In a statement to Insider, a Fox News spokesperson denied the Hemmer anecdote, saying: “This never happened and is completely untrue.”
Business Insider reports that in Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book, Landslide there is a scene where Lachlan Murdoch got a call from Fox’s election desk about calling Arizona for Biden. When he called his father Rupert, he allegedly told him to make the early call, saying “F* him,” meaning Donald Trump.
Michael Wolff is a most reliable author, and Fox denies it happened.
It sounds like election interference if true since Arizona was still very competitive and people were still on lines voting.
Business Insider report:
The book [notes] that the Murdochs—who spearhead a vast right-wing media empire—had “every reason” to delay calling Arizona at the time, given Fox’s steadfast allegiance to Trump and the fact that no other network had made the call yet. “Lachlan got his father on the phone to ask if he wanted to make the early call. His father, with signature grunt, assented, adding, ‘F— him,’” Wolff wrote. The book [says] that Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer then called Trump’s lead social media strategist,Jason Miller, to let him know the network was going to call Arizona for Biden. “Miller involuntarily rose from his seat. ‘What the f—?’ he said out loud, looking around and seeing the still-merry and untroubled faces in the Map Room”…Wolff wrote. Hemmer reportedly replied: “That’s what they’re doing. That’s what they’re going with.”
“Who?” Miller asked.
“The election desk,” Hemmer said, adding that the network’s decision was going to be aired imminently. The decision to call Arizona for Biden was a pivotal moment on election night, indicating the Democrat was poised to win the traditionally Republican-leaning state and complicating Trump’s ability to declare an early victory in the overall race.
Rupert Murdoch thus personally made the decision to allow Fox News to call Arizona for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, according to the forthcoming book — if true.
The state was competitive at the time of the call. Arizona had not voted for a Democratic president since Bill Clinton in 1996.
The Daily Mail reported that both Biden and Trump campaigned hard for Arizona. I thought that was a joke. If you will remember, Biden didn’t campaign. He hid out in his basement. He did, however, win Cindy McCain’s endorsement. She is powerful in the state and very vindictive. It was a serious hit for Donald Trump.
The Guardian’s report adds a new dimension with a Fox denial:
It was, Wolff writes, “still, by most measures, hotly contested and still a definite Trump win” in one forecasting model. But the decision desk was “independent of Fox News’ otherwise partisan views [if] merely as [a way] to bypass the news desk and to be directly answerable to the Murdochs”.
Delaying the Arizona call would have been defensible, Wolff writes, given the closeness of the contest. But Lachlan Murdoch called his father and asked if he wanted to make a call which was sure to anger Trump. Reportedly, Rupert did.
In a statement emailed to the Guardian on Friday, a Fox News spokesperson called Wolff’s account “completely false”.
“Arnon Mishkin who leads the Fox News decision desk made the Arizona call on election night and Fox News Media president Jay Wallace was then called in the control room. Any other version of the story is wildly inaccurate.”
MICHAEL WOLFF IS A FABULIST
Wolff is a Trump-hating fake storyteller and you might want to look at this story with a jaundiced eye. He wrote two books trashing Trump and person-after-person mentioned in the books came out to say various references to them were false.
The First Book
Meghan McCain absolutely destroyed the Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff over his flimsy research and plethora of errors during an episode of The View. It was his first anti-Trump book.
He tried to say he “scooped” the naysayers in the media and that is why they are questioning his assertion which is generously laced with flowery language and his adept mind-reading skills.
He interrupted her at one point to say “Let’s remember who my credibility is being questioned by”. She came back at him, “Let me finish, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, New York Times’ John Martin, David Brooks, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Tony Blair, Tom Barrack, Kate Walsh, Anna Wintour, all denying quotes.”
He was flummoxed and only responded on one error — mixing up Mike and Mark Berman. He dodged the rest.
In one example from his second book, “Wolff states that his findings on the Mueller investigation are ‘based on internal documents given to me by sources close to the Office of the Special Counsel’.”
Mueller, Wolff claims, drew up a three-count obstruction of justice indictment against Donald Trump before deciding to shelve it. Wolff claimed it was filed under the title “United States of America against Donald J Trump, Defendant”. The document sat on the special counsel’s desk, Wolff writes, for almost a year.
“A spokesman for Mueller told the Guardian: ‘The documents that you’ve described do not exist.’”