All the networks, on election day, got the 2016 election results wrong. They all called for a Clinton victory. The rest is history. FoxNews, following the lead of the Associated Press, used a different electoral result projection system in 2020. Rather than using exit polls, they used massive preelection surveys. Near midnight Eastern Standard Time, on election night, FoxNews called Joe Biden, the winner, in the State of Arizona. The other networks did not make that call until November 12. The events that followed FoxNews early election call is a major reason why FoxNews is now facing a $1.6 billion law suit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.
A whirlwind was unleashed on FoxNews. The Trump campaign team went crazy. They besieged Fox News. Basically, their reaction was ‘What the f–k did you just do’. Even worse though, the FoxNews audience went into revolt. ‘Why would their own network betray them by calling Arizona for Biden, when even though left wing networks like CNN and MSNBC had not called that state for Biden yet’. Over the next few days, loyal FoxNews viewers, flocked over to the hard right networks of NewsMax and OAN. FoxNews was in panic.
A top level meeting was held on November 16, including executives and news hosts Brett Baier and Martha McCallum. The meeting was to address, as written in the New york Times,
“How to keep from angering the network’s conservative audience again by calling an election for a Democrat before the competition.“
The following two quotes sum up the turmoil at FoxNews in the days just after the early call for Biden. The day after the election call, Baier noted that the Trump team was very angry and suggested reversing the election call,
“It’s hurting us. The sooner we pull it even if it gives us major egg. And put it back in his column. The better we are. In my opinion.”
On Friday night, November 6, Bill Sammon, the Managing Editor, was ready to call Nevada for Biden, which would give Biden enough electoral votes to win the Presidency. Jay Wallace, the network president, refused to air that call, texting,
“I’m not there yet since it’s for all the marbles — just a heavier burden than an individual state call,”
Sammon was later let go from the Network. The following quote by Jay Wallace, from the November 16 meeting is an example of the inner conflict Fox was going through.
“We created a new mousetrap. Was the mousetrap too good? Part of me is like: Oh, should we have been more conservat ve and should we have stuck with N.E.P. (the National Election Pool used by other networks) Would that have changed things? Would there still be this ire?”
As per recent court filings released, Rupert Murdoch stated, it is not red or blue its green (money). FoxNews had to gets its audience back. Even though they knew Trump’s Big Lie was BS they started promoting it and still do to this day. They are still going through turmoil. What happens if Trump wins the Republican primary in 2024. FoxNews will have to continue to be beholden to their audience and to Trump’s lies and face other lawsuits Another example of Trump being the destroyer.