A Fox affiliate in Arizona has issued a retraction after an embarrassing on-air mishap this week.
According to reports, a KSAZ newscast included a graphic that showed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs the winner of her campaign against Republican rival Kari Lake. Of course, there is still well over a week left until Election Day.
In a subsequent tweet, the Phoenix station explained that the graphic, which showed Hobbs with a 53% to 47% victory over Lake, had been part of a test and was not intended to be included in a live broadcast.
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.
These were generated by the Associated Press which distributes results to clients. (1/2)
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) October 28, 2022
Recent polls, however, show that Lake is poised to win the upcoming race as a national tide seems to shift in the GOP’s favor. FiveThirtyEight’s average of recent surveys shows the Republican with a relatively comfortable 48.5% to 45.7% lead over her Democratic opponent.
Ironically, it was KSAZ’s own poll that gave Lake the biggest advantage, showing her with a massive 11-point lead over Hobbs.
For her part, Lake reacted to the premature graphic by referencing her recent accusations against local media, which she said has been in cahoots with Hobbs. She has denounced the fact that journalists have parroted Democratic Party talking points attempting to link her campaign to reports of a burglary at her rival’s campaign office.
“My desperate opponent, who is sinking like lead weight in water, pulled a stunt, and you guys fell for it,” she said in a press conference shortly before KSAZ’s mishap. “She put out a defamatory statement, and you all ran with it. You didn’t do your journalistic duty. It was malpractice of journalism that I’ve never seen before.”
After the Fox affiliate aired a graphic showing her as the election loser, she declared: “[Hobbs] called me a crook & the media spread her bile. I called a presser to ask them to show some intellectual curiosity, do their jobs. [KSAZ] must not have liked it. Tonight, they called the race for Katie.”
Lake has been a consistent thorn in the side of mainstream media outlets throughout her campaign. In June, she confronted a CNN reporter seeking an interview by referencing the now-defunct streaming service that the news network launched just months earlier.
“I’ll do an interview,” she said. “As long as it airs on CNN+. Does that still exist? I didn’t think so, because the people don’t like what you guys are peddling, which is propaganda.”