Lies and fabricated stories that are damaging to third parties can have immense financial consequences in a setup where the Judiciary is still credibly important as the third independent pillar of democracy
By Jan Arden
For weeks and months Fox News star anchors peddled former President Donald Trump’s Big Lie, namely that he only lost the 2020 elections because of scurrilous allegations that they were rigged, in particular through Dominion Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Smartmatic software magically flipping votes against him, an unprecedented claim dismissed in more than 50 court cases as unsupported by any evidence.
Both Dominion and Smartmatic had filed civil suits for immense reputational damage due to clear and malicious “journalism” of Fox, to the tune of $ 1.7 billion and $ 2.7 billion, both unprecedented by their scale in the history of civil defamation by unscrupulous media, passing unscrupulous fabrications as news to a Trump-favourable and gullible public. Pic – AFP / Getty Images
Those two companies provided counter fact sheets to Fox regularly which were ignored, and the most prominent star anchors of Rupert Murdoch’s influential cable network, Fox News, continued their wild propagandas, knowing fully well those narratives to be lies spewed by Trump and his “nut job” allied lawyers that would ultimately lead to the 6th of January riots in Washington DC by fired-up Trump supporters.
Both Dominion and Smartmatic had filed civil suits for immense reputational damage due to clear and malicious “journalism” of Fox, to the tune of $ 1.7 billion and $ 2.7 billion, both unprecedented by their scale in the history of civil defamation by unscrupulous media, passing unscrupulous fabrications as news to a Trump-favourable and gullible public. The Dominion case came to court this week and Fox Corp blinked, caving in to a massive $ 787 million cash compensation to the aggrieved company to prevent the humiliation of the case being heard publicly.
There may be others made accountable and the even heavier Smartmatic demand for financial compensation is yet to be heard. It is unlikely that Fox Corp will be bankrupted by either or both settlements, historic in scale, and Fox will now be in damage control exercises, but it does send a strong signal that lies and fabricated stories that are damaging to third parties can have immense financial consequences in a setup where the Judiciary is still credibly important as the third independent pillar of democracy.
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Rising Hinduphobia in the UK
The Delhi-based Centre for Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights (CDPHR) think tank, launched its report on the Leicester communal violence perpetrated by fundamentalists and goons in the Committee Room in the House of Commons on Thursday. Enclaves of ill-educated immigrants in East Leicester, notably Pakistanis and Bangladeshis ghettos, buying into “fake news” and false narratives, purposely spread on social media by Hinduphobic merchants, have been identified as a major factor behind the escalation of the clashes. The CDPHR calls on all stakeholders, including the government, law enforcement agencies, civil society, and the media, to take immediate action to address the underlying issues of Hinduphobia being peddled by well-financed occult forces and that led to the Leicester violence.
The Indian High Commission in London issued a statement to “strongly condemn the violence perpetrated against the Indian community in Leicester and vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu religion” at the time. Since then, there have been Home Minister Suella Braverman’s desultory comments about Indian immigrants overstaying their visit, the preposterous BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots (a case thoroughly investigated by the Indian Supreme Court), the allegations of Soros billionaire providing huge anti-Modi funds and, more recently, sponsored groups of Khalistanis attacking the unprotected Indian High Commission in London.
The general atmosphere of Hinduphobia and the lack of forthright countervailing measures by Rishi Sunak’s Tory government has created a distinct cooling off in FTA trade talks and other aspects of healthy India-UK relations. It is up to the UK government to stem the rot and risks posed by extremism and hate speeches to democracy and human rights in what is a generally plural society.
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Global Buddhist Summit (India)
November 2011 were historic dates as the path breaking Global Buddhist Congregation (GBC) was held in New Delhi, India, that not only brought the entire Supreme hierarchy and representatives of the Buddhist world of about 500m faithful on one platform but also heralded the birth of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC).
Yesterday was another historic moment for the worldwide Buddhist community as India hosted the first international Global Buddhist Summit, with delegates coming in from 30+ countries. This first unique event will focus on a range of issues, around the quest by monks, scholars and erudites for Buddhist response to the unprecedented crisis our known world is facing.
IBCworld.org the parent website mentions: “The recent Covid pandemic, climate crisis, conflicts, terrorism, religious and ideological intolerance, degradation of moral and ethical values, depletion of resources, extinction of species, economic disparity, and other critical issues plague humanity and threaten our planet’s very survival.”
It is India’s eternal tribute to the world that it was always the tolerant birthplace not only of the Hindu mainstream thoughts, beliefs and practices, but also of Buddhism, Sikkhism, Jainism, and over the centuries, welcomed and provided refuge to those minorities (early christians, parsis and Jews) persecuted in their homelands.
At a time when extremism and radicalism fund and propagate many of the current conflicts around the world along religious, sectarian and ideological divides, India in general and the Buddhist community in particular have to take a proactive role in helping move the world to a future where constructive dialogue and peaceful resolution of such conflicts can take place.
We are not so naive to believe such an evolution will take place easily, nor the occult financial forces behind different hate groups will be rid of, but civilised voices from all faiths have no choice than to work together towards addressing those burning challenges.
Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 21 April 2023
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