Fox regretted Biden victory scoop because it hurt ratings with right-wing viewers: report
Rupert Murdoch (AFP)

The media is supposed to be thrilled with "scoops," but Fox News regretted its early call that Joe Biden won Arizona over Donald Trump in 2020 because it hurt its rating with its far-right audience, The New York Times reported Saturday.

“Listen, it’s one of the sad realities: If we hadn’t called Arizona, those three or four days following Election Day, our ratings would have been bigger," Suzanne Scott, chief executive of Fox News Media, said at a meeting days later, according to the Times, which listened to a recording of the Zoom conference. “The mystery would have been still hanging out there.”

The Fox scoop was absolutely correct.

The networks' regret about beating the competition with crucial election information was yet more evidence that Fox is concerned first about ratings and profits, and only tangentially about the truth.

READ: 'Hate speech to genocide': Right-wing host uses CPAC stage to call for the eradication of transgender people

Fox was bashed last month after a court filing in the $1.6 billion Dominion defamation suit against the network revealed that owner Rupert Murdoch and Fox hosts secretly derided Trump's lies about a "rigged" election — yet continued to peddle them to viewers.

Executives at the Zoom meeting underscored the fundamental money-making motive of the Fox operation by coming up with other suggestions about handling future elections. Maybe Fox should dump its sophisticated "election prediction apparatus" for an old-fashioned, slower system, or base calls on what viewers want to hear, they said, according to the Times.

Scott suggested that delaying election calls is a ratings strategy that other outlets, like CNN, use to keep viewers in suspense, and watching.

Following the early Arizona call, jitters settled in at Fox, delaying other election calls. The network ended up being the last media outlet to declare Joe Biden the victor in the national race, the Times pointed out.

RELATED: Trump bashes dark hellscape of a nation without him at CPAC

Bill Sammon, the Fox News executive who oversaw the networks' election "decision desk," and was instrumental in determining to call the victory for Biden, retired soon after the election in early 2021 because of the heat he got from inside Fox, The Washington Post reported.

Fox told the Times in a statement that it "stood by the Arizona call despite intense scrutiny. Given the extremely narrow 0.3 percent margin and a new projection mechanism that no other network had, of course there would be a wide-ranging post-mortem surrounding the call and how it was executed no matter the candidates," the statement added in an explanation for the follow-up meeting.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Jet passenger dies in 'severe turbulence' over New England