What's on Our Mind 2-12-2021

What's On Our Mind

Smartmatic, an international election technology company, recently filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox news and three of its anchors: Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro. Smartmatic is suing over false reports that it played a role in stealing the 2020 election. 

False claims have been made that the company’s machines could be hacked to secretly change the votes across the country. However, Smartmatic was only used in Los Angeles County and not nationwide. A win will send a loud message to other media companies that if they promote false, damaging right-wing conspiracy theories that incite violence, there will financial accountability.

The Fox anchors named in the lawsuit promoted this lie numerous times during their broadcasts which helped to whip up Trump’s supporters who eventually then stormed the Capitol.

This baseless claim may have helped Fox’s popularity with its viewers. But it hurt them with their advertisers. Companies did not want to be associated with a network who supports right-wing lies. It wasn’t until advertisers left that Fox decided to act to curb Dobbs. They cancelled his show.

Like Trump, without a national audience, Dobbs cannot engage in speech that leads to violence. Money matters.

Trump supporter and contributor Mike Lindell of MyPillow is learning the same lesson. He has also been promoting the election fraud lies. He even went as far as encouraging Trump to institute martial law.

There was a social media uproar over Lindell which put pressure on stores carrying MyPillow to drop the brand. J.C. Penney, Kohl's, and Bed Bath & Beyond all stopped selling Lindell’s products.

Beauty influencer Amanda Ensing has also felt the sting of promoting dangerous acts. She was recently dropped by cosmetic company Sephora for condoning the looting of the Capitol on social media. Sephora’s consumers complained to the company. Sephora acted because they feared revenue loss.

Businesses, such as Fox, will act responsibly when they fear financial pain. If Smartmatic wins their case, we will begin to take an important step to turn back the right-wing tide of lies that threaten the safety and security of our country. Money can be among the best, most powerful weapons against hate.