion rigged the 2020 election,” lawyers from the firm Clare Locke, which represents Dominion, said in the letters.

The lawyers said that, between November and January, then-President Donald Trump, his campaign, attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, prominent QAnon adherents Ron and Jim Watkins, and far-right commentator Dan Bongino all posted content that could be relevant to Dominion’s defamation lawsuits.

Read more: Election-fraud liars are scrambling to avoid lawsuits, but they can’t retract the damage they’ve done

Dominion makes voting machines and has been the target of conspiracy theories, extensively amplified by Trump and his allies, that the company rigged the election.

Last month, Dominion filed defamation lawsuits against Giuliani for $1.3 billion and Powell for another $1.3 billion, and had sent letters threatening to sue various pro-Trump media figures.

In the letters, Dominion’s lawyers said “more will follow.”

Dominion also asked the social media companies to preserve posts and data from the accounts of: Fox News and Fox anchors Sean Hannity, Jeannine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs; far-right news outlets One America News Network, The Epoch Times, Rebel News, Newsmax, and Newsmax anchor Greg Kelly; Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis; former national security advisor Michael Flynn, entrepreneur Jovan Pulitzer, discredited election analyst Russell Ramsland, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, and conservative talk radio host John Catsimatidis.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Dominion sends letters threatening defamation lawsuits to Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and other pro-Trump media figures

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James Murdoch, son of Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch, said news outlets that promoted ‘lies’ are to blame for US Capitol riot

James Murdoch
James Murdoch attends a Keynote during MIPCOM at the Palais des Festivals on October 13, 2014 in Cannes, France.

  • James Murdoch, son of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, had attacked news outlets “that propagate lies” for their role in unleashing “insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years.”
  • “Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years,” the youngest Murdoch told the Financial Times on Friday.
  • Murdoch’s broke from the family empire last year after reports surfaced that he and his wife Kathryn, were frustrated with some of the News Corp coverage on climate change.
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James Murdoch, the youngest son of Rupert Murdoch, has publicly attacked “media property owners” and news outlets for their role in promoting false election claims that helped lead to the deadly riots in the US Capitol last week. 

In an interview with the Financial Times published on Friday, Murdoch said that the Capitol siege, which resulted in five deaths, is “proof positive that what we thought was dangerous is indeed very, very much so.” 

“Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years,” the youngest Murdoch said, according to the FT. “I hope that those people who didn’t think it was that dangerous now understand, and that they stop.”

Murdoch did not mention any news outlets specifically, although Fox News – the company owned by his father and eldest brother, Lachlan – has previously been criticized for peddling baseless claims of voter fraud following the 2020 election, which was first made by President Trump.

His comments are the strongest rebuke of the industry since he decided to break from the family media empire last year.

Murdoch announced his resignation from the board of directors of News Corp in July. The multinational media company owns several US newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

In a statement at the time, Murdoch said he chose to leave “due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.”

According to several news reports, James and his wife Kathryn were frustrated “with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage” on climate change as wildfires ripped through most of Australia last year.

The youngest Murdoch son has since turned his attention to his foundation called Quadrivium, which according to its website, aims to promote initiatives related to democracy, voter participation, and climate change among others.

In a separate statement that was published after the FT interview, Murdoch and his wife wrote: “Spreading disinformation – whether about the election, public health or climate change – has real-world consequences.”

“Many media property owners have as much responsibility for this as the elected officials who know the truth but choose instead to propagate lies. We hope the awful scenes we have all been seeing will finally convince those enablers to repudiate the toxic politics they have promoted once and forever,” they added, according to CNN Business.

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Fox News is debunking election fraud claims made by its own anchors in response to a legal threat

Rudy Giuliani on Lou Dobbs Fox Business
Rudy Giuliani on Lou Dobbs’ show on Fox Business.

  • For weeks, Fox News hosts have peddled allegations of widespread voter fraud occurring in the 2020 election, a baseless claim that was first made by President Donald Trump. 
  • Election software company Smartmatic sent Fox News a legal threat demanding a “full retraction” of these falsities and inaccuracies. 
  • In response, Fox News created and aired a segment dedicated to debunking various inaccuracies and falsities related to the results of the 2020 election. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over the weekend, Fox News aired a segment that debunked some of the election fraud claims made by its own hosts and anchors.

The network put together a news package that ran across various Fox News and Fox Business Network shows, starting with Lou Dobbs’ show on Friday night. Fox created the segment in response to a legal threat from election software company Smartmatic.

On December 10, Smartmatic hit Fox with a 20-page demand letter obtained by Business Insider asking for “a full and complete retraction of all false and defamatory statements and reports” about the 2020 election. 

Fox News engaged in “a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic” by “continually and repeatedly published demonstrably false information and defamatory statements,” said the letter, which was addressed to Fox News executive vice president and general counsel Lily Fu Claffee. 

“Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes,” the letter said. 

After the election was called for Joe Biden, Dobbs and other Fox hosts have staunchly defended President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani – who is one of the people spearheading dozens of lawsuits alleging fraud – appeared on Fox News to cast doubt on the election results.  Sidney Powell, another attorney Trump hired to challenge the election, also appeared on the network.

In its letter to the network, Smartmatic said Fox should not have offered either of them a platform to spread baseless claims to millions of people nationwide. 

“Fox News used its anchors and on-air guests, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, to spread lies about a company that had absolutely nothing to do with the voting that took place in areas at the heart of the ‘conspiracies’ discussed following the 2020 U.S. election,” the letter said.

Fox’s segment in response to the letter debunked election fraud claims from both Giuliani and Powell, as well as other Trump supporters. 

In the segment’s original airing Friday night on his primetime evening show, Dobbs introduced the package by telling viewers that “there are lots of opinions about the integrity of the election.” He then brought on Edward Perez, who works with the Open Source Election Technology Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to evaluating election technology.

 

 

“I have not seen any evidence that Smartmatic software was used to delete, change, alter, anything related to vote tabulation,” said Perez, who spoke in what appeared to be a prerecorded segment. 

A Fox News spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that the segment aired on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Friday, “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday, and “Sunday Morning Futures” on Sunday. 

SmartMatic sent out letters containing similar demands to other conservative networks, including Newsmax and One America News, a spokesperson at the election software company told Business Insider. Newsmax and One America News did not immediately return requests for comment.

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