- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 6, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

MSNBC, a day before the elections — on Monday evening, before polls even opened for on-site voting — put up a graphic on screen, on air, that showed the “vote counts” of the Florida governor’s race with Democrat Andrew Gillum leading Republican Ron DeSantis with a 49.4 percent to 48.8 percent lead. Oh, and that’s with nearly all the district numbers counted.

Can you say what the heck?

This is taking fake news to an entirely new level.

Chris Hayes, host of “All In,” the show where the graphic appeared, issued a somewhat confused mea culpa.

“Quick clarification here,” he said, Deadline reported. “Just want to say, earlier this hour, uh, we showed a graphic of the Florida gubernatorial race. May have caught your eye because our system had inadvertently populated some test numbers. Obviously, we do not yet have any vote totals here, the night before the election. That was a misfire.”

Misfire?

That’s not a misfire. That’s a case-in-point example of why Americans don’t trust the media — why President Donald Trump’s labeling of the press as the enemy of the people resonate with the people.

Hayes, rather dubiously, offered this: “Don’t worry. I was pretty confused when I saw it up there, to see it myself.”

But that doesn’t really explain much. It doesn’t explain, for example, the so-called “system” glitch with its so-called “test numbers,” and what that quasi-scientific-sounding phraseology actually means. Does it mean MSNBC’s graphic software went rogue? Does it mean the personnel operating MSNBC’s graphic software went rogue? And after all that rogueness was said and done, how’d the graphic go live — who or what did the punching of the button that sent it onto the televised screen?

Don’t know. Unclear.

But “don’t worry,” Hayes said.

It’s all good. It’s all under control.

MSNBC’s on top of it — ahead of the game, as they say. In fact, MSNBC’s so ahead of the game, the media outlet already had 99 percent of the ballots counted in Florida’s gubernatorial race — a day before in-person voting even began.

That’s some scoop.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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