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Fox News Reporter Files Lawsuit Against Network, Alleging Retaliation

A former Fox News reporter has filed a lawsuit against the conservative network, claiming discrimination and retaliation. The lawsuit alleges that he was fired after speaking out against the network’s coverage of the 2020 U.S. election and the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Jason Donner, who had worked for Fox News as a reporter and producer for 12 years, claimed that he was targeted for raising concerns about false statements allowed on the air.

According to court filings, Donner had covered Capitol Hill for Fox News since 2018. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on September 27 and was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday after a petition by Fox.

Donner alleged that the network attempted to appease its audience of President Donald Trump’s supporters by airing a false narrative of vote rigging in the 2020 presidential election, creating a toxic work environment for reporters trying to “report truthfully.” He stated that he was working inside the Capitol on January 6 when insurrectionists stormed through the doors. Donner claimed that he called the Fox News control room to report that tear gas was going off, rioters were storming the building, and shots had been reported fired, and that false reports on the news were “gonna get us all killed.”

He also voiced complaints about Fox News’s lack of support in the aftermath of the riot, including host Tucker Carlson’s false claims and conspiracy theories about the day. Donner alleged that he was fired two days after calling in sick to work on September 26, 2022, with Fox giving him the explanation that he was “late for work and did not show up for work.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and lawyers for Donner declined to comment. The lawsuit did not specify the amount of damages sought.

In addition, Fox is facing litigation over the false narratives it aired in its coverage of the 2020 election and the Capitol riot, including from shareholders and Ray Epps, a man it accused of being an undercover government agent at the Capitol. In April, Fox paid $787.5 million to settle a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems over the false conspiracy theories it broadcast about voter fraud. Smartmatic, another voting technology company, has also filed a similar defamation case, asking for $2.7 billion in damages.

In June, Fox News settled with a former producer, Abby Grossberg, for $12 million in a hostile-workplace lawsuit.

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