As Fox News viewership declines after what viewers call bad and even biased reporting, the network has now admitted fault. So angry are Fox viewers the network has fallen to No. 3 in ratings and is now being beat by MSNBC and CNN in news coverage following Election Day. The network was No. 1 on election night and has also been the top network for years – until now.
Brett Baier, host of Special Report, on Wednesday admitted that the network’s Decision Desk incorrectly projected that Democrats would gain five seats in the House, but offered a caveat that the overall projection of Democrats holding their majority was sound, something that was not in question.
“Democrats have clinched a majority in the House by reaching 218 seats,” Baier said.
“There are still a handful of races undecided. On election night, the Fox News Decision Desk correctly predicted soon after 9 Eastern that Democrats would retain control of the House. But they also estimated Democrats would add about five seats to their majority,” Baier said, adding: “That did not occur. Republicans have gained six seats with multiple races yet to be decided.”
His admission comes after he deleted a tweet in which he asked followers to tune in to his evening show. The tweet was met with thousands of responses from followers who said they were ditching the network in favor of Newsmax or OAN. Baier has vociferously defended the network, even in the face of guests who scolded the network on-air for its election night performance. The incidents made for uncomfortable watching.
President Donald Trump, who has criticized the network, retweeted a post by American Greatness political contributor Debra Heine, who wrote, “Fox News finally acknowledged eight days after the election that the Fox News Decision Desk incorrectly projected that Democrats would gain five seats in the House.”
Fox has faced criticism for its election coverage, including the incorrect House call and for being one of the first outlets to project that former Vice President Joe Biden had won in Arizona, where Trump trails the challenger by 12,813 votes with around 13,000 ballots remain to be tallied. The Trump campaign has also filed a lawsuit in Arizona, demanding a hand count of ballots it claims were incorrectly tabulated.
The Arizona Republican Party last week called on Fox News and Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh called on Fox News and AP to rescind their Arizona call for Biden. “Fox & AP made a hasty call in AZ, a state the President will still win,” Murtaugh wrote on Nov. 5.
Poll aggregator Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight also said AP and Fox News made their calls too early. “I don’t know, I guess I’d say that Biden will win Arizona if you forced me to pick, but I sure as heck don’t think the state should have been called by anyone, and I think the calls that were previously made should be retracted now,” Silver wrote last week.
The Fox company is now run by Lachlan Murdock – the liberal son of Rupert Murdoch. Viewers say they’ve noticed a decidedly liberal and anti-Republican slant in reporting over the last year on Fox.
The network this week hired a “crisis manager” to manage the negative press and loss of millions of viewers.
–Metro Voice and News Services