Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Fox News have August date confirmed for court bid to dismiss $2.7 billion Smartmatic lawsuit

A Fox News broadcast featuring host Lou Dobbs and lawyer Rudy Giuliani
A November 12, 2020 Fox News broadcast screenshot filed as an exhibit by Smartmatic in May.

  • Rudy Giuliani and Fox News will argue for dismissal of a $2.7 billion defamation case on August 17.
  • Voting-machine company Smartmatic said they spread false claims about the presidential election.
  • Defendants include Trump lawyers Giuliani and Sidney Powell, along with a cast of Fox News hosts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A New York Supreme Court on August 17 will hear arguments from Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Fox Corporation in their bid for the dismissal of a $2.7 billion defamation case brought by Smartmatic.

The election-technology company said in its February complaint that the defendants – including Fox News and hosts Jeanine Pirro, Maria Bartiromo, and Lou Dobbs – spread disinformation about the November 2020 presidential election.

The arguments are set for 9:30 a.m. in front of Judge David Benjamin Cohen, according to the court.

Giuliani and Powell, lawyers for President Donald Trump, appeared on Fox News following the election to say the election had been rigged by Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems.

The pair “needed to identify a villain” to make their story about election fraud work, Smartmatic said in its complaint.

The complaint said: “They knew of President Trump’s popularity. They knew he had millions of loyal followers. To rile them up, to get them angry, to get them to donate money, Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell needed a villain in their story. They needed someone they could say had rigged and stolen the election from a President admired and adored by millions.”

It added: “Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell settled on two villains: Smartmatic and Dominion.”

Fox News in April sought to dismiss the case, saying its hosts didn’t have a responsibility to fact-check lawyers for a sitting president.

Powell’s lawyers earlier this month said her Fox News spots were “about election integrity” and were not attempts to raise money.

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Fox News host Harris Faulkner complimented Vladimir Putin for answering questions for longer than Joe Biden – before the US president even spoke

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner reacts to Russian President Vladimir Putin's solo press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. A chyron underneath her reads "Awaiting Biden comments after Putin's remarks."
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner.

  • A Fox News host remarked that Vladimir Putin is more accessible to the press than Joe Biden.
  • Harris Faulkner said Putin took questions for longer than Biden and VP Kamala Harris combined.
  • Her observation did not factor in Biden’s press conference right after Putin’s.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner said that Vladimir Putin gave more time to the press than Joe Biden, even though the US president had not yet delivered his solo press conference on Wednesday.

“We saw that President of Russia answering more questions in front of the media, longer than I can remember either the current president or his vice president combined in terms of time and number of questions,” Faulkner said.

Her guest, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, agreed before criticizing Putin for drawing false equivalencies between the US and Russia.

Putin, who has been accused by the international community of killing journalists and has been linked to several assassinations, answered questions from the foreign press before Biden on Wednesday.

Faulkner stopped short of explicitly praising Putin, saying she was choosing her words “closely and carefully.”

On her daytime show, “Outnumbered,” Faulkner has frequently criticized Biden for not taking more questions from reporters and not doing enough interviews.

She also criticized Biden for not appearing alongside Putin as former President Donald Trump had. Pompeo had previously insisted that Biden follow Trump’s lead with a joint press conference, and repeated that message during his Wednesday appearance on Fox.

Faulkner returned to the issue of Biden and Putin appearing separately, saying: “Today, when you see these two leaders separate after meeting for three hours and more than 15 minutes, and you see them come out, their messaging will be very different.”

“Does his message get muddled, thereby the message of the American people?” Faulkner said of Biden going second.

“We blew it,” Pompeo said.

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Tucker Carlson baselessly claims ‘FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol,’ his latest whitewashing of Jan. 6

Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson.
Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson.

  • Fox News’ most watched host now refers to the January 6 insurrection with air quotes.
  • In his latest segment whitewashing the riot, Carlson said the FBI was behind it.
  • Carlson’s entire baseless claim hinged on assuming the unindicted co-conspirators are feds.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In his most severe rewriting of history on the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson baselessly claimed the riot was organized by the FBI.

