Election Night Live: Watching Fox News


Earlier in the afternoon, Fox News Channel had some moments of excitement about "Black Panthers" who seemed to be menancing a student video journalist at a Philadelphia voting location. A Fox reporter confronted one of the two men (the other one with the nightstick had left by the time Fox got there) and had a testy relationship about freedom of the press, racism and who was bugging whom more. It was an interesting hour that I suppose was supposed to at least suggest–gee, maybe a little more than that–that some voters might be intimidated at the voting booth.  

Maybe it’s just my reading of body language; maybe it’s ridiculously too-hot in Arizona, but Fox’s chief political correspondent Carl Cameron looked as if he knew a lot more than he was saying about how the vote is going on Fox News Channel just now. Cameron usually is effervescent; now, he seems kind of like a guy who’s watching the first quarter of a very bad football game.  

I don’t really know what other channels are doing, but Fox is running exit poll stats on the bottom of its screen that really are a snapshot of America, and it ain’t a pretty picture: 81% believe economics, 12% are excited about Obama becoming elected, 30% are scared, 85% are worried about the economy, 23% believe the economy will get worse in 2009, and 76% believe the country is off track. Here’s a nice one: 47% believe racial relations will improve in the next year. That’s not a a great stat, but it’s interesting the question is even being asked. 

OK, quick quiz: When was the last time a Democrat won in Virginia? Did you say 1964? Good. I wonder why I know lyrics to thousands of really bad rock records, but I think repetition helps. Since 5 o’clock, I’ve heard that stat on Fox at least a half dozen times. I’m not knocking it, or saying Fox is saying it more than any other networks, but you watch long enough, it gets easy to memorize. Has a Republican ever elected without carrying Ohio?  I’m not saying, but it starts with an N.