Ex-Reporter Jason Donner Sues Fox News Over ‘False’ Jan. 6 Coverage, Claims He Was Wrongfully Terminated
Jason Donner, a former Capitol Hill reporter and producer for Fox News, is taking legal action against the network, claiming he was fired due to his opposition to what he described as 'false coverage of the January 6th insurrection.' Donner, who spent 12 years at Fox News, filed the lawsuit on September 27, 2022, under D.C.'s human-rights statutes, asserting wrongful termination and discrimination, reported NBC News.
NEW:— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) November 14, 2023
Jason Donner, A former Fox News Capitol Hill reporter, filed a lawsuit against the network for allegedly firing him in retaliation for speaking out against its “false” coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Donner claimed the trouble began when he was reporting from inside… pic.twitter.com/1ffymfGNnq
Donner's legal complaint, lodged in the D.C. Superior Court, alleged that his troubles began after the 2020 election when Fox News started promoting unfounded claims of widespread election fraud, particularly concerning the Dominion Voting System. He pointed to backlash from Trump supporters after the network's announcement that Joe Biden had won in Arizona and contended that Fox News amplified election lies to boost ratings, as per The Daily Beast.
Citing Dominion Voting System's defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Donner emphasized the toxic environment for reporters attempting to report truthfully peaked after the January 6 insurrection. Having been inside the Capitol during the riots, Donner claimed he criticized the network's on-air reporting, especially when anchors described the insurrectionists as 'peaceful.'
"I’m your Capitol Hill Producer inside the Capitol where tear gas is going off... I don’t want to hear any of this f*****g s*** on our air ever again because you're gonna get us all killed," Donner allegedly warned the Fox News control room. Subsequently, he asserted that the network's editorial decisions were influenced by far-right opinion articles, shaping the narratives reported by the news division.
Jason Donner showing some integrity. Good on him!— Russell Firth (@rusfirth3) November 14, 2023
Donner contended that the situation worsened after Tucker Carlson's controversial January 6 revisionist series, Patriot Purge. As per the suit, "Patriot Purge was released despite the fact that Fox News knew it contained false information." Furthermore, Donner allegedly told his superiors 'that it was demoralizing that Fox News would allow Carlson to gaslight the country with false information,' especially considering some Fox News reporters were present during the Capitol attack.
The former reporter accused Fox News of discrimination and retaliation starting in the spring of 2022. He alleged that his supervisor, NuNu Japardize, accused him of creating a 'toxic environment' in the workplace. After filing complaints with human resources about Carlson's false reporting, Donner claims he was fired in August 2022, following sick leave in September.
“Jason Donner, a Capitol Hill reporter who spent 12 years at Fox News, alleges that the network fired him in retaliation because he opposed their false coverage of the January 6th insurrection."— 🌻SJI2783Ⓜ️Ⓜ️ (@Meidas_Sammi) November 13, 2023
The lawsuit read, "This was a pretextual firing based on Donner's political views and affiliation, his refusal to report false information regarding the 2020 election and January 6th, and for his engaging in protected activity. Ultimately, Fox News wanted to purge the news division of any staff that would not get in line with the directive to only report information that appeased the Trump supporters and former President Trump."
“The truth was in @FoxNews' inbox,” said one lawyer representing @dominionvoting as other lawsuits move through the courts.@lindayaX @elonmusk @CommunityNotes https://t.co/5qNJhC2AJs pic.twitter.com/S3aorSgEaQ— thee nasty rougarou in the machine (@TheeRougarou) November 14, 2023
Fox News has faced various defamation lawsuits post-2020 election, even settling with Dominion for $787.5 million and facing a billion-dollar case from Smartmatic, along with other legal challenges. Former host Carlson producer Abby Grossberg also settled a lawsuit with Fox News, alleging coercion and a toxic work environment.
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