“They were almost certainly working for the FBI, so FBI operatives were organizing the attack at the Capitol on January 6, according to government documents,” Carlson said without showing said documents.

Carlson, the most watched host on Fox News, was referring to the latest indictments handed out in the FBI’s investigation of the siege.

His claim relies solely on assuming that anyone listed anonymously as an “unindicted co-conspirator” must have been an FBI agent. Carlson went even further to claim the agents plotted the attack, implying it may not have happened without them.

Carlson also referred to a fringe conservative media post from Revolver News that contains a list of questions for FBI Director Christopher Wray, purportedly deducing a conclusion on an FBI setup when there is no evidence to support one.

“It turns out that this ‘white supremacist insurrection’ was – again, by the government’s own admission in these documents – organized by government agents,” Carlson said, raising the tone of his voice to convey that he was not serious in describing January 6 as a white supremacist insurrection.

He played a clip from Wray’s testimony on Capitol Hill where he said the FBI is focused on getting “better sources, better information, better analysis” from white supremacist groups to prevent another insurrection from happening.

Although Carlson kept referring to “government documents,” he did not show any on screen.

Fox News did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on whether any of the network’s journalists have been able to verify Carlson’s claim.

Rather than showing the indictments or background information on undercover sourcing in federal investigations, Carlson relied on the Revolver post and citing his usual “they,” a cabal of government and media elites looking to deceive his viewers.

“That’s a line, and the FBI has crossed it,” Carlson said before accusing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of playing a “victim” because the plot to kidnap her was “a farce” and “insulting” because it involved FBI informants and under cover agents.

“So if you’re wondering why they are always comparing January 6th to 9/11, there’s your answer,” Carlson said. “They’re using the same tactics.”

Carlson then called for the officer who shot unarmed rioter Ashli Babbitt to be arrested.

His guest was Darren Beattie, the author of the Revolver News post who described it as “the most important and the darkest investigative piece they’ve seen in years,” based on what people have told him, and that the late Babbitt deserves answers.

Beattie did not present any evidence to support his claims on air.

“After seeing all of this, you have to ask yourself, does the national security apparatus do anything but conspire against the American people?” Beattie said. “I’m led to conclude that we cannot have a democracy – everything in our politics will be fake and performative until we bring the national security sate, including the FBI, to heel.”

In court, Fox’s lawyers have argued that no “reasonable viewer” would ever take what Carlson says seriously.

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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell played a speech by former President Trump during his latest political rally

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell speaks to a crowd in Wisconsin.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in Wisconsin on Saturday.

  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell hosted a Wisconsin rally, which featured a speech by Donald Trump.
  • Trump’s comments on Saturday took aim at President Biden’s efforts to reverse his policies.
  • He said he built the “most successful, the safest border in the history of our country.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s latest political rally featured a speech by former President Donald Trump, in which he railed against voter fraud again.

Trump delivered his comments via satellite at the Saturday event. He repeated unfounded claims about fraud during the 2020 election and took aim at President Joe Biden’s efforts to reverse his policies.

Trump seemed to respond directly to the Biden administration’s announcement on Friday that it would pull more than $2 billion in funding Trump had diverted to pay for a wall along the southern border.

“All Biden had to do – all he had to do was leave it alone,” Trump said. “So we went from the most successful, the safest border in the history of our country – think of that – to the worst and most dangerous border.”

A crowd watching MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell the Frank Rally in Wisconsin.
The crowd at the Frank Rally in New Richmond, Wisconsin.

After Trump spoke to the crowd in New Richmond, Wisconsin, droves of attendees could be seen walking out of the event. A series of videos posted on Twitter on Saturday showed attendees leaving as the pillow pitchman spoke.

In a wide-ranging speech, Lindell slipped back and forth between his support for the former president and unfounded claims that the 2020 election had been rigged.

“Did you hear about the [voting] machines that were attacked by China? Did you hear about it?” he said.

He said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp shouldn’t have certified the voting results in their states.

He took aim at Fox News and Newsmax, calling them “cowards,” saying that it was “disgusting what they’ve done to our country,” as Newsweek first reported.

