According to The New York Times, the mood was upbeat in the White House when Florida was called for Trump early – that is, until Fox called Biden the winner in Arizona earlier than other news outlets:
Jason Miller, Mr. Trump’s political adviser, disputed the accuracy of the call on Twitter and frantically called Fox News, asking the network to retract it. He was unsuccessful. Instead of retracting it, the decision desk at Fox News doubled down on its call, putting Arnon Mishkin, the head of the desk, on air to defend the call. Several hours later, The Associated Press also called Arizona for Mr. Biden. (Other news organizations, including The New York Times and CNN, had not declared a victor by Wednesday afternoon because of absentee ballots that remained to be counted.)
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was also in touch with Rupert Murdoch, the Fox News owner, as the night wore on. And on Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, insisted the president would win Arizona by 30,000 votes.
That didn’t stop the network’s Trumpers from questioning their own network’s call, which I will have more on in my next post.
Yesterday evening, pro-Trump protesters demonstrated outside Arizona’s Maricopa County Elections Department, yelling “Fox News Sucks!”
From The Daily Beast:
Several hundred demonstrators gathered on Wednesday evening to chant “Count the vote” outside the building where Maricopa County officials were, in fact, counting the vote. (Trump had lagged behind Biden in the Arizona tally all day Wednesday, but campaign officials maintained that new figures would narrow the gap.)
Attendees also demanded answers about the fake controversy dubbed “Sharpie Gate”—in which Trump voters claim they were duped into invalidating their own ballots with felt-tipped pens, despite the state reiterating that such ink can be read by vote-counting machines…
But if you think Trump’s pique made him turn off Fox, think again. The Times reported yesterday, “Mr. Trump spent much of Tuesday evening and early Wednesday watching election results roll in on Fox News from the White House residence…”
You can watch Trump supporters yell “Fox News Sucks!” in Phoenix, below:
“They’re actually chanting Fox News Sucks” pic.twitter.com/XqfiHln6Mt— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) November 5, 2020
The AP also has a great track record on calls. The Fox guy’s explanation made perfect sense, so of course it’s not welcomed on FOX.
He could be wrong, but I wouldn’t bet against him. See Karl Rove’s meltdown in 2012 over Ohio. And Rove looked like a fool afterward.