Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s former TV news station, Fox10, ran a graphic during Thursday’s evening newscast showing her opponent Katie Hobbs winning the election 53 percent to 47 percent. Although the broadcaster insists the graphic was never intended for air, the incident prompted a sharp response from many – including State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who said he will propose new legislation to hold the media accountable.
“While I understand the need for internal planning by news stations, errors like this that are broadcast live to the public pose a legitimate threat to our Republic and serve only to undermine the confidence that Arizonans have in the integrity of their vote,” Hoffman said in a statement, which Lake tweeted. “What if this had happened on election night or the day before the election? The impact to our democratic process would be devastating.”
He went on, “This coming legislative session I will be introducing a bill to hold Arizona news outlets accountable should they interfere with Arizona’s election and/or disenfranchise Arizona voters like this in the future.”
Why is FOX 10 calling the election 12 days before Election Day? pic.twitter.com/1SdcVtl5Dy
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) October 28, 2022
After the incorrect graphic aired, Fox 10 issued a correction over Twitter, stating that it was not meant to be shown on TV, and appeared to blame the Associated Press. “At 5:50p during the Fox 10 newscast today a small graphic appeared on the lower left side of the screen showing test results for the upcoming election,” the station tweeted. “These were generated by the Associated Press which distributes results to clients.” A second tweet continued, “This graphic was never meant to go on air — the numbers were only part of a test. The station has taken steps to make sure this cannot happen again.”
When Lake first became aware of the incident, she speculated, “WOAH.. right after my press conference going after the Media. Retaliation?” Next, she tweeted, “Fox 10 called the election for @KatieHobbs TWELVE DAYS before Election Day.” The Kari Lake War Room tweeted, “Why is FOX 10 calling the election 12 days before Election Day?”
Instead, Lake said during press conferences that the “fake news” ignores real polls, like a recent poll showing her 11 points ahead of Hobbs. An InsiderAdvantage poll taken during Oct. 24-25 shows Lake up 54 percent to Hobbs’ 43 percent.
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza chimed in on Twitter, which Lake retweeted. “‘Test results,’” he tweeted. “Yes, this is so believable. And obviously the ‘test result’ shows Katie Hobbs defeating Kari Lake. AP and Fox 10 are both guilty here, and they — not we — are undermining public trust in elections @KariLake.”
– – –
Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jake Hoffman” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Election Day” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.