Newsmax anchor Bob Sellers in February had stopped Lindell from repeating claims about voting machines being tampered with during the election.

“Mike, you’re talking about machines, that we at Newsmax have not been able to verify any of those kinds of allegations,” Sellers said on air.

“We’re fighting for our First Amendment rights of free speech,” Lindell said on Saturday.

Insider reached out to Fox News and Newsmax for comment.

Lindell had previously held a half-empty rally at the Corn Palace in South Dakota.

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Critical race theory is a lucrative obsession for Republicans because the party is ‘offended by the political focus on racism and racial justice’

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis bill signing
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

  • Critical Race Theory has become one of the most animating issues for Republicans nationwide.
  • The academic practice is front and center on Fox News and in GOP fundraising efforts.
  • Much of the backlash is not new, but has worsened “especially since the George Floyd murder.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republicans across the US are waging an escalating culture war against critical race theory, an academic concept or framework centered on systemic racism and its effects across American society.

What is critical race theory?

Critical race theorists look at how America’s history of racism and discrimination continues to impact the country today.

“Critical race theory is a practice. It’s an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and a law professor at UCLA and Columbia University, told CNN last year.

Why is the GOP turning it into an issue?

The GOP campaign against critical race theory, which distorts the concept, is linked to a broader effort to stifle or invalidate conversations on the pervasiveness of racism in the US in relation to its history, experts say. Republicans have launched similar attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement and the 1619 project in that regard.

“The base of the Republican Party is offended by the political focus on racism and racial justice that has been apparent for several years now, but especially since the George Floyd murder,” Andrew Hartman, a history professor at Illinois State University and author of “A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars,” told Insider. “So, GOP politicians and conservative media obsess over the issue to gin up outrage that might translate into future votes, but in the meantime definitely translates into donations and ratings.”

Jelani Cobb, a staff writer at the New Yorker, historian, and professor at Columbia Journalism School, in a recent tweet said that the “attacks on critical race theory are clearly an attempt to discredit the literature millions of people sought out last year to understand how George Floyd wound up dead on a street corner.”

“The goal is to leave the next dead Black person inexplicable by history,” Cobb added.

Republicans in a number of states have pushed to ban critical race theory from schools, misleadingly contending that the concept teaches kids to hate the US and each other.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently convinced the state board of education to ban it, describing the practice as a “false history” that would “denigrate the Founding Fathers.”

In the process, they’ve taken an otherwise niche academic theory and legal practice to catapult it into the center of the contentious, ongoing debate on racism in the US.

“I am honestly confused why Critical Race Theory has become the specific target, except to say that conservatives have a LONG history of educational activism against secular and liberal trends in schools, and CRT checks a lot of boxes in that regard,” Hartman said. “It is an academic theory that emerged from elite universities (Harvard Law in particular). It seemingly indoctrinates students with the idea that racism is endemic and institutional, which flies in the face of conservative colorblindness.”

How is CRT being treated by the right-wing ecosystem?

The GOP obsession with critical race theory was in many ways sparked by former President Donald Trump, who has a well-documented history of racism. Last September, Trump sent out a memo ordering the Office of Management and Budget to stop funding training on critical race theory for federal employees. The memo referred to the theory as a “propaganda effort” that teaches or suggests that the US “is an inherently racist or evil country.”

“The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government,” the memo said.

Similarly, Trump also railed against The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” stating that it “rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.”

Although critical race theory is not a staple of K-12 curricula – mostly applying to colleges and universities – local squabbles and highly specific campus incidents have been amplified by Fox News and other outlets and used by politicians for fundraising pushes.

DeSantis is fundraising off of it and appearing on Fox News to talk about it, where he can then build his profile with an audience of millions.

As Fox’s top-viewed opinion hosts struggle to land on a coherent depiction of President Joe Biden in the way they handled Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, critical race theory serves as a convenient programming staple. Coverage of critical race theory dominates Fox News coverage across daytime, primetime, and online.

“Often compared by critics to actual racism, CRT is a school of thought that generally focuses on how power structures and institutions impact racial minorities,” an explainer post reads on the Fox News website.

