Dominion vs. ‘Russian Collusion’ and ‘Disinformation’

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

Fox News is reeling, both financially and with respect to its talent, after being drawn into a long lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems.

The network just settled for an astounding $757.5 million and soon after released Tucker Carlson, the network’s highest-rated host.

The voting machine company had alleged some of Fox’s hosts had either promulgated, or allowed their guests to push, a false narrative that the corporation’s voting machines were “fixed” and misreported the vote count in some precincts of the 2020 presidential election.

In other words, Dominion walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars on the accusation that some raving guests and a few Fox journalists insinuated, falsely, that the machines had thrown the election to Joe Biden.

Yet no one argues that such post facto accusations influenced the election. The postelection dispute instead was over whether a news organization was responsible for all that its hundreds of guests and hosts say that proved later to be not substantiated, false, or defamatory.

Fox settled with Dominion reportedly to avoid messy revelations of its internal texts and to stop the hemorrhaging of its brand.

But by doing so, the network may have inadvertently set a dubious standard that any speculative opinion, voiced in public media, however nutty and later proven to be inaccurate, will be actionable.

If that is the standard, we are going to see a lot more costly lawsuits.

Compare Dominion’s writ with the twin “Russian collusion” and “Russian disinformation” hoaxes.

Lots of journalists and guests on network news, cable, public broadcasting, and internet news sites ran daily with the utter lie that the concocted Christopher Steele dossier was accurate.

Four years later, they were still claiming that Donald Trump had won the 2016 election only by enlisting the aid of the Russians—as an “asset” and puppet of Vladimir Putin.

All that was demonstrably untrue.

No one on these news shows ever produced any information validating the dossier, much less offered apologies to those whose lives they ruined, as in the case of Lt. General Michael Flynn and Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

The steady two-year drumbeat of media and DNC-fabricated untruths neutered the first two years of the Trump Administration.

Robert Mueller’s $40 million, 22-month special counsel “investigation” leaked wild and lurid rumors of Trump indictments to come, and yet ultimately found no proof of collusion.

No matter. The agendas of the Democratic Party’s collaboration with the media were fulfilled. The Trump Administration was wounded, forced on defense to reply to countless new fabrications, and smeared to the point of caricature.

The incumbent president went into the 2020 election crippled by years of media-voiced lies about collusion. Given all that, did these miscreants learn anything the second time around?

No. They redoubled their efforts. This time, the new farce was “Russian disinformation,” even as the playbook of smearing remained the same.

First, once again, the Left enlisted the media. It helped to spread the lie that Hunter Biden’s incriminating laptop was a product of “Russian disinformation” aimed at helping Donald Trump.

Second, once more,  the FBI helped to further what the agency knew was a lie. So the agency either persuaded or paid social media companies in Silicon Valley to suppress news that pointed to an authentic Biden laptop—whose contents revealed embarrassing details about Joe Biden’s (“The Big Guy”) apparent quid pro quo profiteering with foreign nations.

Twitter was hired as a news suppressor. The FBI paid the company $3 million to suss out “disinformation.”

Joe Biden’s campaign operative, current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, tapped former interim CIA Director Mike Morell on the eve of the 2020 presidential debate to round up 50 former senior intelligence officials.

The “experts” publicly promulgated the lie that the laptop “bears the hallmarks of Russian disinformation.” Then, as planned, Biden in the debate used the experts’ phony consensus—dreamed up by his own campaign team—to play the victim of Trump/Russian disinformation.

He blasted Trump as a demagogue who unfairly had suggested Biden and his family were trading influence for cash.

One conservative poll suggested that the farce influenced enough voters to have changed the election. Again, no one has apologized—not the current secretary of state, not the former interim CIA Director, not the 50 experts who signed the bogus letter.

Massaging a U.S. election by conspiring to concoct a disinformation campaign must be as actionable as Dominion’s postelection claim of $757 million in damages.

Did not Twitter, the FBI, CNN, and MSNBC knowingly try to influence an election by spreading what they must have known was an absurd lie?

Almost no one after the election swallowed the notion that Dominion had rigged its voting machines. But millions before the election may have been swayed by the Biden campaign and the media-generated lie that the authentic Biden laptop was part of a Russian intelligence operation.

And that lie, unlike the Dominion charge of postelection defamation, might have changed history.


