Fox News has reportedly banned network personalities like Sean Hannity from citing unscientific online polls as proof the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump won Monday night's debate with Hillary Clinton.
Just hours after the debate at Hofstra University, Hannity rattled off a list of online polls as evidence that Trump had bested Clinton.
“I’ll give you the list of polls,” Hannity said. “Time Magazine, Drudge report, CNBC, The Hill, CBS.”
“The only one that has Hillary winning is CNN and they’re the Clinton News Network anyway,” he added. “CNN’s poll had 500 respondents... These [online] polls have thousands of respondents and CNN is the Clinton News Network.”
But Hannity wasn't alone, at least two other Fox New personalities touted the online polls.
By Tuesday, a Fox News memo obtained by Business Insider had reprimanded Hannity and others at the network for relying on garbage polls that "do not meet our editorial standards."
"As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can't be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate," Dana Blanton, Fox's vice president of public-opinion research, wrote. "Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results... These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards."
"News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason," Blanton continued. "They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion."
As Business Insider pointed out, several Fox News hosts continued to cite the online polls Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.