Those in the media that back Trump were quick to look for anything favorable after Hillary absolutely pummeled Trump at the Presidential Debate Monday. Hannity and others latched onto online polls which showed that Trump had apparently “won”, Hannity claimed on air “I’ll give you the list of polls. Time Magazine, Drudge report, CNBC, The Hill, CBS. The only one that has Hillary winning is CNN and they’re the Clinton News Network anyway.”
It was extremely unusual that these polls despite their biases could have possibly perceived Trump to be the winner. People then dove into the data behind the polls and it was found that Russian hackers were throwing the votes. When you looked at where the votes were originating from, all Russian IP addresses. It was a complete disaster.
After such a clear blunder an internal memo circulated at Fox News telling Hannity and others not to use these online polls since the data was so inaccurate.
Via USUncut: Fox News hosts Steve Doocy and Martha MacCallum also misrepresented the polls on their programs. Doocy said “I think a majority of the online polls show, according to the stuff we saw this morning, they show that he’s leading,” later adding as an afterthought that “It’s not scientific.”
MacCallum told viewers: “A lot of polls show him winning last night […] Fascinating, right? It’s fascinating.” The reason why it’s fascinating is because Russian hacking groups threw the polls! And, no one at Fox News mentioned it.
The memo was put out by Fox News VP of Public-Opinion Research Dana Blanton, stating:
“As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can’t be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate […] Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results… These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards.”
In another piece of the memo Blanton lamented: “News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason […] They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion.”
The results of the Russian skewed polls stand in stark contrast to the focus groups that chose Hillary as the winner. Not only that, but swaths of Conservative commentators begrudgingly admitted that Trump performed poorly. The Conservatives were quick to blame Lester Holt, and Trump went so far as to push a conspiracy theory the following morning on Fox & Friends about a defective microphone.
The #1 trend on Twitter right now is #TrumpWon – thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2016
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) September 27, 2016
While Hannity isn’t going to admit that he pushed fake Russian polls on his show, management at Fox News is not only concerned about the fake polls being pushed, but had no idea that Hannity was appearing in Donald Trump TV ads.
Via BusinessInsider: Hannity, in fact, stirred controversy last week when he participated in an official web ad for the Republican presidential nominee. A Fox News representative later told The Washington Post the person had “no knowledge” he “was participating in this” and that “he will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election.”
Fox News is clearly in an editorial panic mode as some of their hosts are acting as propaganda arms of the Trump campaign, while management is trying to disassociate from what was an alliance between Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and Donald Trump.
Roger Ailes resigned several weeks ago amid dozens of women coming forth and revealing that Ailes traded sexual favors for favorable position throughout the Fox News properties. While Ailes wanted to foster an incestuous relationship between Donald Trump and Fox, Newscorp – Fox’s parent company, didn’t share those views.
Rupert Murdoch the Founder of Newscorp and his sons who facilitated the ouster of Roger Ailes don’t have favorable views of Trump, which Trump has complained about publicly.
While at face value this memo shows that the executive arm of Fox is uncomfortable with its on air personalities pushing propaganda, it reveals what is actually going on there. After Ailes left Fox News he was hired by Trump to help Donald prep for the debates. This made rumors uncomfortably tangible that if Trump loses the election then media master Donald Trump, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and current Trump Campaign Chair and Former Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon will create a new television network to compete with Fox News and absorb the new “Trump” Republicans.
What has the question become at Fox News, do they want Trump to lose and compete with them or win and burn the world to the ground?