Fox News hosts often depict things like the “1619 Project” as having a vast influence, or white children being explicitly told they’re racist when the segments are usually based solely on local news reports or aggrieved parents.

Once one of these local spats reaches Fox News, it effectively becomes mainstreamed and a de facto national issue that politicians in turn discuss.

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Sidney Powell’s lawyers argue her Fox News appearances were ‘not infomercials,’ compare her to Buddhist monk as they move to dismiss defamation lawsuit

sidney powell
Attorney Sidney Powell, speaks during in Alpharetta, Ga.

  • Sidney Powell has asked a judge to dismiss Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit.
  • Her lawyers argue her appearances on Fox News weren’t just infomercials to raise money.
  • Rudy Giuliani, another defendant in the lawsuit, also asked a judge for dismissal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An attorney for Sidney Powell filed a court motion Thursday asking a judge to dismiss a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against her, arguing her television appearances advancing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were “not infomercials” and comparing her to a Buddhist monk.

The filing, in New York state court, argued that Powell was sincerely concerned about the integrity of the election. Powell didn’t just want to raise money through her organization Defending the Republic, as voting technology company Smartmatic alleged in its lawsuit, her attorney argued.

“Powell’s Fox News interviews were about election integrity, evidence of election fraud, and her intention to take legal action to bring the malfeasance to light,” the filing says. “Her appearances were not informercials promoting her law firm or DTR’s websites. [sic]”

Powell, a former attorney on Donald Trump’s 2020 election team, falsely accused Smartmatic of being in cahoots with Dominion Voting Systems, a rival election technology company, to “flip” votes from then-President Trump to now-President Joe Biden. When Trump fired Powell from his legal team, she subsequently filed four failed and conspiracy-theory-filled lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results.

Smartmatic filed its lawsuit in February. It accused Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News of defamation over election conspiracy theory claims.

In the new filing, Powell’s attorney, Howard Kleinhendler, said she can’t be held responsible in a New York state court over her claims, comparing her to a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas.

“Plaintiffs ask this Court to assert personal jurisdiction over Powell because her words were broadcast world-wide by Fox news from New York and maybe, as a result, some New Yorkers sent money to a Texas not-for-profit corporation called Defending the Republic,” Kleinhendler wrote. “According to this theory, a Buddhist monk shrouded in red robes high atop the Himalayas demanding Tibetan independence from China can be haled into this Court for defamatory statements against the Communist government.”

Rudy Giuliani also asked to dismiss the defamation suit

An attorney for Giuliani also filed a motion for dismissal on Thursday. Like Powell, Giuliani’s attorney argued that Smartmatic didn’t have jurisdiction to sue him in New York over comments claiming the company had secret Venezuelan connections it used to develop technology to manipulate election results.

Giuliani’s attorney also said that an “ordinary listener/reader” would interpret Giuliani’s remarks to be a reference to a Venezuelan company. Smartmatic is a British or Dutch company, and so the lawsuit should be dismissed, the attorney argued.

PowellRudy
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell have drifted from Trump’s orbit since the election.

Fox News, too, has filed motions asking the court to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit.

Court filings in February and in April argued that since the media company was offering newsworthy information from the president’s lawyers to viewers, it didn’t need to deeply scrutinize Powell’s and Giuliani’s claims. Smartmatic has argued that Fox News shouldn’t benefit from legal protections normally given to media companies in defamation lawsuits in New York.

Dominion has also sued Fox News, Powell, and Giuliani in separate lawsuits over election falsehoods. They have all asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed.

In March, Powell’s attorneys argued that Dominion’s lawsuit should be dismissed because her claims about the election were too outlandish to be taken seriously, even though she’s continued to push political conspiracy theories. Powell also faces potential legal sanctions over her lawsuits.

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Trump and Hannity’s friendship ‘began to break down’ when the Fox News host grew ‘disgusted’ with the 2020 election lies, according to book

Trump Hannity
President Donald Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity.

  • Fox News host Sean Hannity reportedly had a falling out with Trump last year.
  • Hannity was “disgusted” by Trump’s election lies, according to an updated book.
  • New details about Trump’s relationship with Fox are in Brian Stelter’s book “Hoax.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity’s relationship with former President Donald Trump soured as the one term president kept falsely claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, according to an updated book.

