- A former Fox News political editor testified Monday before the Jan. 6 panel.
- After testifying, Chris Stewart told NPR that TV news as entertainment has hurt Americans.
- “They confused the TV show with reality,” Stewart said of some Fox viewers.
Chris Stewart, a former political editor at Fox News, said he was surprised by the internal firestorm that erupted at his former workplace after Fox became the first major news network in Arizona to invite President Joe Biden into the 2020 presidential election.
Stirewalt, who was fired by Fox in January 2021, testified Monday before the Capitol Inquiry Committee on January 6, telling lawmakers that former President Donald Trump’s chance of winning is nearly zero after most networks voted to support Biden’s election on November 7. 2020
Trump was reportedly angry that Fox’s decision office called Swing State Arizona for Biden before most other outlets did the same, but Stirewalt said he was confident of his team’s work. Biden eventually won the state by nearly 11,000 votes.
“We were able to get in touch early,” Stewart told the committee this week. “We were able to beat the competition.”
But what Stirewalt didn’t expect was the wave of backlash at Fox that followed the exact drop.
Stirewalt spoke to NPR’s David Folkenflik after testifying on Monday, telling the outlet that people close to Trump were bombing Fox executives and reporters to answer their call in Arizona.
“We don’t give out votes. We don’t count. We’re a bunch of nerds in a room, and that’s it,” Stirewalt told NPR. “We tell you what’s going to happen, don’t let anything happen.”
He told outlets that the ordeal had left Stirewalt frustrated with the state of the network’s news in the US.
“He showed me how… treating TV events as entertainment, news as entertainment, and treating them as sport has really hurt Americans’ ability to be good citizens of a republic because they have confused the TV show with the real thing.” , He said.
Stirewalt said Fox News played a self-fulfilling role in angering its pro-Trump viewers with the Arizona decision, expressing regret to the network’s opinion broadcasters over months of making baseless allegations about Trump’s chances and the sacredness of elections.
“Fox News should have been proud of our work. We should have been rewarded and promoted, and they should have defended the journalists they hired to get a job.”
Fox shot Stirewalt two months after the Arizona show. The network has not publicly commented on his dismissal.
Stirewalt previously spoke of “murderous rage” and the attacks he faced from conservative Fox viewers after the call. He told NPR Monday that he hopes the excitement for 2020 will finally be over.
“In 2024, are we going to look back at 2020 and say, ‘That was weird, going forward?'” “Or are we entering a new chapter in American history where we are beginning to fall apart because we cannot even agree on the outcome of the election?” Stirewalt said.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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