Fox News Lost the Lawsuit but Won the War

David A. Graham, writing for The Atlantic, has the story regarding the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit, and it’s a big one.

Fox News has agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5m to avoid a defamation trial it expected to lose. The case centered on Fox News’ broadcasting of lies and conspiracy theories about the company’s voting machines, but Dominion isn’t the only company suing it. Smartmatic, another voting machine company, has a nearly-identical lawsuit in the works and is asking for even more money.

In fact, on paper Smartmatic’s suit appears to be the more dangerous. It’s demanding damages of $2.7bn, compared with Dominion’s $1.6bn. So far, attempts by Fox lawyers to have the Smartmatic case dismissed have fallen on stony ground. Last week the New York state supreme court in Manhattan gave the green light for the case to proceed against Fox News, the Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, the former business anchor Lou Dobbs and Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Smartmatic, a global election technology company headquartered in London, lodged its defamation suit in February 2021. The Earth is round,” was the complaint’s striking opening sentence. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election …

Let’s see if the blowback in the media that Dominion is getting for taking the money and running away (probably the smart move) will be echoed with Smartmatic. I would think corporations are going to corporate mostly because they aren’t in the business of fixing the media landscape or destroying Fox News. It would be nice though.

April 18, 2023

Substack Reportedly in Financial Trouble

I had a Substack email for a bit. It was easy to use but lacked a lot of functionality I wanted. It also was so restrictive in how it looked. Everybody’s Substack looked exactly like everyone else’s. So, I dropped it but held onto an account just in case things changed, or I decided to go all in. It seems that my wait-and-see approach was the right one.

Verge reports the company seems to be running out of money after failing to raise more capital. Substack, from what I can tell, is not doing well financially.

It tried to raise last year, seeking $75 million to $100 million from investors. But it had revenue of only $9 million in 2021, and a sky-high valuation on relatively little revenue was not the vibe in 2022. The company gave up. On its Wefunder page, the company says that the pre-money valuation on Substack is now $585 million, a 10 percent decrease from 2021. And now Substack has turned to Wefunder and retail investors. Friends, I do not like it, not least because the VCs last year got a pitch with Substack’s annual revenue, and I do not see that shit line-itemed anywhere on the Wefunder page. Where’s the money, Lebowski? Substack makes its money by taking a 10 percent cut of the subscription fees its newsletter writers charge. (Its payment processor takes another 4 percent, according to Wefunder.) The company says it paid out more than $300 million to writers, cumulatively.

They paid $300m to writers and only earned $9m in revenue. At least they earned revenue and are not operating in a deficit, but they are going to have to change something to remain viable. Lovely that they paid so much out, but investors want their money’s worth. Not sure it can remain viable long-term.

I guess I’ll just keep my account parked.

April 11, 2023

Is the GOP becoming the American fascist party?

Robert Reich wrote about the happenings in Tennessee. The whole piece is good, but this is the main point:

We are witnessing the logical culmination of win-at-any-cost Trump Republican politics — scorched-earth tactics used by Republicans to entrench their power, with no justification other than that they can.

Democracy is about means. Under it, citizens don’t have to agree on ends (abortion, health care, guns, or whatever else we disagree about) as long as we agree on democratic means for handling our disagreements.

But for Trump Republicans, the ends justify whatever means they choose —including expelling lawmakers, rigging elections through gerrymandering, refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and denying the outcome of a legitimate presidential election.

My friends, the Republican Party is no longer committed to democracy. It is rapidly becoming the American fascist party.

You have to vote them out.

April 10, 2023

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny — Official Trailer #2

The next trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny just came out.

I have high hopes.

April 9, 2023

Mötley Crüe Guitarist’s Lawsuit Says He Was Kicked Out

McKenna Oxenden, writing in The New York Times, has a wild story.

Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates, accusing them of forcing him out of the band and keeping him from all future profits. The alleged cut-off occurred after Mars announced he’d be retiring from touring due to a chronic inflammatory disease.

The disease in question is Ankylosing spondylitis. My wife has it and it’s a bitch. Seriously though, he carried that band for decades.

April 8, 2023

We Finally Know the Case Against Trump, and It Is Strong

Karen Friedman Agnifilo and Norman Eisen, writing for The New York Times, has the breakdown on the Trump indictment.

Whatever happens next, one thing is clear: Mr. Trump cannot persuasively argue he is being singled out for some unprecedented theory of prosecution. He is being treated as any other New Yorker would be with similar evidence against him.

April 6, 2023

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse — Official Trailer #2

This is the movie that gets me to go to an actual theater to see it.

April 5, 2023

A Return to the Presence of Love

What a wonderful post from Chaz Ebert.

April 4, 2023

Let’s Take A Walk

4k POV walks , no commentary. Tokyo. London. New York. Paris. Sydney. Mumbai. Hong Kong. Bangkok. Rome. Vienna. Seoul. Buenos Aires. Santiago. Montreal. Cairo. Marrakech. Nairobi.

I haven’t watched them all, but I love putting them on the TV and kind of forgetting it’s on and then glance up from reading a book or playing with the dog and seeing something completely different without any context.

April 3, 2023


Nicholas Bate:

Into a book.

A novel of a different world.

An explanation of something new.

Escape from the busyness for a while.

Good advice.

April 2, 2023