Fox News to staff: Don't call Biden 'President-elect'
New York (CNN Business)Fox News, the cable channel that has been one of President Trump’s most important supporters, has instructed its anchors not to call Joe Biden the “President-elect” when the network calls the race, according to two memos obtained by CNN Business.
The memos said that Fox should “stay away” from using the description, and instead say something Biden has “enough electoral votes to win the presidency.”
The memos emphasized that the network should report moves by Trump’s legal teams to challenge the results, despite legal analysts having dismissed potential challenges as having little to no merit.
“We will report both sides until there is further guidance,” one memo said.
Fox referred to Trump as the “President-elect” the day after the 2016 election and it is common for news organizations to use such language after an election as been called.
A Fox spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. It is possible that Fox could change the guidance either before or after it calls the race.
The guidance was issued as Trump and his aides express fury at Fox News for projecting Biden will win Arizona.
In the aftermath of Fox calling Arizona for Biden, Trump advisers launched a full-court press to pressure the network to retract its projection.
Top advisers phoned Fox talent to complain and Jared Kushner went as far as to get into contact with Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire owner of the channel.
Fox’s decision desk, however, has repeatedly said it stands by its call of Arizona. But some of its top talent have questioned the call.
Sean Hannity, a pro-Trump propagandist employed by the network, said on his Fox show Thursday night that “any call of Arizona was premature.” A network spokesperson did not respond when asked earlier whether the network had any comment on Hannity’s assertion.
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