Media Problems with Election Night 2000
Discusses the different ways that the media blundered their early call of Al Gore as the winner of the 2000 Presidential Election.
This paper explains what went wrong on Election Night, in particular the problems with VNS and with Ellis? involvement in Fox’s (2:15 a.m.) call. The author also covers how U.S. newspapers called the election in their November 8th editions. Chip Minemyer, associate editor of the Centre Daily Times will then give his input on the problems of election night. Finally, the author provides conclusions based on the facts he has gathered on this case.
Almost everyone in the United States and throughout the world remembers how close and controversial George W. Bush’s victory against Al Gore was in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Many people know that the five major U.S. television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox) twice wrongly declared the winner of the pivotal state of Florida, the Associated Press first declared Gore the winner, and that many U.S. newspapers said Bush was the winner in one of their November 8th editions. The networks crowned each respective candidate as the victor – first between 7:49 and 8 p.m. ET for Gore and then just after 2:16 a.m. for Bush only to see their declarations of victory change, in Gore’s case to undecided call and then to a Bush victory, and in Bush’s case to see victory projections change to an undecided status. What many people do not know about the miscalls are the crucial roles the Voter News Service (VNS), a consortium funded by the five major news networks and the Associated Press, and John Ellis, George W. Bush’s first cousin and a member of the Fox News’ team of people responsible for calling the winner, had in the erroneous projections on election night. (Mnookin 94 & 95 and Associated Press, Fox Exec.”)
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