I wrote yesterday how Fox News not only made a very wrong call on Arizona, calling it for Joe Biden very early in the night while people were still going to the polls on the West Coast, but they also made a bad call about the races in the House. Fox’s Bret Baier also said in the Election Day that the Democrats would win the House and pick up five seats. That was very wrong. While the numbers likely do add up to the Democrats holding onto the House, in fact, the Republicans have so far gained six seats and they are poised to gain even more, with seven races still to be called.
Not only did Bret Baier announce that on his show shortly after 9:00 p.m., he also tweeted it out on his account, saying that it was a big boost to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in her fight against President Donald Trump.
.@BretBaier, Is this deleted tweet authentic? If so, did you explain why it was deleted? Has there been any explanation from Fox News of this botched call by the decision desk? pic.twitter.com/KDHsSN51dk
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) November 11, 2020
Those actions during the election coverage, along with other actions, left many viewers angered and thinking that the network is no longer objective. It’s caused a noticeable fleeing of viewers from the network’s news programs.
So it was interesting that eight days after the flawed calls and shortly after my article ran, Bret Baier finally addressed the question of the House call on his show.
.@BretBaier comments on the Fox News Decision Desk's Election Night projection for the House, reiterating that they "correctly predicted…that Democrats would retain control" while their insistence Dems "would add about five seats to their majority…did not occur." pic.twitter.com/Ny5NJ5ncsl
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 12, 2020
“Democrats have clinched a majority in the House by reaching 218 seats. There are still a handful of races undecided. On election night, the FOX News Decision Desk correctly predicted soon after 9:00 Eastern that Democrats would retain control of the House. But they also estimated Democrats would add about five seats to their majority. That did not occur. Republicans have gained six seats with multiple races yet to be decided.”
Nice of you to notice and to finally address the elephant in the room. Or did you only feel you had to notice after your former viewers made it very clear they didn’t like what happened? This is pretty much the bare minimum you could do, acknowledging you were wrong. But where’s the apology here or the explanation as to why this occurred or why it wouldn’t happen again? They made this projection while people were still voting on the West Coast and this could have suppressed the vote, discouraging voters thinking that there was a blue wave when the fact is there was anything but. Not to mention, again, there are still races to be counted. It’s pretty bad when you have to go to CNN because they’re being more straight forward at that moment than was Fox.
Just a cursory look at the reaction from Fox viewers indicates that they are not pleased and they are not satisfied with that response.
It was clear that to many of them this was far too little, far too late. This doesn’t sound like anywhere near enough to win back the fleeing viewers.