The 24-hour news network Newsmax aims to run to Fox News’s right does something subtle to make it seem as though Trump has all but won. Along the bottom of the screen, it perpetually runs an election results tracker. When close Senate races pop up in the tracker, the Democratic candidate, highlighted within a blue box, appears on the left when they won — just as you’d expect when keeping track of scores: We traditionally list the winner of something first.
But when the results of the major battleground states pop up, Trump is always listed first, even when he’s trailing behind Joe Biden, sometimes by a huge margin. This is true when the network shows the current tally in Michigan, where Biden leads Trump by about 150,000 votes, and where other major outlets named Biden the winner several days ago. It’s true even when the network shows the results in the national popular vote, where Biden leads Trump by more than 5 million votes.
“On Newsmax, voter fraud innuendo is everywhere. Conspiracy theory chatter is constant. And perhaps most importantly, Joe Biden is not the president-elect. The channel is tapping into a real vein of rage on the right.And Trump is encouraging it by retweeting Twitter users who are trashing Fox and promoting Newsmax.” CNN
Newsmax reports up-to-date vote totals. It doesn’t overtly suggest that Trump is leading in the states he has clearly lost, even in terms of percentage of the total vote. But by always listing Trump first, the network creates the perception that Trump is in control of this race, even when you look more closely at the raw numbers. He’s gonna win this thing! Just you wait!