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39 thoughts on “Dominion vs. ‘Russian Collusion’ and ‘Disinformation’”

  1. I am reminded of the “stab in the back” cry of the German right following the Armistice in November 1918.

    Going back over the accounts of the Trump victory in 2016, for the day or two immediately after the election results, there was no mention of Russian collusion or anything of that sort. Just profound shock. I think the election result caused a breakdown for many in the American Left; they simply could not come to terms with the fact that they had run a terrible candidate with an unpopular message who was plainly outhustled by Mr. Trump.

    Like the Germany for the next twenty-five years, America is all the worse for the instigation of our nation’s own monstrous political lie, “Russian collusion.” An enduring legacy for one Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  2. Victor all absolutely true and in an asymmetric legal arena where the ruling class selects the bias weights to be placed on the judicial scales no true remedies are possible. The big guy and his PARTY WILL prevail leaving tens of millions disillusioned that the results of 2024 can never again go their way. The sons of the infantrymen who fought across Europe and the tough men from CHOSIN are realising their greatest battle has been lost. The pampered and woke beneficiaries of their blood and treasure spit on their memories. The troubled question is where and when will the threshold of disgust reach the point that it flashes into a kinetic reaction?
    The PARTY is of course ready for this and is poised to dramatically scale up the J6 incarceration population as needed to stay in full control. A stake is to be driven into the heart of noisy populists from BOTH sides that the PARTY can press ON to total victory

    Then….comes 1793 and once again the guillotine flashes in the sun and thus ends this “Jacobin”reign as the PARTY settles in to THEIR new world
    flowing with blood

  3. Outstanding writing, thank you again and again.

    We are absorbed into a war brought on by the No Value Added Army. This troubling herd has no knowledge, skills, attitude, discipline or performance that builds civilizing tendencies. They know how to promote dissatisfaction and turmoil. That “value added work” they despise is largely done in foreign lands. Drifters have one machine, demise for people adding value.

    As the place falls daily beyond human scale for remedy the money printing machine of liberals runs, supporting drifters and taking value from savers and investors. I have worked in about 50 other countries, this typical Hollywood junk script has been played to lights out many times. There never is any skill, integrity, imagination, discipline, finance or civilized structure left to fix anything in the turmoil.

    Where is John Galt? Or Dagny Taggart, Henry Reardon and Ragnac Danneskjold?

    They knew to flee and build elsewhere among only a few invited non-destructive people that seek civilized tendencies, no drifters and they are not scared to stand up and contribute value added.

  4. Nicholas A Jones

    Hi Victor-

    I’m neither here nor there. Being disinterested – it seems Tucker and other we’re pushing a line that they new to be incorrect, and something privately (and in their place of work – off camera) did not believe in. So yes – this is fraudulent, and it’s deliberate.

    For me – the real fall guy should have been Lachlan Murdoch (not Tucker). Lachlan Murdoch surely has the profile of a person you clearly find fault in:

    – global and bi-coastal
    – Educated at elite NE Prep Schools and elite Middlesbury College
    – talentless; all the branded educational signifiers – but no substance. He has not built anything (unlike his father Rupert)
    – every position given to him has been blatantly nepotistic

    The real victim here has been Jerry Hall – unceremoniously dumped, as Rupert had to attend this legal matter.

    A better decision would have been to fire Lachlan.

    Turning my attention back to you –

    In the article you seek to do two things:

    1. Lessen the nutty view of a guest, and that this is free speech.

    2. the Davis Hanson pivot – and immediately draw up the quid pro Quo with those nasty Democrats.

    Victor – you are a learned, cultured, pragmatic man. I think you were at your intellectual peak in 2004 – you are entitled to your views (many I respect) – but the side of you earning $5/month or $50/year to serve up a weekly dose of blatantly impartial opinion …. Shows less enlightenment.

    But I appreciate this need for money- you needed to rewire the farm, and build a new well

    1. Nicholas A Jones

      Fact checking myself – Lachlan went to Princeton- and younger brother James to Middlesburry.

      I did not mean to be snide at the end there.
      I have said before -Victor – if you were less you would have more power and impact!

    2. The label of “nutty” view of Tucker Carlson is subject to interpretation. Tucker Carlson tackled delicate topics that most other television commentators, including conservative commentators, were either unaware of or afraid to address. Carlson’s specific mention of Ray Epps may have been a misstep, but he was doing the greater good with pointing out the paradoxes in the response to the January 6 riot, a topic that has been off-limits to most analysts.

