Fox News Defends Arizona Call for Biden

Fox Decision Desk Director Arnon Mishkin
(Image credit: Fox News)

Fox was taking flak early Wednesday, including from the White House, for its call of Arizona for Joe Biden in an election that was proving to be far closer than the polls and pundits predicted. Meanwhile, Twitter flagged the President's accusation that the election was being stolen.

If Biden gets Arizona, it makes Trump's path to retaining the White House harder.

Fox election night anchor Bret Baier pointed out to Decision Desk Director Arnon Mishkin that the network was "getting a lot of incoming" over the call and asked whether Mishkin was 100% sure and why he had made the call when he did. 

"Absolutely," he said. "We've made it after basically a half hour of debating. Is it time yet? Because it's been clear for a while that the former vice president is in the lead in Arizona and was most likely to win the state."

"We're right now sitting on a race that is Biden at 53 percent, Trump at 46 percent," Mishkin said. "I'm sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate that seven point lead that the former vice president has.” 

Baier responded: "“You don’t have to be sorry. Thank you very much. We appreciate your time. Get back in there so we can make more calls.” 

Joe Biden spoke to his supporters, saying he was still confident he would win, though it might take a while to count all the votes. The President tweeted: "We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!"

Twitter flagged the tweet per its election interference policy, saying: "Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process." Followers of the President had to click on a "view" link to be taken to the actual tweet. 

In a press conference, Trump said as far as he was concerned, he had already won the election and maintained that posture Wednesday (Nov. 4).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.