Fox News denies claims about early Election Night decision to call Arizona for Biden

On Election Night, 2020, Fox News made a controversial – and some believe premature – decision to call the state of Arizona for now-President Joe Biden, and the network is now denying an account in a new book that claims, among other things, that the move was the result of a decision made personally by For Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, according to Mediaite.

In his new book entitled Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, journalist Michael Wolff contends that media mogul Murdoch himself gave the green light for the early call that put Arizona into Biden’s column last November, something that created a firestorm at the time and ultimately resulted in the departure of two longtime network executives, Bill Sammon and Chris Stirewalt.

According to a report from Business Insider, Wolff claims that Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, spoke to his father, Rupert, on the phone that fateful night to ask whether he agreed with making the Arizona call earlier than most would have expected.

The answer from Rupert Murdoch, as Wolff tells it, came in a grunt of assent, accompanied by, “F*** him,” presumably a reference to then-President Donald Trump.

Current network executives, for their part, have vehemently denied Wolff’s description of what occurred, saying in a statement, “This account is completely false. Arnon Mishkin who leads the FOX News Decision Desk made the Arizona call on election night and Fox News President Jay Wallace was then called in the control room. Any other version of the story is wildly inaccurate.”

Wolff’s book also alleges that once Rupert Murdoch made his decision, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer got on the phone with then-Trump social media strategist Jason Miller and told him the news, prompting Miller to utter an expletive. “That’s what they’re doing. That’s what they’re going with,” Hemmer reportedly informed Miller.

The network has also denied the allegations about Hemmer’s role in the Arizona call, with a spokesperson saying, “This never happened and is completely false.”

Fox’s decision to call Arizona for Biden sent shockwaves through the political world and infuriated Trump and his staff to the point where some demanded that Murdoch upend the decision immediately. A report in Vanity Fair claimed that Trump himself called Murdoch and excoriated him over the move, as USA Today reported.

Notably, Wolff does not cite a single source regarding his claim about the Murdochs’ Election Night phone call. Though he maintains the books’ accounts of the reactions among Trump staffers that evening were supported by multiple sources, it remains to be seen whether there is any further opportunity to verify these rather wild accusations.

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21 days ago

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Stephen Russell (@guest_381333)
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23 days ago

But UI did then its on U FNC

TAIWAN COMMONER (@guest_381331)
Guest
23 days ago

They need to explain WHY despot WALLACE was NEVER FIRED FOR HIS INCREDIBLY BIASED HANDLING OF DEBATE NUMBER 1! Fox Execs knew TRUMP SUPPORTERS WOULD TUNE IN even with an arrogant elitist DEM like WALLACE HANDLING IT. I almost didn’t tune in. When I saw what he did to candidate TRUMP I knew I was watching THE MOST BIASED, UNPROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE OF A DEBATE MONITOR I HAVE EVER SEEN! Then we learned what they were paying WILLIAMS! Fox deserved the 45% drop in ratings! They deserve another drop for this.
 

Glenda Olson (@guest_381320)
Guest
23 days ago

It was called that not prematurely, but because it was set up that way. To steal the election. Just as with Pennsylvania, no one is going to vote knowing that it is going to put an end to their jobs!

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23 days ago

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Katydid (@guest_381285)
Guest
23 days ago

Fox must have had some inside information about the election fraud.

Kathie (@guest_381216)
Guest
24 days ago

I remember seeing Dana announce it then said wait, we just announced it , are we or not. When in fact FOX did announce it before the ballots were counted. Everyone watching heard and seen it just like the ballots changing numbers falsely on screen to make Biden win. We all witness it .

alicia regina cervera (@guest_381242)
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Reply to  Kathie
24 days ago

When I saw the call, I ran to my pc ad tuned in Newsmax and it was just crazy Fox did that. We all saw it. No peddling back allowed FOX! You are GUILTY!

Richard Waterman (@guest_381195)
Guest
24 days ago

We were having an election party here in Arizona and your Fox anchor with Dana Perino called it and the voted here wasn’t over by far we knew Fox News was completely far left and Perino should have been fired to or if her cohorts didn’t like the decision bye Fox and left than Perino should have left with them to keep her integrity otherwise she’s far left too

mike (@guest_381201)
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Reply to  Richard Waterman
24 days ago

That call was an absolute disgrace….. Fox also did that two years earlier when Bret Braer called the house race over in California……. it was 8 pm eastern time……. think people stopped voting?

Charles K Nix (@guest_381205)
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Reply to  mike
24 days ago

Yeah, Mike, It was a disgrace. It was also the last night I watched Fox News channel. After being a very supportive fan of the network for a decade or more, I now watch Newsmax exclusively. If I want left wing news then I can tune in any of their competitors. I believe that night was the beginning of Fox News’ downfall.

Anna (@guest_381245)
Guest
Reply to  Charles K Nix
24 days ago

Totally agree. We no longer watch Fox News either. It’s too bad because there are still some that I wish I could watch … like Hannity, Tucker, Mike Levin to name a few. But there is no way I will turn it on now.

Thomas Mock (@guest_381210)
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Reply to  Richard Waterman
24 days ago

sorry it was bill hemmer who called it not dana she was just saying what hemmer told her

mellie (@guest_381194)
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24 days ago

He’s NOT “now President”, and YOU KNOW IT!!!!

Monica (@guest_381217)
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Reply to  mellie
24 days ago

I watched Fox News that night and I saw what happened. That’s the reason I don’t watch Fox anymore.

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