Bozell, FNC Panel Unload on Media Pushing ‘Ridiculous,’ ‘Twisted’ Electoral College Story

On the Tuesday edition of the Fox News Channel’s Special Report, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell and the show’s “All Star Panel” collaborated for a thorough trashing of the news media for their “sick, twisted,” and “ridiculous” narrative that the Electoral College could stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

Bozell kicked off the festivities near the beginning of a segment around the 6:47 p.m. Eastern mark with a taped soundbite blasting the media for pushing “a mythology” that they’re merely engaging in some “introspection” but their motives are anything but well-intentioned.

“In fact, what they're really upset about is they didn't defeat Donald Trump and now they are working overtime to make up for that. Hence, giving oxygen to every single Democratic complaint, no matter how specious, no matter how unreasonable, no matter how ridiculous. This Electoral College debate was a ridiculous story. It was never a story to begin with,” Bozell explained. 

Host Bret Baier then appeared back live with a few doses of sarcasm concerning this wild goose chase led by the media:                 

Well, the coverage going into it, you wouldn't think that because there was a lot of time, a lot of ink, a lot of space given to this story — the Electoral College vote, the final, Donald Trump 304. He lost two of the state's 38 electors in Texas. One voted for John Kasich. One voted for Ron Paul. But Hillary Clinton was down five....That was the most faithless electors deserting someone — they deserted Hillary Clinton — since 1872.

Conservative syndicated columnist and frequent panelist Charles Krauthammer admitted that it’s rather “[p]oetic justice that she should set the indoor record for the most faithless electors” after some of her supporters backed what was actually “a joke from the beginning.” 

As usual, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham offered the bluntest take, slamming the media’s pathetic failures in 2016 and suggested they stop living in their “sick, twisted fantasy and actually start reporting on America”:

The media just have to get things right more often than wrong and last year, we had example after example after example when they fed their mostly elite consumers bad information. So I would suggest they stop engaging in this sick, twisted fantasy and actually start reporting on America. That would be nice. 

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Meanwhile, reporter Jonathan Swan represented the media establishment since he works for The Hill​, but even he had some serious gripes about this “absurd” obsession his cohorts have had since Election Day that became the very definition of “insanity.”

“See, I mean, two parts to this. One is you're an assignment editor in a newsroom. You have a limited number of reporters. You have a limited amount of money. You have to decide what your reporters cover and at newsrooms all across the country, they said, you know what? We are going to chase down the story of the moon shot scenario whereby 37 electors flip their votes and hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton,” Swan opined.

He then added: 

I mean, that's just insanity....Then there’s the serious element which is electors are flipping votes? There — was it 7? Was it 8? In a close election as Nate Silver pointed out, that could mean something...It's something that, you know, as a matter of democracy we need to discuss, but in this election, it was absurd. 

Prior to moving on, Ingraham chimed in to emphasize that there was a large “bias element” involved in the media coverage of the Electoral College seeing as how “I don't think we would be talking about the Russians if Hillary won.” 

“[T]he public doesn't trust media today. So, again, they can keep going on this fanciful quest for the stories that are never going to happen, but I think over the last 18 months, we saw them get issue after issue, major media figures. We had pollsters saying that Donald Trump was going to lose and Hillary Clinton was going to have 400 electoral votes,” observed Ingraham.

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on December 20:

FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
December 20, 2016
6:47 p.m. Eastern

BRENT BOZELL: There's a mythology that's being pushed by the press today which is they didn't see the elections coming, turning out the way they should have and there's a lot of introspection. In fact, what they're really upset about is they didn't defeat Donald Trump and now they are working overtime to make up for that. Hence, giving oxygen to every single Democratic complaint, no matter how specious, no matter how unreasonable, no matter how ridiculous. This Electoral College debate was a ridiculous story. It was never a story to begin with. 

BRET BAIER: Well, the coverage going into it, you wouldn't think that because there was a lot of time, a lot of ink, a lot of space given to this story — the Electoral College vote, the final, Donald Trump 304. He lost two of the state's 38 electors in Texas. One voted for John Kasich. One voted for Ron Paul. But Hillary Clinton was down five. One of the four state electors in Hawaii voted for Bernie Sanders instead of Clinton and four of the state of Washington's 12 electors broke ranks. Three voted for Colin Powell, one for Faith Spotted Eagle. That was the most faithless electors deserting someone — they deserted Hillary Clinton — since 1872. We're back with the panel. Charles? 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Poetic justice that she should set the indoor record for the most faithless electors. Look, it’s been — it was a joke from the beginning. What we heard in the first sound bite, it is our responsibility to stop a man who could be a demagogue. He could be a Manchurian candidate. The fact is that's why you have elections. That's why you have a year and half of campaigns. That's why you have one primary after another and, in the end, you count up the delegates and get a nominee. In the end, you count up the votes and you get a winner. That's how it's done. You don't stop them after the game. After the game, the score is determined. I mean, this is simple. I think it was just sort of a lull in the transition, most of the big cabinet slots had been allocated. It was a sort of a slow news week or two. So why not stuff it in? And, of course, there was also the motive; anything that appears to delegitimize or minimize the Trump victory. I wasn't a fan of Trump, but he won fair and square and it's over. 

(....)

LAURA INGRAHAM: The media just have to get things right more often than wrong and last year, we had example after example after example when they fed their mostly elite consumers bad information. So I would suggest they stop engaging in this sick, twisted fantasy and actually start reporting on America. That would be nice. 

(....)

JONATHAN SWAN: See, I mean, two parts to this. One is you're an assignment editor in a newsroom. You have a limited number of reporters. You have a limited amount of money. You have to decide what your reporters cover and at newsrooms all across the country, they said, you know what? We are going to chase down the story of the moon shot scenario whereby 37 electors flip their votes and hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton. I mean, that's just insanity.

So, there’s that whole element of it. Then there’s the serious element which is electors are flipping votes? There — was it 7? Was it 8? In a close election as Nate Silver pointed out, that could mean something. So, down the track, this could actually be a serious issue. It's something that, you know, as a matter of democracy we need to discuss, but in this election, it was absurd. 

BAIER: Right, but when it became news that more electors flipped for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, it became less a ceremonial hurdle that was crossed. Not the big thing. It became, well, no big deal. 

INGRAHAM: And there’s where and also the bias element also comes in here. I don't think we would be talking about the Russians if Hillary won and if Hillary Clinton had won, you know, a lot of this would go away. They were pressing Trump to accept the legitimacy of the outcome and they had to get that — they tried to get that in blood from him. He didn't kinda give it to them. He said, “we'll see” But, you know, the public doesn't trust media today. So, again, they can keep going on this fanciful quest for the stories that are never going to happen, but I think over the last 18 months, we saw them get issue after issue, major media figures. We had pollsters saying that Donald Trump was going to lose and Hillary Clinton was going to have 400 electoral votes. That's what someone told me before I went on Fox election night and I was like wow, that's a pretty big victory for Hillary. 


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