Stridently pro-Trump cable news network Newsmax TV went out of its way to refuse to call the 2020 presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday after multiple news outlets projected Biden would win Pennsylvania, pushing him over the needed 270 electoral votes.
After airing the Trump campaign’s Saturday morning press conference in Philadelphia which featured Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani making baseless allegations about widespread voter fraud, Newsmax TV anchor Tom Basile informed viewers that multiple networks had called the election for the Democratic nominee.
At the same time, he explained why his network would not follow suit.
After White House correspondent Emerald Robinson read President Donald Trump’s statement in which he refused to accept that Biden won, Basile said he wanted to be “very, very clear with our viewers about the realities of this situation” before adding what the network’s position was.
“While most of the other networks have called the race, given the closeness of the race in a number of key states, we will wait for final votes to be tallied and we will also wait for the disposition of a number of these legal challenges before we change our position,” the anchor said, referencing the Trump campaign’s long-shot legal and recount efforts.
Moments later, Basile and Robinson floated a conspiracy theory that the networks all colluded to wait until Saturday to call the race for Biden in order to ruin Trump’s afternoon round of golf.
“We talk a lot about media collusion with the Democratic Party,” Basile said. “Here we have the president just leaving the White House—we believe to go to his golf course to play a round of golf, and he deserves to be able to do that.”
He continued: “We have the press conference that Rudy Giuliani was going to hold in Philadelphia happening and at the very same time, all of a sudden, all of the networks—with the exception of Newsmax—decide that this is the time they’re going to call the election.”
Newsmax TV, meanwhile, wasn’t the only Trump-loving outlet to outright ignore the results in Pennsylvania and other key battleground states. The conspiracy-peddling channel One America News focused on the Giuliani presser while pretending that the multiple calls across the networks never happened.
Newsmax has made a concerted in recent months to compete with Fox News by hiring a bevy of former Fox personalities, right-wing media figures, and Trumpworld castaways to try to appeal to disgruntled conservatives upset that Fox somehow isn’t pro-Trump enough anymore. The network also seemingly sees an opening in a post-Trump era, especially with Fox News likely pivoting to bashing an incoming President Biden and Democrats rather than gushing about Trump on its air.
“Fox is sort of like a suicide of a network,” Newsmax’s owner Christopher Ruddy told The Daily Beast. “A Fox News viewer looks at the continuous negative coverage about the president, the concern about the supposed ‘suckers and losers’ comment, the abominable way Chris Wallace handled that debate, and all of the Fox News polls—which were on the high end of being wrong against Trump. When you add it all up, it paints a really bad picture.”