One America News aired a lengthy legal disclaimer Friday ahead of a documentary by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell that distanced the network from his false claims about election fraud, as media networks try to shield themselves against anticipated defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic for spreading conspiracy theories involving their voting machines.“The statements and claims expressed in this program are presented at this time as opinions only and are not intended to be taken or interpreted by the viewer as actual facts,” OAN’s legal disclaimer said. A Dominion spokesperson said in a statement to Forbes that Lindell’s film is a “repackaging of lies which have been repeatedly debunked” and the company will continue to seek retribution for the allegedly defamatory statements in court. Dominion’s attorney Thomas Clare told legal outlet Law & Crime that the disclaimer on Lindell’s film would not help OAN avoid legal action from the voting company. “‘Nice try’ by OAN, but it definitely does not relieve them of liability,” Clare said, saying the company “warned them specifically” not to air the film and they decided to “broadcast it anyway.”Dominion and Smartmatic’s voting machines are at the heart of a far-right conspiracy theory alleging they flipped votes to fraudulently swing the election to President Joe Biden—a claim that is unsubstantiated by evidence and has been repeatedly rejected by the courts. Dominion has filed two $1.3 billion defamation lawsuits against Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell for spreading the claims, and Smartmatic filed a $2.4 billion lawsuit Thursday against Giuliani, Powell, Fox News and several of its anchors. Dominion’s attorney Clare told reporters in a recent press call that the company is likely to target media networks for spreading the false claims about the company, and the company has sent OAN and Newsmax letters warning of potential future litigation. Clare also said the company will likely sue Lindell, a threat the CEO told Forbes he would “welcome.” Smartmatic’s attorney Erik Connolly also said in a statement Friday the company is “continuing to analyze our claims against OANN and Newsmax,” after it previously warned the networks of potential litigation. Before networks’ more recent moves this week to distance themselves from the conspiracy theory, Fox News and Newsmax had previously aired segments that walked back their comments about Smartmatic following that company’s legal threat.
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Article Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2021/02/05/oan-distance-itself-from-mypillow-ceo-mike-lindell-fraud-claims-but-will-air-his-three-hour-documentary/
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