Fox News anchor Sandra Smith was apparently caught on a microphone without knowing on last weekend. Smith was off-camera but her microphone was on when guest, Cleta Mitchell, gave her latest statement claiming that the election results could change. While speaking off-air, Smith can be heard ostensibly speaking to her colleague, Trace Gallagher as he continued the interview: "What? What is happening? Trace, we've called it."
The reaction stemmed from a DC-based lawyer, who was invited onto America's Newsroom, a Fox News show where Smith and Gallagher were hosting for the network's special election coverage on Nov. 7. The lawyer said: "Remember, just because CNN says — or even Fox News says — that somebody's president, doesn't make 'em president." Still, the projections from Fox, CNN, The Associated Press and just about every other major news network are based on the same facts, and the Trump campaign has little chance of overcoming the raw numbers of the election — if any.
Sandra Smith, off-air, reacts to her colleague Trace Gallagher indulging a nutjob who denies the outcome of the election even after Fox News had called it for Joe Biden: pic.twitter.com/gZ4nrnVHab— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 9, 2020
The campaign is within its legal rights to call for recounts, and even to sue city and state governments as it is doing, however, these legal challenges are not backed up by evidence. So far, in spite of President Donald Trump's claims, there have been no widespread cases of voter fraud, election tampering, or other errors in the 2020 presidential election.
Even if some cases of these issues do turn up, they are unlikely to be enough to turn the tide of the election. Trump would need at least 56 more votes in the electoral college to regain the presidency, a feat that would require millions and millions of votes to turn out to be false. Analysts agree that there is almost no chance voter fraud on that scale has been perpetrated in this election.
Meanwhile, Trump, his campaign and his administration are all speaking as if the evidence of fraud has already been found, and as if there are conspiracies at work to cover it up. This is not true by any interpretation of the facts, leaving anchors like Smith and Gallagher with little recourse but to contradict the president time and time again.
This was not the first time Fox News has called the Trump campaign's messaging into question in this election cycle. Days before Smith's hot mic incident, Fox News actually cut off a broadcast of a White House press conference, in which press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was falsely claiming that Democrats were "welcoming fraud" and "welcoming illegal voting."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," said Fox anchor Neil Cavuto, as the broadcast stopped abruptly. "I just think we have to be very clear: She's charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continue showing you this. I want to make sure that, maybe they do have something to back that up, but that's an explosive charge to make — that the other side is effectively rigging and cheating. If she does bring proof of that, of course, we'll take you back. So far, she had started saying, right at the outset, 'Welcoming fraud, welcoming illegal voting.' Not so fast."