For a brief 17 seconds the Presidential Election Night Results were shown to the world. This was not a crystal ball. The presidential election results along with numbers were broadcasting live on CBS news last Friday. The news ticker on the bottom showcased a special report having Obama beating Romney with 99% of the precincts reporting. The news ticker animation appeared around 3:30 PM on October 19th while broadcasting an episode of “The People’s Court.”
DailyCaller.com reports that the “CBS News graphic showed Obama winning the election with 43 percent of the vote nationwide to Romney’s 40 percent -– or 40,237,966 votes to 38,116,216. It is unclear who garnered the other 17 percent in the fictional election results.”
This bit of controversy is sweeping the internet, with Republicans either calling this a conspiracy–with the election results being fixed by Democrat cheating–or with others pointing this out as example of media bias. Sarah Palin had this to say: “CBS needs to explain this. But whatever their explanation, let’s make this their ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ moment. Please remember to tune in to the important debate tonight. The momentum for this election is not with Obama, regardless of what some in the media might want to think.”
Eventually, Michele Wallace of CBS News responded to requests for information:
“On Friday October 19th during a test of KPHO- CBS 5’s election returns software we inadvertently aired a test graphic for about 15 seconds in an episode of Peoples Court. The mistake was caught quickly and taken off the screen. With the election about 2 weeks away, the TV station routinely tests its equipment to ensure our viewers have the very latest’s results on election night. We regret the error and apologize to any viewer who was confused by the mistake.”
This type of mistake can happen. Major news media typically prepare for major events by preparing conflicting articles that state something went one way or the other. For example, when the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare was passed down several media outlets, including Fox News, rushed the news to print too quickly. They mistakenly said Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, had been struck down when in fact it had not. The reason this mistake was made was because the first couple pages said Obamacare’s insurance mandate could not be supported for various reasons before saying that it could be passed as a tax. It was not until minutes later that the media realized their mistake and pulled the mistaken articles.
What do you think; innocent mistake, indication of media bias, or a lurking conspiracy for election fixing?