Failing to shoot straight with network viewers

In an article in Business Insider by John Dorman called “Ex-Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt says network viewers would’ve been more prepared for a Trump loss in 2020 if they’d been given ‘a more accurate’ view of the race: book,” the title of the piece tells the reader what happens when pseudo news networks do not shoot straight with its viewers. The same can happen on the more progressive sources, which is ample reason why we should focus on getting our news from more reputable sources.

Here is the gist of the article, with a link available below. Let’s start with summation at the beginning:

  • “Chris Stirewalt in his forthcoming book wrote of coverage lapses he noticed during his time at Fox News.
  • In the book, “Broken News,” Stirewalt was critical of how the 2020 election was covered by the network.
  • Stirewalt was part of Fox’s decision desk, which in 2020 called Arizona for Biden before other major news outlets.

Former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt in his forthcoming book said viewers would have been more prepared for former President Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election had they been given a ‘more accurate’ assessment of the race through the network’s coverage.

In the book, ‘Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back,’ Stirewalt — who was fired from Fox in January 2021 — said that over his 11 years at the network, he increasingly saw coverage that didn’t fully capture what viewers needed to hear.

Stirewalt said that such coverage became commonplace during Trump’s White House tenure, and pointed to the ‘rage’ that he encountered after the Fox News decision desk called the pivotal state of Arizona for now-President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

‘Amid the geyser of anger in the wake of the Arizona call, Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, called for my firing and accused me of a cover-up,’ Stirewalt wrote.

He continued: ‘Covering up what, exactly? We didn’t have any ballots to count and we didn’t have any electoral votes to award. Had viewers been given a more accurate understanding of the race over time, Trump’s loss would have been seen as a likely outcome. Instead of understanding his narrow win in 2016 as the shocking upset that it was, viewers were told to assume that polls don’t apply (unless they were good for Trump) and that forecasters like me were going to be wrong again.'”

One of the misconceptions that is played upon by news networks is polls are not accurate citing what happened in 2016. Of course, polls are only a prediction, so we must start from that premise. Yet, what too many fail to do is look only at the median likelihood and not the range of what could happen. Using the 2016 election as an example, Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump in the polls ten days before with a full standard deviation of outcomes showing she was likely to win.

After the infamous James Comey announcement about possible emails on Clinton’s aide computer at home which was also used by the aide’s husband who resigned his seat for sexual misconduct, the polls’ lead shrank so that the median expectation was still in Clinton’s favor, but a Trump win was now easily within one standard deviation meaning it could happen. All it took was to get a solid number of Clinton voters to stay home or vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

I was not surprised by the Trump win in 2016 nor was I surprised by his loss in 2020. I was disappointed in the former and quite relieved in the latter. I was also not surprised by Trump making a stink about the election results as he had been preparing to do so for at least six months hiring so many attorneys and belittling the mail-in process, while hobbling the mail governance. I wrote a post about this in September 2020 and Senator Bernie Sanders told talk show viewers with eerie accuracy what Trump would do on election night a month before it happened. What has consistently surprised me is sycophants who do not have the spine to tell the former president repeatedly and loudly he lost so get over it.

Our country was divided before the 2016 election, but is now more so because of the last seven years of Donald Trump as a candidate, president and former president. His greatest skill is marketing getting people to fear the other and think he is the solution. So, he took advantage of this divide and pitted folks against each other, which he does as a manager as well. This is why this strategy works in marketing, but is a horrible management approach. This was the conclusion of business analysts who covered the Trump organization well before 2016 – great marketer, poor manager.

News networks must remember that first word and give us the truth. And, when they offer opinion, I would prefer it to be broadcast in a banner below the talking head – the above is the opinion of the speaker and it should not be considered as news. This should occur whether the network is Fox News, MSNBC or Sinclair Broadcasting who requires its many local TV news stations to air the same opinion at the end of each show. And, if you get your news from a QAnon, InfoWars, or social media, stop. These are not news sources. The first two are propaganda and the latter is opinion

What I have shared with Congresspeople, Senators, and pseudo news people dozens of times is you owe us the truth. Readers and watchers believe what you say, so you need to be the best steward of that trust as possible. When I see these folks lie on purpose, it is very frustrating as they know they are lying and choose to do so anyway. That is Machiavellian. It matters not if the liar is a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian or Green Party candidate. What is even worse is when they know you know they are lying. That is just inane.

Under oath

Lying under oath has ramifications. So, it matters when someone testifies under oath in court or to a Congressional committee.

Under oath…

-Conservative judge Michael Luttig said to the House Select committee “Donald Trump and his allies are a clear and present danger to the United States.”

-during a deposition well before his presidency Donald Trump had thirty misstatements of facts that were corrected by the deposing attorney in real time per one of his biographers.

-several other Republican officials and staff testified to the House Select committee of the coercion by Donald Trump and his staff to lie and cheat so he could win the election. They also testified of the violent threats they received from Trump supporters to do his bidding.

-Donald Trump settled a court case on housing discrimination agreeing to make restitution. After failing to do so, Trump was taken back to court and restitution was demanded by the judge per one of his biographers.

-Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s attorney and fixer said to another House committee “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con-artist and he is a cheat.”

-in 2017 a judge ruled Donald Trump and his children failed to honor the donors to the Trump Foundation and used about $2 million for his own benefit over time. The judge ordered the repayment of the funds, the subsequent disbanding of the Foundation and distribution of funds per the by-laws of the Foundation. The judge also ordered that no one named Trump could oversee the distribution per The New York Times.

-where he promised to uphold the constitution, Donald Trump further divided America with his Big Lie and acted seditiously to instigate an insurrection against a branch of government per the findings and testimony of the House Select committee and about 65 court cases and all recounts, audits and reviews of election results requested by Trump or his allies.

I mention these items as the former president wants equal time to tell his side of the story. I say give him such time and swear him in, but first remind him that lying to Congress under oath is a criminal offense.

Murdoch newspaper tells the GOP to move on from the former president

In an article called “Trump ‘refuses to accept reality’: Murdoch newspaper says it’s time for GOP to move on” by Bob Brigham of Raw Story notes Rupert Murdoch’s New York tabloid took the former president to task for his continual focus on these bogus election fraud claims. Here is the gist of the article. Note I won’t repeat the former president’s ongoing BS, as his Attorney General Bill Barr called them to his face before he was fired.

“The newspaper said Trump was wrong (about the January 6 insurrection being a hoax)

‘It wasn’t, of course. It was a national shame. One that neither Democrats nor Trump can stop obsessing over. It’s time for Republicans to move on,’ the newspaper counseled. ‘But Trump has become a prisoner of his own ego. He can’t admit his tweeting and narcissism turned off millions. He won’t stop insisting that 2020 was ‘stolen’ even though he’s offered no proof that it’s true.’

The editorial board wrote the expected 2024 presidential candidate is unfit for the job.

‘Respected officials like former Attorney General Bill Barr call his rants ‘nonsense.’ This isn’t just about Liz Cheney. Mitch McConnell, Betsy DeVos, Mark Meadows — they all knew Trump was delusional. His own daughter and son-in-law testified it was bull,” the NY Post wrote. ‘Meanwhile, reports that Trump was pleased that the Jan. 6 crowd chanted for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged — a truly reprehensible sentiment — makes him unworthy for the office. Trump can’t look past 2020. Let him remain there.'”

There is really not much to add here. This is a pro-Trump publication telling the former president to just STFU. And, the GOP to move on from these bogus claims.