Early Friday morning, President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that he “easily” wins “the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST,” which is a lie. There is no foundation for his allegations that ballot-counting watchers “were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES.” He is brazenly and unequivocally lying, as if pulling nonsense out of (nearly) thin air. In the hours after his Twitter tirade, a Fox News correspondent shredded Trump’s lies live on-air.
After rehashing the substance of Trump’s earlier nonsensical tweet, the Fox correspondent said as follows:
‘The reality is so far he has not won the presidency with legal votes cast. In fact, right now Biden is ahead in both the popular vote and in the electoral college. Also, right now neither the president nor his campaign have provided any evidence to back up their claims of electoral fraud.’
Fox correspondent: "Reality is he has not won the presidency with legal votes cast. Right now Biden is ahead in both the popular vote and in the electoral college. Also, neither the president nor his campaign have provided any evidence to back up their claims of electoral fraud." pic.twitter.com/i796oRrFQp
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) November 6, 2020
Fox has not consistently been on the side of the truth. Evening shows like the one hosted by Sean Hannity have been fountains for vitriolic lies and anti-democratic conspiracy theories. Late on Thursday, Hannity himself delusionally suggested holding a do-over election in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden has since taken the lead from Trump and is widely expected to win, even if media outlets didn’t immediately call the race for him.
lmfao drink it in folks, sean hannity wants a do-over of the election in pennsylvania pic.twitter.com/Ua9L1bvKvi
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) November 6, 2020
During Hannity’s Thursday program, Newt Gingrich — a Republican leader who is a former Speaker of the U.S. House Representatives, meaning not exactly someone on the fringe — suggested that federal authorities could arrest election workers in Pennsylvania and then hold a do-over election in the state. These suggestions are on the level of the tactics of dictators from far-flung countries would do just about anything to stay in power. The Republican Party has desperately lunged into openly exploring totalitarianism.
.@newtgingrich should be treated as a person proposing to use federal law enforcement to overturn an election and stage a coup.
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) November 6, 2020
Ironically, despite these travesties from the network, Fox News was the first major source to call Arizona for Biden, which sent the president’s team into a furious spiral — despite the fact that it’s not as though media outlets calling the race for a particular candidate has any legal weight or affects, in any way, the actual final vote counts. The Associated Press has since also called Arizona for Biden. The Trump campaign has publicly groveled over these calls, insisting that the outlets should retract them — which they’ve shown no willingness to do.