A newly released paperback copy of CNN anchor and media reporter Brian Stelter’s book “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth” details revelations learned since its initial release back in August 2020.

Hannity, who has openly campaigned for Trump at rallies despite his job at a news organization, was continuing to advise Trump in frequent phone calls leading up to Election Day, according to Stelter.

But when Trump began to peddle disinformation about the election and kept lying that it was stolen, the primetime host reportedly came close to a breaking point.

“The calls and counseling continued right up until Election Day-when the relationship between the two men began to break down. Hannity, according to one source, was ‘disgusted’ by some of Trump’s election denialism,” Stelter writes.

Stelter notes that he was initially “skeptical” of his source saying Hannity and Trump had a falling out because “Hannity devoted so much time to the Big Lie throughout the month of November and well into December.”

“At least [Tucker] Carlson was wise enough to focus on other Fox-friendly subjects,” Stelter writes. “Hannity kept inviting Kayleigh McEnany to hold up packets of paper and swear that the legal path to a second term was right around the corner, even though Trump’s suits were laughed out of court left and right. McEnany and other Hannity guests filled the Fox audience with false hope night after night and never, ever delivered.”

Of the more than 40 lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign challenging the results of the election, none have been successful in court.

“Sean knows the audience better than anyone,” a Fox coworker told Stelter under the condition of anonymity.

While Hannity may have been irked by Trump’s anti-democratic conspiracy theories privately, he “was never going to risk alienating the audience,” Stelter writes.

Fox News did not return Insider’s request for comment and did not make Hannity available for an interview.

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Fox News anchor Chris Wallace grilled Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin for ‘being naive’ about bipartisanship in his filibuster stance

joe manchin 20
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).

  • Sen. Joe Manchin reiterated his opposition to killing the filibuster in an op-ed Saturday.
  • On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace pressed Manchin on his hopes for bipartisan cooperation.
  • “Haven’t you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?” Wallace asked.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace pressed Sen. Joe Manchin Sunday over his strategy and hopes for bipartisanship in the Senate.

Democrats continue to express increasing interest in scrapping the filibuster, a rule that allows the minority party to block measures from being brought to a vote, but Manchin is one of the few standing in the way of his colleagues’ wishes.

The West Virginia Democrat has repeatedly said he does not support eliminating the rule and instead prefers passing bills with bipartisan consensus. He appeared on Fox News Sunday, during which Wallace asked him about his stance.

“If you were to keep the idea that maybe you would vote to kill the filibuster, wouldn’t that give Republicans an incentive to actually negotiate,” Wallace asked. “By taking it off the table, haven’t you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?”

Read more: He talks to Biden. We talked to him.

Manchin disagreed, saying there are “seven brave Republicans that continue to vote for what they know is right and the facts as they see them” and that he believes there are more that feel the same way, adding he sees “good signs.”

Wallace pointed out that Republicans did not support a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 Capitol insurrection and that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is “100%” focused on stopping President Joe Biden.

“Aren’t you being naive about this continuing talk about bipartisan cooperation?” Wallace said.

“I’m not being naive. I think he’s 100% wrong in trying to block all the good things that we’re trying to do for America,” Manchin responded, adding he believes McConnell puts politics before policies. “I’m going to continue to keep working with my bipartisan friends and hopefully we can get more of them.”

The appearance came on the heels of an op-ed written by the senator and published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Manchin used the piece to announce he won’t be voting in favor of the Democrats’ sweeping voting rights legislation, the For the People Act, calling it overly partisan.

“Some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past,” Manchin wrote.

The filibuster is a prolonged debate that can be used by the minority party to block a bill from going to a vote and can only be ended by a supermajority vote of 60 Senators.

The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.

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Progressive PAC says Fox News refused to air its ad about how law enforcement were treated by rioters on January 6

fox news ratings
Fox News headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

  • Fox News reportedly refused to air an advertisement that detailed how law enforcement officers were treated by rioters at the Capitol on January 6.
  • The advertisement was created by the progressive PAC Meidas Touch, which said it previously ran ads on Fox News without issue.
  • The advertisement criticized Republican lawmakers for their downplaying of the riot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News reportedly refused to air an advertisement created by a progressive PAC that featured testimonials from law enforcement officers about their treatment by the pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6.