      What you describe as the “Davis Hanson pivot” I would identify as a necessary measure to point out what up to the publishing of this article had been left unspoken. The other major mainstream networks, who generally advocate for leftist viewpoints, have gotten away with much worse than what Tucker Carlson or Fox News generally have been guilty of. As VDH points out, this is evident in the media pushing of the Russian collusion hoax or Russian disinformation campaign.

      Where do you see the dismissal of these commentators who have promulgated these views that have far greater repercussions, or where do you see the equivalence of Dominion-led lawsuits against these other networks? There is absolutely no symmetry in the treatment afforded to the Left compared to those with traditional or conservative views.


    Why should we expect anyone who pushed the progressive lies of “Russian collusion” and “Russian disinformation”?

    First, truth is not a value to the Left. If it comes to telling the truth, or advancing the cause, the Left will jettison the truth in an instant.

    Second, and flowing from the previous statement, the closest I expect any Leftist to get to an admission that Russian collusion and Russian disinformation are lies, is to paraphrase what corrupt Senator Harry Reid said, when challenged about the lies he told about Mitt Romney’s taxes:

    “He didn’t win, did he?”

  6. Too clever by half Dr Hanson.

    You know the difference in consequences between the official narrative and opposing it.

    All this exercise demonstrates is what many of us have felt/thought/believed for a long time : Fox News corporate is as much a part of the Uniparty/Deep State/Never Trump/call it what you want as is Google, Facebook and old Twitter.

    Murdoch should have paid heed to the old Arab proverb ” it’s better to have the camel inside the tent urinating out than outside the tent urinating in” as we wait for Carlson to surface without being constrained by any forces he wants to expose.

  7. Unequal application of the law.

    MSM lies every day with no repercussions. As stated, they have warped elections based on their obvious lies. Why are we not going after them?

    Government lies every day with no consequences. For instance, they have not been forthcoming with our activities in Ukraine. No repercussions, no accountability, story buried.

    Fox has a few guests opine that the voting machines were rigged and has to pay 100s of millions of dollars. Machines that run on software can be manipulated and programmed to produce predictable outcomes, whether it happened in this case or not. As a software engineer, I know this better than most. Having read the machine manual, I can see how this could have been done. Not difficult.

    Fauci lied about Wuhan. Fauci lied about masks, efficacy of shots, usefulness of therapeutics, and power of natural immunity. Despite impacting millions of people negatively, he faces no punishment and remains a darling of the left.

    As long as the left can find a friendly judge, this will continue. The supply of left-leaning activist judges, who all start out as lawyers graduating from schools like Stanford, is unending.

    My father always told me that the world is not fair. Looks like he was right all along.

  8. Increasingly, the most outlandish accusations are settled out of court to avoid the legal discovery process with trying the case. Another incremental perversion of the legal system leading us further away from “truth, justice and the American way”.

  9. Thomas O'Brien

    So why haven’t the lawsuits been forthcoming?

    Surely, the mountain of pre-election censorship against Trump is now undeniable.

    Besides the millions (billion’s in collective settlements) would be helpful, and discourage such practices in the future.

    Additionally, multiple lawsuits of this unprecedented magnitude would be hard to suppress from a public that would otherwise be disinterested.

    Bring on the lawyers!

  10. Although I agree with almost all of your arguments, and I listen to your podcasts on Spotify, you must be consistent in your logic. What I mean is this: the two expressions “false equivalence” and “what-abouti-sm” have been used against Russia all the time. Yet, that very same “what-about-ism” (what about them? What about that?) is being used in your arguments a lot. When Russia asks “why did the US & NATO bomb Belgrade in Europe without a UN resolution” Americans scream “Russians love what-about-ism”. What you are so unhappy about within America, is exactly what countries around the world are unhappy about America’s liberal foreign policy. Read John Mearsheimer’s from U of Chicago latest book “The Great Delusion”. And be consistent in your arguments at home as well as in your foreign policy.

  11. Victor S Malone

    Yet in 2018 and before that in 2016, Democrats publicly said that the voting machines were not secure and open to manipulation. Statements that would have you cancelled off of all major social media sites after 2020. The double standard is maddening.

  12. The real point is that Trump should have sued. He has a entrenched habit (narcissistic personality trait?) of preferring to complain and attack rather than take action.

