According to a story broken by the Los Angeles Times, Fox News has cancelled the show “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” Friday, Feb. 5, was the final night on which the show aired on the Fox Business Network.
The decision to cancel Dobbs’ show comes in the wake of a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Smartmatic against Fox News and against Fox News hosts Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. Smartmatic is the company whose software was used by Dominion Voting Systems during the 2020 presidential election. Dobbs and the other hosts Smartmatic used their shows to communicate all sorts of information implicating Smartmatic, Dominion and other companies in election fraud.
In its 285-page complaint, the Associated Press reported, Smartmatic alleges that in 13 reports that either implied or said the company helped to steal the election, Fox News waged a “disinformation campaign” from which the three hosts directly benefited.
Speaking for the network and its hosts, Fox News Media rejected the accusations and said it would defend itself against the “meritless” lawsuit.
Fox insists that the cancellation was routine and was not related to the lawsuit.
What Will Happen Now That Dobbs Has Been Canceled?
Dobbs’ show normally aired nightly on the Fox Business Network at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET. Now, that time slot will be filled by a show called “Fox Business Tonight,” which will be hosted by a rolling set of anchors like Jackie DeAngelis and David Asman.
Dobbs remains under contract with Fox New for the time being, but it is not likely that he will appear on any more of Fox’s programming.
Speaking to NPR, a Fox News spokesman said, “As we said in October, Fox News Media regularly considers programming changes, and plans have been in place to launch new formats as appropriate post-election, including on Fox Business. This is part of these changes.”
Given Fox News’ change in orientation after the election — mainly by distancing itself from former President Trump and refusing to continue covering his claims of election fraud — it may indeed be true that Dobbs had been on the chopping block for some time.
On Friday, Trump himself praised Dobbs for his work. Speaking to Reuters, Trump said, “Lou Dobbs is and was great. Nobody loves America more than Lou. He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me.”