MSNBC can now boast of being the first news outlet to break results from Tuesday’s midterm elections – hours before voting began. The network said it “misfired” after airing a fake vote tally from Florida’s gubernatorial race.
Viewers watching MSNBC’s election coverage on the eve of nationwide midterms were likely puzzled to learn that Democrat Andrew Gillum had already been declared the next governor of Florida. With 99 percent of the votes counted, Gillum had purportedly triumphed over his rival, Republican Ron DeSantis, by 0.6 percentage points, MSNBC reported almost a full day before voting was set to begin.
MSNBC accidentally shows false results of Tomorrow’s election that has not happened in Florida showing socialist Gillum in slight lead against @RonDeSantisFL. Wishful thinking? What do you think https://t.co/IHaTFIAYEq
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) November 6, 2018
Host Chris Hayes quickly clarified the prophecy, blaming the fictitious tally – which was briefly flashed on screens across the US – on a system “misfire.”
“Quick clarification here,” Hayes announced during the election eve broadcast. “Just want to say, earlier this hour we showed a graphic of the Florida gubernatorial race. May have caught your eye because our system had inadvertently populated some test numbers.”
He added that “obviously” the network does not have vote totals the night before the election. Not everyone was satisfied with Hayes’ innocuous explanation, however, with some even speculating that something extremely nefarious was afloat.
“That’s not a misfire. That’s a case-in-point example of why Americans don’t trust the media – why President Donald Trump’s labeling of the press as the enemy of the people resonate with the people,” Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote in a piece published by the conservative paper. She went on to question how MSNBC’s graphics software could have “gone rogue” without some sort of human input.
Social media reactions varied widely. The mishap is proof of a dark conspiracy, or an example of harmless human error, depending on whom you ask on Twitter.
This is a blatant attempt to influence the election. DeSantis should sue MSNBC for every penny they have
— Publius (@Publius7) November 6, 2018
Republicans don’t watch MSNBC anyway, what difference will it make? But for Republican pundits crying about it, surely no more than a few hundred Republicans in the entire state of Florida probably saw it.
— Fascist Insect (@JeffGuidry3) November 6, 2018
Moral of the story? If you prefer election coverage without “misfires”, tune in to RT! Our election results coverage begins at 10 PM EST.