Fox News anchor Bret Baier “was ready to give in” to Trump’s pressure after the network said he had lost Arizona, according to a new book. Baier argued for the Arizona news agency’s appeal to be overturned, according to the book. “‘The sooner we take him out…and put him back in his column, the better off we’ll be,'” he wrote, according to the book. Something is loading.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier ‘was ready to bow’ to pressure from the Trump White House in 2020 after the news agency decided on election night to call Arizona for Joe Biden before the other networks, according to the new book “The Divider: Trump in the White.” House, 2017-2021.”
Baier, Fox’s main evening news anchor, wanted to cancel the call from Arizona, wrote New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker and New Yorker editor and business analyst CNN Worlds, Susan Glasser.
“‘The Trump campaign was really pissed off,’ he wrote in an email to Jay Wallace, chairman and editor of Fox,” according to the book slated for publication Tuesday. “‘This situation is getting uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. I have to keep defending this on air.'”
The authors wrote that Decision Desk reporters believed there were “no serious questions about Arizona”, but Baier, in his email, accused them of “‘hanging on for pride'” , says the book.
“‘It hurts us,'” he wrote, according to the book. “”The sooner we remove it – even if it gives us a major egg – and put it back in its column, the better off we will be in my opinion. “”
A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Baier.
The authors called the statement “astounding,” given that Arizona has never been in the Trump column, even though its margin of defeat in the state narrowed just after the election. “Fox’s main news anchor insisted not only that Arizona was too close to call, but that he claimed the President had won it,” they wrote.
Biden won Arizona by less than a percentage point. Trump publicly attacked the network and cast Arizona among the states at the center of his election denial plots.
Jay Wallace didn’t do what Baier wanted, but then he refused to let the Decision Desk team call Nevada for Biden after other networks did because he “didn’t want that Fox be the first to call the election and declare Biden president-elect,” the authors wrote.
Subsequently, two members of the Decision Desk team were fired, according to the authors, and the announcements were delayed for two months because “executives did not want the embarrassment of publicly acknowledging their decision to expel journalists for making the right call”. The departure of one employee was qualified as “retirement” and that of another as “restructuring”, according to the authors.
A Fox News spokesperson confirmed the layoff was part of a post-election restructuring and did not comment on the retirement. The spokesperson noted that Arnon Mishkin, the decision desk chief who was in charge at the time of Arizona’s appeal, is returning for the November election as the decision desk chief.