Former Fox News reporter says in lawsuit he was fired after challenging Jan. 6 coverage
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Fox News reporter says in a lawsuit he was targeted and fired for pushing back against false claims about the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
In the suit moved to federal court Monday, producer Jason Donner said he was part of a “purge” of employees who refused to only report information that would “appease” former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Donner was inside the Capitol when the mob of Trump supporters breached the building. When he heard Fox News reporting that rioters were “peaceful” and “severely disappointed,” he called the control room, using expletives as he said, “you’re gonna get us all killed,” the suit states.
A spokeswoman for Fox News did not immediately return an email message seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Donner also debunked Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge,” a program on the Fox Nation streaming service that argued Jan. 6 was used as a pretext for persecution of conservative Americans.
Fox managers, though, were focused on wooing viewers who supported Trump, and as Donner pressed his complaints he was was eventually targeted by a manager who accused him of being irresponsible for calling in sick once while he was recovering from a COVID-19 vaccine, the lawsuit claimed. He was fired in 2022.
A longtime Republican who affiliated with Democrats more recently, Donner said he was illegally discriminated and retaliated against because of his political views. He is seeking unspecific damages.
The lawsuit was first filed in Washington’s Superior Court Sept. 27 and subsequently moved to federal court.
Fox also faced a lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems and paid nearly $800 million this year to settle the case alleging that Fox knowingly promoted false conspiracy theories about the security of its voting machines. It is also facing a suit from a second voting-machine company.
The network also paid $12 million to settle with Abby Grossberg, another former producer who claimed that she faced a discriminatory workplace and that the network coerced her into giving false or misleading testimony in the Dominion suit.
A former Trump supporter who became the center of a conspiracy theory about Jan. 6 has also sued the network, claiming the network made him a scapegoat for the riot.
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