    The characterization of the Dominion Suit in this article is sloppy and inaccurate. For a much clearer, nuanced, but still Fox-Friendly discussion of the suit, see Megyn Kelly’s Podcasts of the past few days. Bonus: You can hear Uictor add his two sense on one of the MK Podcasts! Everyone loves Uictor.

  13. Bruce Atkinson

    I agree what the democrats did to unseat Trump was EVERY BIT as eligible for a faorable verdict against the damn traitors.

  14. Blackrock owns 59.M shares of Dominion. Blackrock owns 45.7M shares of Fox. Blackrock sued itself and fired TuckerCarlson as part of that lawsuit. Look it up before they change it.

  15. As a non-American and one who loves the good old USA, I and all the people I talk to, are staggered that huge country, with all that talent, comes up with one drongo after another as president. Take the last few. Bush the Younger, dragged the USA and others, into the quagmire of Iraq where the result is the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and countless treasure, for a result of Iraq being more or less run by Iran. Nice one George. Obama, looks good, sounds good but like our unlamented, just departed Prime Minister, Saint Jacinda, all form and no content. Humiliated by the Chinese, 20 minutes wait time for stairs and Saudi Arabia sending the Deputy Foreign Minster to meet him at the airport. Trump, had some very good policies and to be fair, had huge forces trying to destroy him but a deeply flawed human being. And now Good old Joe. What can you say? A rest home would just by-pass him straight to the Dementia Ward. He is an embarrasment. Surely he can’t go a second time around. Please America find some talent, the free world needs you back. Paul

    1. Thomas O'Brien

      Paul, whatever personal flaws Trump has, they did not diminish his presidency. He was highly accomplished during his first term. That is undeniable.

  16. Victor, you expect apologies from the opposition? Get real.
    Voting machines are unnecessarily complicated for well-calculated reason$.

    “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, . . .
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”
    Quote from The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats. Read on, fellow citizens.

    1. What may be needed, is an American Joan of Arc. Super-precocious, uneducated, illiterate yet more than held her own in court with the best barristers of her day at 17. Mark Twain thought her to be of the highest developed of our species. She lived when bodies of victims of crime rotted in the streets of Paris and wolves ruled and people moved out to safer climes. We are not quite there yet.

      1. It helped that all Joan of Arc had to do was convince an oppressed and occupied populace to rise up in favor of their emerging nation-state and then adopt the tactic of striking the English-Burgundian Coalition before their forces could set up their impenetrable “hedgehog” defense on the field -a tactic that suited the aggressive “audacite!” ethos the French military cultivated until WWII. An illiterate peasant can do that; especially if she has the help of the flower of the French nobility (including a mass-murdering psychopath) behind her.

    2. And a prophecy from a Head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Stella Mantua, who believed that Humanity was on the cusp of a psychic awakening that would usher in a Millennium of Peace.

  17. Melanie O’Keefe

    I don’t even know what to say anymore. I’ll never understand how so Americans go along with this. I really appreciate all you do.

  18. It was disappointing that a couple nationally known lawyers did not show the proof they claimed. Nevertheless, there were videos of Dems stuffing ballot boxes in the wee hours of the night, etc., plus affidavits of election workers offering testimony to improper election activity. It was a mess, less trustworthy than the election in Iraq years ago wherein voters were identified by inked fingers. The probability of returning to a trustful election here, with the coordinated left dominating 5/6 of the gov, is low.

  19. These underhanded schemes of the left used to destroy the Trump campaign will undoubtedly continue up through the next election to achieve the same goals. Going forward, Fox will be reluctant to do investigative journalism to uncover future wrong doing by the leftists. We are at risk for speaking out against the sinister corruption that is undermining our society. There are lawyers ready to hit any of us with a lawsuit for defamation. Most of us everyday folks couldn’t withstand the financial toll of being sued. Yet the left gets away with their lies. Thank you for an excellent essay.

  20. The problem is that the very institution that could bring the charges is corrupt – I speak of Merrick Garland’s DOJ. As is the investigative branch that would bring the facts to light – I speak of Christopher Wray’s FBI. So you have no detectives, working with prosecutors, to bring charges.

    Instead, they have done the exact opposite – they buried the evidence (aka the laptop) for almost 4 years and counting. Let’s not forget the press – they fully supported the hoax for 2 years – most of them anyway.

