A voting machine company’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News has rocked the conservative media giant, exposing rifts between its journalists and the star hosts and executives more concerned with mollifying pro-Trump viewers than accurately reporting that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen.
But the strangest revelation so far from the Dominion Voting Systems case against the cable channel may be the alleged source of the voter-fraud claims that sparked the lawsuit: a single email from a previously unknown woman who was convinced, among other things, that late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered while being hunted for sport.
That unhinged email to Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell has now become a centerpiece of Dominion’s case, raising questions about how Fox could allow obviously fake claims from a total stranger with no credentials to make it on the air.
Even Maria Bartiromo, the Fox host whose show first aired the claims, admitted in a deposition that the email was ridiculous.
“It’s kooky, absolutely,” Bartiromo said.
But the ideas’ origin is even more “kooky” than Bartiromo might realize. In an interview with The Daily Beast, the woman behind that email—a Minnesota artist named Marlene Bourne—said that she based her now nationally prominent ideas about election fraud on a wide variety of sources, including hidden messages she detects in films, song lyrics she hears on the radio, and overheard conversations she hears while in line at the supermarket checkout.
“Yeah, I’m crazy,” Bourne told The Daily Beast. “Crazy like a fox.”