Fox News pushes back against reporter's suit claiming he was fired for challenging Jan. 6 coverage

FILE - Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump stand on vehicles and the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jason Donner, a former Fox News producer says in a lawsuit filed Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, he was targeted and fired for pushing back against false claims about the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Donner said he was part of a purge of employees who refused to report information that would please Trump and his supporters. Donner was inside the Capitol during the riot and pressed his complaints about the networks coverage for months(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) (Julio Cortez, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Fox News pushed back Friday against a former reporter’s lawsuit saying he was targeted and fired for challenging false claims about the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The network argued that Jason Donner had not shown he faced illegal discrimination. The nation’s capital bans discrimination based on political party membership or endorsement, but Donner hasn't shown he joined a political party, nor that his bosses knew and fired him for it, Fox lawyers said.

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“That law does not protect employees of news media organizations based on their differences of opinion over reporting and commentary on matters of public concern,” Fox attorneys wrote.

Donner said in his lawsuit he was a longtime Republican who affiliated with Democrats more recently.

The network also questioned whether he had properly informed managers when taking sick time after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and whether he filed the lawsuit within the time allowed by the law.

Donner’s lawsuit said he was fired in 2022 as part of a “purge” of employees who refused to only report information that would “appease” former President Donald Trump and his supporters. He had been inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and called to scream at the control room when he learned Fox News was referred to the rioters as peaceful, he wrote in his suit.