Resolution in the Battle of Ballots: Smartmatic and One America News Reach Accord

In a quiet yet significant move, Smartmatic, the prominent voting technology entity, has brought closure to a legal saga by reaching a settlement with the right-leaning broadcasting juggernaut, One America News (OAN). The dispute centered on allegations of defamation stemming from OAN’s unfounded claims suggesting Smartmatic’s involvement in tampering with the 2020 U.S. presidential election to favor Joe Biden over Donald Trump.

Details surrounding the settlement remain veiled in confidentiality, as disclosed by Smartmatic’s legal representative, Erik Connolly. However, it’s confirmed that Smartmatic has voluntarily withdrawn its 2021 lawsuit against OAN, filed in the corridors of Washington, D.C.

The repercussions of OAN’s erroneous assertions reverberated profoundly within Smartmatic’s economic ecosystem. The company estimated a substantial erosion of its business value, plummeting from over $3 billion to a mere fraction, likely less than $1 billion.

Echoing the sentiment, Chip Babcock, legal counsel for OAN, acknowledged the settlement without delving into specifics.

This legal tussle was but one of the many legal confrontations directed at right-leaning or conservative media entities, accusing them of disseminating falsehoods to amplify viewership and, consequently, advertising revenue.

Despite the resolution with OAN, Smartmatic remains entrenched in legal battles with Fox News and Newsmax concerning their election coverage. Notably, Smartmatic seeks recompense amounting to $2.7 billion from Fox.

OAN’s stance positioned itself staunchly to the right of its counterparts, occasionally delving into the realm of conspiracy theories concerning the 2020 election, the tumultuous events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, and even the contentious issue of vaccine safety.

The economic fallout for OAN was palpable in 2022, as both Verizon and AT&T’s DirecTV ceased carrying its programming, dealing a significant blow to its financial standing.

Hailing from Boca Raton, Florida, Smartmatic accused OAN of inflicting irreparable damage by perpetuating disinformation about the election and the integrity of its technology. It accused OAN of betraying its commitment, as articulated by Charles Herring, president of its parent company, Herring Networks, to furnish reliable, fact-based news.

In a legal countermove, OAN argued that awarding Smartmatic a sum exceeding $2 billion would stifle dissenting voices, even if they lean conservatively, thus encroaching upon the sanctity of the First Amendment’s “marketplace of ideas,” as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Against this legal backdrop, the political theater continues to unfold, with former President Trump eagerly eyeing a return to the White House, setting the stage for a November showdown against President Biden.

As curtains fall on this chapter of legal wrangling, the case between Smartmatic and OAN, bearing the docket number 21-02900 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, serves as a testament to the intricate interplay between media, politics, and the quest for truth.

This retelling reframes the story with a narrative tone, focusing on the intricate legal battle between Smartmatic and OAN while contextualizing it within the broader landscape of media, politics, and the pursuit of truth.

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