I'm sure it was just a simple mistake.
I've found that gullibility is the most essential trait necessary to maintain right-wing ideology. If Fox News told Republican nitwits that Mark Foley was really Nancy Pelosi, they would either believe it, or chalk it up to an innocent mistake.
Fox News projects Bush winner in Florida
New York, N.Y. -- For the second time in as many Presidential elections, Fox News Channel (FNC) became the first television news network to project final election results for Florida when it called the state for George W. Bush shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3 - a full month before the start of official voting.
"At this time, Fox News can now project that President George W. Bush is victorious in the state of Florida," anchorman Brit Hume announced as the network's live pre-election coverage continued into the early morning hours. "To repeat, with polls now closed in Florida, Fox News projects that incumbent President Bush has won in Florida, taking the all-important state's twenty-five electoral college votes."
Fox's accelerated announcement caused frustration among officials at competing news networks who must now again decide whether to quickly follow FNC's lead or risk looking indecisive as they wait for November's official poll results to indicate a winner.
"In the business of broadcast journalism, you simply can't afford to be the last one to the ball, so Fox's projection really puts us under the gun just like it did [in 2000]," said Carol Dunn, director of public relations for NBC. "The problem with not immediately following suit this time is that many of our analysts are arguing that Florida is still too close to call and may well remain that way until the polls at least open on the morning of November second."
"Remember, last time we at least waited until four percent of the votes had been counted before initially calling Florida for Al Gore," added Dunn. "We do have our journalistic credibility to uphold. Fox has the luxury of not having to worry about that."
FNC executives credited the decision to go live with the projection a full four weeks before the availability of official precinct results to John Ellis, the cousin of George W. Bush who revolutionized televised election coverage in 2000 by innovatively declaring his kin as the winner in Florida while all available data indicated otherwise.
"Just like during the last election, I've been staying in close phone contact with both George and [Florida Governor] Jeb Bush as we come down to the wire," Ellis said Sunday as the journalist fed documents into a large paper shredder at FNC headquarters. "In fact, just before we announced our projection last night [sic], I spoke with Jeb on one of our secure lines and he assured me that Florida's final tallies would end up favoring his brother 'one way or another,' as he put it. Based on that conversation, I felt very comfortable making the projection."
Though privileged to have already been provided with a copy of the final 2004 election results for all 50 states - a highly classified document that Republican operatives will not coerce other news networks to report until the night of the election - Ellis said he has been told by high-ranking members of the Bush camp to hold off on calling the national election in favor of his cousin.
"Fox will still be allowed to report that Bush has won before any of the other networks do, but I am obligated to wait until they give me the go ahead," said Ellis, referring to the unnamed Bush officials in charge of "handling" the election. "As soon as my red phone rings and I hear the password, 'The snake is in the basket,' that's my cue to cut to the 'Bush Reelected' graphic we've been designing all summer. Then it'll be time to party."