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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Right-wing mouthpiece Newsmax forced to apologize for lies about election fraud, Dominion employee

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As explained by Huffington Post, Eric Coomer, the head of Dominion Voting Systems’ product strategy and security, had filed a defamation lawsuit against Newsmax, the right-wing propaganda outlet owned by Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of Donald Trump. Ruddy’s sewage-spewing factory had aired baseless allegations against Coomer in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

The lawsuit, filed by Dominion’s head of product strategy and security Eric Coomer, is among several filed over false claims that election technology companies like Dominion rigged the election against former president Donald Trump and in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Coomer sued Newsmax in December in state court in Colorado over false claims that he took part in an “Antifa conference call” to rig the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump. He revised his lawsuit in February to bolster his claims against Newsmax…[.]

Coomer’s lawsuit was separate from the more highly publicized action brought on behalf of Dominion against other right-wing outlets alleging defamation. As part of the settlement, an undisclosed sum of money may have been provided to Coomer, although “terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.”

In Newsmax’s craven statement apologizing to Coomer, the “news” network admits that the allegations it aired were wholly baseless.

Newsmax would like to clarify its coverage of Dr. Coomer and note that while Newsmax initially covered claims by President Trump’s lawyers, supporters and others that Dr. Coomer played a role in manipulating Dominion voting machines, Dominion voting software, and the final vote counts in the 2020 presidential election, Newsmax subsequently found no evidence that such allegations were true. Many of the states whose results were contested by the Trump campaign after the November 2020 election have conducted extensive recounts and audits, and each of these states certified the results as legal and final.

There are several facts that our viewers should be aware of. Newsmax has found no evidence that Dr. Coomer interfered with Dominion voting machines or voting software in any way, nor that Dr. Coomer ever claimed to have done so. Nor has Newsmax found any evidence that Dr. Coomer ever participated in any conversation with members of “Antifa,” nor that he was directly involved with any partisan political organization.

In light of the specific character of the assertions, it appears to be beyond comprehension how or why the right-wing organization could have made such a grievous error in allowing such claims to be broadcast over its bandwidth. In particular, one can’t help but wonder what an “antifa conference call”  would look like, assuming such a thing existed. But perhaps they were simply carried away in the moment by patriotic fervor.

As for Mr. Coomer. his lawsuit alleged that Newsmax’s airing of this disinformation had its desired effects.

Oltmann’s baseless claims spread like wildfire in right-wing media circles, and Coomer went into hiding after receiving numerous death threats. Coomer sued more than a dozen right-wing media figures he claims were responsible for pushing the conspiracy theories. He alleged defamation, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and civil conspiracy over the claims.

As the lawsuit was still in its early stages at the time of this rather hasty settlement, it’s impossible to ascertain what, if any, responsibility Newsmax had in inspiring the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in the death of five people and untold property damage, in addition to disgracing the country.

All of the other people and organizations Coomer has sued — including Oltmann, Trump’s campaign, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, One America News Network, and others — remain defendants in the lawsuit.

Perhaps the remaining defendants in Mr. Coomer’s lawsuit can explain those issues more clearly, before they too feel compelled to settle out of court.


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