Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

My Experience on FOX News

January 8th, 2005, 12:00pm by Sam Wang


After a hiatus to do real work, I am back. This site really needs to be reorganized, and perhaps written up as a proper print article. In the meantime, I promised to describe the pre-election Fox News interview…

The Fox News appearance was an interesting dip into the world of punditry and the right wing. The producer, who arranged the interview, was pleasant but showed remarkably little knowledge of the statistical analysis. As far as I could tell, she was going on the strength of the fact that it had made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I sent graphics of electoral maps and of the jerseyvotes calculation, which were promptly lost in the mad shuffle before going on air.

On the day of the interview a car (driven by a Russian neoconservative who wanted to retire to Israel) brought me to the News Corporation headquarters in midtown Manhattan. In the Green Room were three Halloween pumpkins. One was carved in an intricate pattern that could have been Ann Coulter. The other two were painted, one with Bush (“Four More Years!” “My Fellow Americans…”) and one with Kerry (“They Call Him Flipper,” “I voted for the $87 billion…”). Fair and balanced. Hair/makeup by two terrifically nice women, whose schedule included Morton Kondracke, Fred Barnes, and Rich Lowry – the usual suspects.

The appearance itself was remarkably short. For those of you who have seen the piece ([2 MB version] [30 MB]), I was preceded by an insightful blurb for a Web site called zombiepumpkins.com. Then I gave a description of the meta-analysis and spit out the raw poll result (Bush ahead in EV) and the undecideds-allocated result (Kerry ahead in EV). The URL of this site was not flashed on the screen, even though this had been promised. And then we cut to Tom Ridge saying we weren’t going to condition orange.

Marginal notes (none surprising): The sound stage is quite ratty in person. Same, to a lesser extent, for the interviewers. The on-set laptops really work, and give semi-useful information. Finally, I found cable “news” television to be remarkably shallow, though more driven by print media than I expected, which is good.

Tags: 2004 Election

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