Inside the Panic at Fox News After the 2020 Election

New York Times

By Peter Baker
The News Corp building in New York displays images of Fox News personalities including Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A little more than a week after television networks called the 2020 presidential election for Joseph R. Biden Jr., top executives and anchors at Fox News held an after-action meeting to figure out how they had messed up.

Not because they had gotten the key call wrong — but because they had gotten it right. And they had gotten it right before anyone else.

Typically, it is a point of pride for a news network to be the first to project election winners. But Fox is no typical news network, and in the days following the 2020 vote, it was besieged with angry protests not only from President Donald J. Trump’s camp but from its own viewers because it had called the battleground state of Arizona for Mr. Biden. Never mind that the call was correct; Fox executives worried that they would lose viewers to hard-right competitors like Newsmax.

Publish : 2023-03-05 12:35:00

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