    Imagine Trump colluding with foreign adversaries for profit, and manufacturing a gigantic hoax when evidence was uncovered, and the FBI and DOJ (and CIA) conspiring to make the hoax believable. Imagine the media playing along for 2 years, all the while knowing it was a lie.

    And guess what – they’ll probably do it again in 2024 – and probably get away with it again.

  21. Well, something is going on with Dominion voting machines. They’ve had significant problems with them in Maricopa County, AZ in two consecutive elections. Is it mere coincidence that machine malfunctions keep happening in a (open) border swing state that most recently included the narrow defeat of a Trump-endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidate? To quote FDR: “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way”.

  22. As to the Fox News surrender to Dominion ……. and the possible ripple effect ……. I am reminded of a term which I have not seen used in a while: SLAPP (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”).

  23. In most states our elections are impossible to fully audit. This is by design.

    Until we demand that elections be auditable, like a company’s finances, we are just wasting our time.

    It wouldn’t be that hard to do. Really.

    Too many people derive too much power by keeping our elections the way they are. Recounts are always futile since the rigging has already taken place. How many times do you want to count fake votes?

    I asked chatGPT to tell me 10 ways to say an election was rigged:

    The election was manipulated.
    The election was fixed.
    The election was rigged in someone’s favor.
    The election was fraudulent.
    The election was compromised.
    The election results were tampered with.
    The election outcome was predetermined.
    The election was unfair.
    The election was compromised by illegal or unethical means.
    The election was stolen.

    Take your pick.

    I am reminded, in a Wilsonian way, of the film quote by Officer Malone: “Mr. Ness, everybody knows where the booze is. The problem isn’t finding it, the problem is who wants to cross Capone.”

    We know that elections are rigged but are powerless to to anything about it.

    By the way, the Wilson I refer to is Tim’s neighbor.

    1. Yep. It’s not difficult.

      1 day for election day; except for military and hospital ridden.

      ID and signature validation.

      Paper ballots.

  24. I am frequently apoplectic witnessing the unconscionable double standard the radical left forces upon the rest of us!

    And the level of my disappointment in the RHINOs in Congress (both houses) has reached the “there’s no hope for them” level.

    I hate to just shake my head and throw my hands up in the air, but my Goodness, what can WE do when our representatives are being such fools? (We have only a few good men and women.)

    We are blessed to have your voice and your words.

    Thank you, Mr. Hanson.

    1. I believe that WE are the fools as much as those supposedly representing us in Congress. I have a childhood friend, from one of those ‘swing states’ which went to Biden; whom I had lunch with this past month; he realizes the crime increase but fails to acknowledge politics has anything to do with it. In a Trump/Biden rematch he will vote Biden! He does believe neither should be nominated but his TDS is clear.
      In a different ‘blue’ state I campaigned for, what I thought were solid candidates. A 20 year member of the Seattle SWAT team and Tiffany Smiley; to no avail as both lost. The fact that the democrats barely campaigned leads me to believe republicans cannot win in WA.
      WE are the fools that let the Republic slip away!

  25. Maybe it’s true that the Dominion voting machines were not involved in stealing the election for the Democrats. I doubt it, but we will probably never know.

    However, we do know what Zuckerberg and Facebook did before the election. So, why is that never discussed, even on this website? And why is there no investigation? Why is Congress saying nothing, and doing nothing, about that? Except for the fact, of course, that they are almost all incompetent cowards. And why has nothing been said about the allegations in Mollie Hemingway’s book _Rigged_, which claims the 2020 election was stolen?

    If we can allow anyone, no matter who, to steal a presidential election, we are finished. And we *have* allowed it.

  26. “Almost no one after the election swallowed the notion that Dominion had rigged its voting machines.”
    Exactly what poll was it that presented this data????
    True that no definitive proof has been presented by Sidney Powell or Mike Lindell but pillows and other goods are flying off the MyPillow shelves post box stores deleting the products. As in the BudLight controversy, millions of Americans are proving with their wallets that Lindell has garnered support via his controversy.

    Then we have two Molly’s presenting a compelling case the election was “Rigged”, Hemingway; and/or manipulated, Ball!
    The analysis by Peter Navarro in the swing states provides a compelling case of fraud as does the jump in Biden votes around 11pm. Just how did those numbers increase across the board?

    Put it all together, including the media bias, and we ended up with an illegitimate count and a corrupt POTUS!

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