Fox Business suddenly cancels 'Lou Dobbs Tonight,' its highest-rated show
Friday night was his final broadcast, a Fox spokesperson told The Los Angeles Times. Fox representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but a source close to Dobbs confirmed that he has been benched by the network.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Dobbs "remains under contract at Fox News but he will in all likelihood not appear on the company's networks again."
Dobbs, a veteran financial news anchor, became known at Fox Business for his sycophantic pro-Trump programs.
He was one of the former president's biggest boosters on television, and Trump regularly thanked him in return.
The pro-Trump propaganda bent helped make the daily airing of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" at 5 p.m. ET (it also re-aired at 7 p.m.) the network's most-watched program - so a sudden cancellation would ordinarily make no sense at all.
But Fox is under enormous legal pressure from a pair of voting technology companies, Smartmatic and Dominion, because Dobbs and other hosts made false claims about the companies while perpetuating Trump's lies about election fraud.
Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox on Thursday. The lawsuit also named Dobbs and two other Fox hosts as defendants.
Legal experts have said the case against the conservative cable channel is strong. CNN legal analyst Ellie Honig described it as a "legitimate threat" to Fox and added, "There is real teeth to this."
The lawsuit accused Dobbs of having been "one of the primary proponents" of a "disinformation campaign" against Smartmatic.
Smartmatic's lawsuit identified multiple instances in which Dobbs' program promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election results and said that his behavior was "contrary to his public persona" of being a "provider of factual information" to his viewers.
Not only did Dobbs allow guests to defame Smartmatic, the lawsuit said, but he "took the initiative and contributed additional falsehoods to the narrative."
A Fox spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of the network and its hosts Thursday that it was "proud" of its 2020 election coverage and said it would "vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit in court."
Bill Cassidy, the Louisiana Republican senator, predicted on Sunday morning that Donald Trump will not be the party’s nominee for president in 2024, pointing to the number of seats lost by Republicans in the House and Senate over the four years Trump was in office.
Donald Trump on Sunday launched his attempted political comeback, teasing a possible run for the presidency in 2024 and denouncing Joe Biden for “the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history”. The former president made his first speech since leaving the White House at the rightwing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, to an effusive reception. Trump claims, entirely falsely, that he actually won the 2020 election but was fraudulently denied his victory.
The theme of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference is “America Uncanceled.” But this week, just days before CPAC was set to kick off in Orlando, Florida, conference organizers announced they’d had to cancel one of their own scheduled speakers. “We have just learned that someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization,” CPAC organizers tweeted Monday, referring to right-wing social media figure Young Pharaoh.
At least eight 2024 hopefuls will speak at CPAC, the conservative movement’s premier conference this weekend in Florida, giving Republicans their clearest look yet at who’s competing in the traditional GOP presidential lanes. But there’s only one lane that really matters: the one currently occupied by former President Donald Trump.