The radio station that sparked the revolution in American conservative discourse in the mid-1980s, WABC, the Young Pan New Yorker, decided to issue a warning on Thursday (4), in the interval of Rudy Giuliani’s show:
“The views, assumptions and opinions expressed by the former lawyer for the president and the former mayor, his guests and visitors are strictly theirs and do not necessarily represent the views, beliefs or policies of the WABC. “
Giuliani then entered, foaming at the “insulting” message, accusing that he had been told “before they did what they just did”.
And he said the notice showed how the attack on “free speech, how they scare everyone” is progressing.
That Thursday, Fox News, also New Yorker and created by Rupert Murdoch with voices taken from the WABC, had become the target of a libel suit brought by a voting device company, Smartmatic.
The amount requested, US $ 2.7 billion (14.5 billion reais), was the most frightening.
The next day, Fox News’ financial channel Fox Business canceled the Lou Dobbs anchor program, one cited by Smartmatic – and its larger audience.
As Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz, his colleague for decades, commented, Dobbs has often gone “too far.” And he had become “one of the strongest supporters of allegations of electoral fraud.”
The movement, as Giuliani’s reaction to the WABC indicates, is larger than Dobbs.
Smartmatic’s lawyers and executives have been interviewed and celebrated by competitors like CNN, on the Reliable Sources program, and the New York Times, on the The Daily podcast.
But here and there someone has cited the historical risks of such processes. A Harvard law professor, for example, said it was through them that the powerful tried to silence their critics. Another, linked to New York University, replied:
“I have always feared defamation cases as a threat to democracy, a tool to suppress dissent. Given the failure of our institutions to refute disinformation, it seems they are all that is left.