“We couldn’t have fathomed in our wildest imaginations that even a Fox News would reject an ad that simply condemns the insurrection, and condemns people who support the insurrection,” Ben Meiselas, a co-founder of the PAC MeidasTouch, told the Los Angeles Times. “What Fox has really become is a fascist echo chamber gatekeeper for their base.”

The advertisement features testimony from some of the law enforcement officers who responded to the riot.

“It’s been very difficult seeing elected officials and other individuals whitewash the events of that day or downplay what happened,” said DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone in the advertisement in a clip that was originally from an interview on CNN.

“I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life,” he added.

During the riot, prosecutors say Fanone had a heart attack after he was shot several times with a stun gun, dragged down steps, and beaten with a flagpole, as Insider previously reported.

Capitol Police Captain Carneysha Mendoza is also featured in the advertisement, speaking about the chemical burns to her face she experienced. That clip was lifted from her testimony before the Senate in February.

The advertisement ends with on-screen text that reads “the GOP betrayed America.”

Meiselas and his brothers, Brett and Jordan, who founded MeidasTouch last year, told the LA Times they had placed the ad buy with Fox News last week but were told Friday that the network would not air it. They said they had never in the past had an advertisement rejected by Fox News.

Fox News did not return Insider’s request for comment Sunday.

The progressive organization posted the minute-long advertisement to its Twitter page and said it planned to air the advertisement on other networks.

The PAC told the LA Times it had paid Fox News $185,000 to run the advertisement from June 6 to June 15 during its programming.

“The fact they want to cancel and censor the voices of law enforcement who bravely guarded the Capitol. It’s the height of hypocrisy, and it’s un-American,” said Brett Meiselas.

In the months that followed the riot that resulted in five deaths, some Republicans have increasingly attempted to downplay its severity with some comparing rioters to tourists. Republicans in the Senate last month torpedoed an attempt to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

Earlier this year, MeidasTouch made headlines for running an advertisement that compared former Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue the “Grinches of Georgia.”

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Fox News and CNN choose not to air Trump’s first official speech in 3 months

Trump speech, North Carolina
Former President Donald Trump addresses the NCGOP state convention on June 5, 2021 in Greenville, North Carolina. The event is one of former U.S. President Donald Trumps first high-profile public appearances since leaving the White House in January.

  • Trump’s speech at the North Carolina GOP Convention on Saturday night was the first pubic address in months.
  • Both Fox News and CNN chose not to broadcast the address, Newsweek reported.
  • One America News and Newsmax both aired the speech live and in full.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fox News and CNN did not broadcast former President Donald Trump’s first public speech in three months, Newsweek reported.

Trump’s address at the North Carolina GOP State Convention on Saturday night was the first time the former president had made a public address since his Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speech in February.

Fox News, a station once loved but now much-maligned by the former president, broadcast a pre-taped episode of “Watters’ World” instead of Trump’s address.

CNN dedicated a segment to analyzing the importance of the address instead of actually airing Trump’s speech, Newsweek said.

Read more: Fox News isn’t even pretending to be a news network anymore. It’s time for consumers to force cable providers and advertisers to drop the network.

Fox News was once Trump’s favorite news channel, but he has repeatedly trashed it in recent years. He has called it “unwatchable” and has urged his followers to watch “anything else,” Insider’s Yelena Dzhanova reported.

One America News (OAN) and Newsmax are now battling it out for pro-Trump viewers, Insider reported. Both of the conservative networks decided to air the former president’s speech live, Newsweek said.

MSNBC showed some of the address, with a correspondent speaking over the remarks, Newsweek added.

Insider reached out to Fox News and CNN for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

During the address, Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd for the Senate seat being vacated by three-term Sen. Richard Burr in 2022.

The endorsement came after Tar Heel native Lara Trump, the wife of presidential son Eric Trump, declined to run for the seat, Insider’s John L. Dorman reported.

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