Chris Stirewalt spent years as Fox News’ digital politics editor until he was recently let go as part of what the network called a reorganization move.
In a new op-ed titled, “I called Arizona for Biden on Fox News. Here’s what I learned,” Stirewalt wrote about being part of the team that made the call predicting Arizona would go for Joe Biden. That announcement upset viewers as well as the Trump campaign, partly because Stirewalt and others refused to say then-President Trump won Florida when his lead there looked stronger than Biden’s in Arizona.
In subsequent months, many viewers soured on Fox News, and while it may not be exactly connected, Fox News dumped Stirewalt, and another high-ranking news executive retired.
On Thursday, Stirewalt, in what could be considered a job interview for the left-wing Lincoln Project or perhaps MSNBC, went full Joe Scarborough by denouncing the people who helped fatten his wallet for so many years.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Stirewalt said he was “proud of our being first to project” that Biden had won Arizona, although a Fox News political editor he was more likely there for commentary rather than making “the calls.”
In his op-ed, Stirewalt claimed that the anger that generated among former President Donald Trump’s supporters resulted from their own “informational malnourishment.”
“Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally,” he wrote. “The lie that Trump won the 2020 election wasn’t nearly as much aimed at the opposing party as it was at the news outlets that stated the obvious, incontrovertible fact.”
Stirewalt claimed that he was the target of a “murderous rage” from that night. And now he blames that on Americans being unwilling to seek information outside their own ideological silos, and journalists and political consultants who cater to that.
“Americans gorge themselves daily on empty informational calories, indulging their sugar fixes of self-affirming half-truths and even outright lies,” Stirewalt wrote. “Can anyone really be surprised that the problem has gotten worse in the last few years?”
He lamented the post-election rancor on the right created by “a cynical, knowing effort by political operators and their hype men in the media to steal an election or at least get rich trying.” They, he argued, are part of a media machine that relishes “indulging a consumer’s worst cravings.”
At Fox News, he added, the network “offers penalties for reporting the news but lots of rewards for indulging a consumer’s worst cravings.”
But, he added, “Whatever the platform, the competitive advantage belongs to those who can best habituate consumers, which in the stunted, data-obsessed thinking of our time, means avoiding at almost any cost impinging on the reality so painstakingly built around them.”
“As outlets have increasingly prioritized habituation over information, consumers have unsurprisingly become ever more sensitive to any interruption of their daily diet,” Stirewalt wrote.
“What tugs at my mind after seeing a mob of enthusiastic ignoramuses sack the Capitol, though, is whether that sophistication will come quickly enough when outlets have the means to cater to every unhealthy craving of their consumers,” Stirewalt concluded.
Liberals, of course, will cheer this, saying it proves everything they think they know about Fox News, even as they watch CNN and MSNBC gorge on empty intellectual calories.
On social media. many weren’t buying Stirewalt’s revelations.
“‘Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally.’ But was fine working 10 years for Fox News until he got broomed,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Having been cosseted by self-validating coverage for so long, many Americans now consider any news that might suggest that they are in error or that their side has been defeated as an attack on them personally.”
But was fine working 10 years for Fox News until he got broomed 🙄 https://t.co/ruTBqnoGgq
— Michael Barry (@calijawn) January 28, 2021
Said another: “Too bad he still hasn’t told the truth about what he said on the air that night. Does he not remember saying the Repubs would lose 5 seats in the House or the Biden lead in Arizona would likely grow. Instead of admitting he was wrong, he doubles down and disparages viewers.”
Too bad he still hasn’t told the truth about what he said on the air that night. Does he not remember saying the Repubs would lose 5 seats in the House or the Biden lead in Arizona would likely grow. Instead of admitting he was wrong, he doubles down and disparages viewers.
— Lou Segal (@lou_segal) January 28, 2021
Added a third: “Blames consumers, does not take any responsibility whatsoever. Sad.”
Blames consumers, does not take any responsibility whatsoever. Sad.
— Jobs Not Mobs (@DeplorableDregs) January 28, 2021
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