The 2020 election will go down in history as one of the most contentious in modern history, and it’s just now barely over.
There were weeks of chaos following the election itself, which wasn’t over on November 3rd, but rather November 7th, the Saturday after election day. Immediately, President Trump and those aligned with him began to complain of a “stolen” election, launching a litany of lawsuits hoping to overturn the results.
When that didn’t work, an angry mob stormed the US Capitol during the certification of the electoral college results. There were fears that a similar mob may target the inauguration of Joe Biden, but no such threat materialized.
But there has been controversy throughout the process, including on election night proper. One moment was particularly testy, after Fox News called the state of Arizona for Joe Biden, drawing the ire of the President himself.
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Now, one of the editors at the network who defended the call has been sent packing.
Two top executives of Fox News who were involved in accurately calling Arizona for Joe Biden would be leaving the organisation by the end of the month, a move that is being seen as part of the discontent from the organisation leadership under Rupert Murdoch over the alleged mishandling of the election projection.
Chris Stirewalt, 45, who had been with the network for more than a decade, was the onscreen face of the channel when it projected 11 electoral votes for the then-Democratic candidate Mr Biden, ahead of the other networks, thereby drawing ire from the supporters of president Donald Trump. He has reportedly been asked to go, though the channel has not issued any statement, citing employee confidentiality.
Bill Sammon, 62, Washington DC’s managing editor and senior vice president, also announced his retirement on Monday. Sammon was heading the ‘decision desk’ of the network, which drew criticism for its Arizona call, despite an accurate prediction.
The network had projected Arizona for Mr Biden at 11:20 pm on election night of 3 November when only 73 per cent of the votes were reported, while other news networks sought more evidence before making the call. “It’s far too early to call the election in Arizona,” Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, had said on Twitter.
The move comes as Fox News braces for the potential completion of a possible Trump-owned media network to enter the mainstream fray.
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