Former Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt said that the network was partly to blame for the anger after the network projected Joe Biden‘s victory in Arizona.

Stirewalt, who was fired in 2021, recalled the projection, which Fox called before any other news channel.

The move caused a backlash from Donald Trump‘s supporters and Fox hosts alike.

Stirewalt told NPR that the event “showed to me how much television—the perceptions of events, of television as entertainment, news as entertainment and treating it like a sport—had really damaged the capacity of Americans to be good citizens in a republic because they confused the TV show with the real thing.”

Stirewalt also stated that the anger was due to Fox opinion hosts telling their audience Trump was undoubtedly going to win. And when Arizona was called for Biden, the network was telling their audience a reality they did not want to hear.

“Part of the problem, of course, was that there were opinion hosts on Fox who, for months and months and months, had been repeating the baseless claim that Trump was going to win the election for sure,” Stirewalt said.

The team of analysts were simply projecting what turned out to be accurate, Stirewalt said. They did not seek to change the results, only report them.

“We don’t award any electoral votes. We don’t count any ballots. We are some nerds in a room, and that’s it,” Stirewalt stated. “We’re just telling you what’s going to happen. We’re not making anything happen.”

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