Unwaveringly pro-Trump cable-news channel Newsmax has made waves in recent weeks by promoting election denialism and outright refusing to recognize Joe Biden’s presidential victory, taking a bite out of Fox News’ conservative viewership in the process.
But that changed a bit on Monday afternoon when anchor John Bachman broke the bad news to the network’s ultra-MAGA audience, calling Biden the president-elect.
“Electoral College votes are being cast today,” Bachman reported. “Here's video from four states, New York, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Illinois, all certifying the election for President-elect Joe Biden.”
The anchor explained that the upcoming Senate runoff races in Georgia would decide control of Congress, emphasizing that if Democrats controlled the Senate conservatives may not get their wish regarding investigations like one probing Biden’s son.
“But what about Hunter Biden’s role in all of this? And will anyone ask some serious questions about the former vice president and future president-elect,” the Newsmax anchor wondered aloud.
With members of the Electoral College gathering Monday in state capitals across the nation to cast their ballots for president and vice president, the formality of Biden’s decisive electoral win perhaps became a reality too big for even Newsmax to ignore. (This especially became the case after President Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to overturn the election—a Texas lawsuit to throw out votes from four states—was roundly rejected by the Supreme Court.)
After the majority of media outlets including rival Fox News called the election for Biden on Nov. 7, Newsmax has made a point of publicly refusing to project the former vice-president as the winner. (An odd boast since the fledgling cable-news operation doesn’t have a decision desk to make any projections in the first place.)
Appealing to Trump fans livid over Fox News’ early projection of Arizona for Biden, and its eventual call for him to be the next president, Newsmax has experienced exponential growth in its viewership after the election by embracing the president’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and feeding MAGA viewers promises that the election can and will be overturned.
As recently as last week, Greg Kelly, the pro-Trump host of the network’s highest-rated program, was still expressing confidence that the president’s lawsuits were “coming together” and “alive and well,” despite nearly all such legal challenges being rejected. After the Supreme Court denied the Texas suit, Kelly (a former Fox News host himself) insisted “it’s not over” while raging against Trump’s SCOTUS picks for not taking up “our” lawsuit.
Kelly has repeatedly said he will not call Biden the “president-elect,” and continued to deny reality on Monday, saying the title cannot be established until January.
“US Constitution Article II Sec 1: The ‘President-elect’ is NOT ESTABLISHED TODAY, but when the votes are “counted” by the ‘President of the Senate’ which doesn’t happen until JANUARY,” he raged on Twitter. “Then, ‘The Person with greatest number of votes SHALL be the President.’ LAW vs MEDIA? Law Wins!”
In an article published on its digital site on Sunday, Newsmax hinted that it would pivot away from its vow not to recognize Biden as the president-elect once his electoral victory was formally declared.
“Newsmax and many other critics of the election results will accept the declaration of the Electoral College of the new president-elect,” the un-bylined piece stated. “Still, Newsmax plans to continue its coverage of Trump’s challenges to the results and any new evidence of voting irregularities.”