Apparently, so long as Kari Lake's and maybe other Big Lies about our elections are not likely to cause a lawsuit, Fox News is just fine allowing Maria Bartiromo and possibly anyone else at the network promoting them.
Fox News and Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo not only gave Kari Lake, Arizona’s sore loser gubernatorial candidate, a friendly platform but helped validate her election-denying lies about her loss in November.
Lake was ostensibly there to help smear President Biden’s weekend trip to the El Paso border. Fox has been complaining that Biden has not visited the border and, not surprisingly, now that he has, they’re complaining he didn’t do it the right way (pun intended).
Never mind that Lake lives in Phoenix, 430 miles and two states away from El Paso. And never mind that Phoenix is about 300 miles from the border nor that Lake, a former TV news anchor, has no policy or governmental experience. But hey, she’s got MAGA opinions and that seems to be all that matters to Maria “auditioning to be Donald Trump’s next wife” Bartiromo (as Jimmy Kimmel dubbed her).
So there was Bartiromo prompting Lake to attack Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs over the fact that her predecessor, Republican Doug Ducey, agreed to remove a makeshift border wall, made of shipping containers, as part of a legal settlement with the federal government.
Lake’s first comment did not exactly make her look like gubernatorial material: “Well, this is the problem with putting up a wall of container ships like that,” she said. But, OK, she corrected herself before moving on to work her "stolen election" lies into the subject:
LAKE: This is why my plan on the border called for actually constructing and finishing President Trump’s wall. We need a permanent barrier there and we need a strong governor to do that and that’s why the people showed up and voted for me.
Unfortunately, people running our elections sabotaged Election Day and now we have Katie Hobbs sitting in the governor’s office, threatening to make our border crisis even worse than it already is.
FACT CHECK: Lake lost the election by 18,000 votes, has refused to concede and is now making a last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court that Republican experts and officials say she is unlikely to win.
Not that Bartiromo told the viewers any of that. Instead, she validated Lake’s claim. “You a minute ago said that the other side sabotaged you. How did they do it and how far are you willing to take this lawsuit?”
Lake’s somewhat incoherent answer suggested that her loss was somehow connected to Donald Trump’s “sabotaged” loss in Arizona in 2020.
LAKE: We are suing and we, uh, we are the first court case to even have evidence, um, put forth in an election case. Um, really a lot of people said in 2020 they never put any evidence forward. There’s a lot of evidence and we saw it play out on the Election Day in Arizona when 60 percent of the voting locations stopped working as soon as the polls opened on Election Day, knowing that 75% of the people voting on Election Day were voting for Kari Lake.
They sabotaged Election Day by printing the wrong images on the ballots, jamming up the machines. The machines didn’t work at at least 60 percent of the polling locations and that caused lines of two and three and four hours. People couldn’t vote. They got to the front of the line, the machines were jamming and people were disenfranchised and so we’re fighting this and we’ve got excellent evidence and we’re taking it to the Appellate Court now. We will take it to the Arizona Supreme Court and we will take it to the United States Supreme Court if we need to but we will not allow our elections to be stolen in Arizona.
As Mediaite’s Aidan McLaughlin pointed out, “[Lake’s] challenge was struck down in court, her opponent Katie Hobbs was sworn in as governor, yet she continues to insist she is the “the duly elected governor.” She, very clearly, is not.” Rather than relay that information to viewers, Bartiromo validated Lake's claim by asking, “How did they do it?” Then, while Lake was answering, Bartiromo gave a murmur of appreciation.
“The interview was reminiscent of the kind of journalism the Fox News anchor conducted after the 2020 election,” McLaughlin noted. That, despite the fact that it got Bartiromo embroiled in two billion-dollar defamation cases against Fox for promoting lies about voting technology companies.
Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion defamation case against Fox News named Bartiromo as a defendant. She was deposed in Dominion Voting System’s similar $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox. The Los Angeles Times noted, “Dominion’s lawsuit said Bartiromo continued to feature voter fraud claims made about the company ‘even though she had been specifically notified that independent fact-checkers, government officials and election security experts debunked those lies.’”
Fox stopped promoting the 2020 Big Lie once it knew the big lawsuits were coming. But each of those suits are brought by voting technology companies that Fox, Bartiromo and others fingered as culprits for the supposedly stolen election. Notice how Lake didn’t name any one person or one entity that supposedly “sabotaged” her.
So when there’s no legal liability, Fox and Bartiromo seem willing as ever to undermine the integrity of our elections and democracy with lies.
You can watch Bartiromo, Fox and Lake do the real sabotaging of the 2023 election below, from the January 8, 2023 Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.
Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake joined 'Sunday Morning Futures' to discuss Biden's visit to the southern border and the 2022 Arizona governor's election.
Lake has repeatedly tried to take different approaches to avoid admitting the fact that she is the loser of the 2022 Arizona midterm. She’s tried to declare fraud that doesn’t exist. She’s tried to declare vote suppression when nothing of the sort happened. She’s tried to falsely declare victory and announce a “transition team” to nowhere. And now she’s in the middle of fruitless litigation that is wasting the time of multiple courts and getting her attorneys sanctioned.
Lake would do better to start looking for an actual job, given that there are many employers in Arizona where her skills could be used. Those Burger King and KFC applications won’t fill themselves out.