According to a memo obtained by Business Insider, Fox News has apparently ordered network personalities like Sean Hannity from citing unscientific online polls that claim Donald Trump won Monday night’s debate with Hillary Clinton.
In the wake of the debate at Hofstra University, Hannity listed a number of online polls that claimed to show a Trump victory. “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,” Hannity continued. “CNN’s poll had 500 respondents… These polls have thousands of respondents and CNN is the Clinton News Network.”
Apparently seeking to clamp down on content that is unfounded, the leaked memo slammed Hannity (and at least two other Fox News personalities) for relying on polls that “do not meet our editorial standards.”
From Business Insider:
At least three Fox News hosts cited unscientific online polls in the hours after Monday night’s presidential debate to suggest Donald Trump emerged as the winner of the political showdown.
Trump had come out ahead in a slew of unscientific polls, or polls in which the sample of participants did not accurately reflect the sample of viewers who watched the debate. Such polls are almost always discounted by professional pollsters and analysts.
The only scientific survey conducted in the debate’s immediate aftermath was the CNN/ORC instant poll, which showed that viewers thought Hillary Clinton handily defeated Trump. Respondents to a Morning Consult poll released Wednesday also said, 49% to 26%, that Clinton bested Trump in the debate.
“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 in the memo. “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.”
In spite of the memo, Fox hosts continued to cite the polls, according to Business Insider.