Fox News media correspondent and host of Media Buzz on the Fox News Channel, Howard Kurtz, found himself on the receiving end of criticism from former President Donald Trump’s legion of fans after reporting the results of a GOP-led “audit” of votes in Arizona.
Mr Kurtz mentioned the results of the count undertaken by the firm Cyber Ninjas on his program on Sunday; in the hours that followed, he was pilloried on Twitter by some of the network’s viewers who echoed claims from Mr Trump that the right-leaning network has turned against him.
The host retweeted several of the comments from viewers, who accused him of parroting “spin” and argued (falsely) that tens of thousands of fake or illegal votes were included in the state’s final tally.
“Sorry there is no evidence of 50,000 illegal votes. Even the Republican senator who commissioned the audit accepted the findings. My job is to report facts, not theories,” he responded to one commenter.
To another, he added: “I don’t do spin.”
Sorry there is no evidence of 50,000 illegal votes. Even the Republican senator who commissioned the audit accepted the findings. My job is to report facts, not theories https://t.co/Nkz92rvpBM— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) September 26, 2021
“If even a GOP-orchestrated audit had found actual evidence of widespread illegal voting I would be all over it,” Mr Kurtz said.
He added in his own statement that it was “sad” America’s divided politics led to people attacking him and refusing to trust the results of the state GOP-sponsored process as a result of it not confirming their false suspicions about thousands of illegal ballots.
“A little sad that when the GOP-commissioned and Trump-ally-funded Arizona audit found Biden got 99 more votes, people attack me & the media. Raising questions about possible errors & fraud is not the same as proving them, and was reported. This is our tribal politics today,” Mr Kurtz noted.
A little sad that when the GOP-commissioned and Trump-ally-funded Arizona audit found Biden got 99 more votes, people attack me & the media. Raising questions about possible errors & fraud is not the same as proving them, and was reported. This is our tribal politics today— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) September 26, 2021
The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.
The Arizona GOP’s “audit”, a review of votes in the state’s most populous county, Maricopa, ended with Mr Trump receiving 161 fewer votes than had previously been counted by state officials in his favor. Mr Biden gained 99.
Some far-right supporters of Mr Trump had held out hope that the “audit” would lead to a domino effect in which numerous states would overturn their election results, leading to the former president being reinstated as the rightful victor of the 2020 election. No evidence of widespread fraud was uncovered, however, and no other states that were key battlegrounds in 2020 have begun Arizona-style recounts since November.
The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman has reported that Mr Trump himself has entertained such theories during private conversations with supporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and the former president has reacted to the latest news by lying about the results of the “audit” and claiming victory in Maricopa County.
"We won at the Arizona forensic audit yesterday at a level that you wouldn't believe," the former president said at a rally in Georgia, Newsweek first reported, adding: "They had headlines that Biden wins in Arizona, when they know it's not true. He didn't win in Arizona. He lost in Arizona based on the forensic audit."
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