Two days after Fox News Media introduced plans to cancel Lou Dobbs Tonight, its highest-rated program, correspondent Howard Kurtz briefly provided his opinion in regards to the now-defunct collection’ longtime host.
Lou Dobbs has hosted packages for greater than 4 many years, initially presenting the speak present Moneyline on CNN earlier than shifting to Fox Business nearly 10 years in the past. An unwavering supporter of former president Donald Trump, the political commentator hosted Lou Dobbs Tonight every night on Fox. His segments targeted on political and monetary affairs.
“I’ve known Lou as a talented broadcaster for decades,” stated Kurtz throughout a brief section recounting the collection’ cancellation on Sunday. It aired as a part of Fox News’ Media Buzz, a program that Kurtz hosts.
Acknowledging his former colleague’s predilection for “controversial” views, equivalent to those who backed Trump’s baseless election fraud claims regardless of an absence of proof to substantiate them, Kurtz contended that “Dobbs sometimes went too far” in voicing his views. However, the Media Buzz host declined to criticize Dobbs’ conduct on air.
“Dobbs became one of the most passionate defenders of Donald Trump during his presidency, and of his claims of election fraud,” stated Kurtz. “In my opinion, Dobbs sometimes went too far. But that was his right as an opinion host, and it’s Fox’s right to decide its programming. I want to wish Lou the best in the future.”
Fox confirmed the speak present’s cancellation on Friday, initially in feedback to the Los Angeles Times. The resolution to take away Dobbs’ common collection from its programming roster intently trailed Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit in opposition to Fox Corporation, of which Fox News Media is a division.
Alongside community personalities Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo, Dobbs was implicated in the swimsuit for spreading “false claims and accusations” about Smartmatic after November’s common election, in keeping with a Thursday assertion issued by the corporate. Smartmatic developed digital voting expertise used solely in California’s Los Angeles County through the presidential contest.
As Trump, his marketing campaign and workforce of attorneys sought to problem the election’s outcomes, they launched unfounded allegations of poll manipulation on the a part of Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, an unrelated firm that additionally supplied voting expertise to elections departments final yr. Pirro, Bartiromo and Dobbs reiterated a lot of Trump’s false claims following the election, together with these associated to Smartmatic and Dominion.
Fox News Media denounced the lawsuit in a press release launched Thursday.
“Fox News Media is committed to providing the full context of every story with in-depth reporting and clear opinion. We are proud of our 2020 election coverage and will vigorously defend against this meritless lawsuit in court,” the community’s assertion, which Newsweek acquired later, learn in full.
Its remarks about cancelling Lou Dobbs Tonight, launched the next day, didn’t point out the defamation swimsuit.
“As we said in October, Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business—this is part of those planned changes,” the community stated Friday. Kurtz reviewed the assertion throughout his Media Buzz section on Sunday morning.
A Fox News spokesperson directed Newsweek to “fact-checking” segments that ran throughout episodes of Pirro, Bartiromo and Dobbs’ particular person speak present collection on December 19 and 20 of final yr, in response to a request for additional remark. An interview with Eddie Perez, expertise improvement director on the Open Source Election Technology Institute, was the main target of every section. The pre-taped Q&A noticed Perez explaining why he believed accusations associated to Smartmatic, and its function within the 2020 election, have been false.
Updated 5:28 p.m. ET, to mirror Fox News’ response to Newsweek‘s request for remark.