George Stephanopoulos, center, rehearsed for election night over the weekend at ABC studios in New York City. Credit Sasha Maslov for The New York Times
New York Times: TV Networks Face a Skeptical Public on Election Night
Fox News’s elections guru will play his cello on Tuesday morning, “to clear my head and get ready to do math.” CNN is staging more than a dozen rehearsals with a 25-person on-air team. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News spent his weekend running drills in a studio, practicing swing-state calls with a former intern standing in for the pollster Nate Silver.
But as television news gears up for 2016’s big finale, an intense public distrust in the media is threatening the networks’ traditional role as election night scorekeeper.
There is a divided electorate, big segments of which are poised to question the veracity of Tuesday’s results. Donald J. Trump has refused to say if he will concede in the event of a projected defeat. And new digital competitors plan to break the usual election-night rules and issue real-time predictions long before polls close.
The era of Tim Russert’s famed whiteboard — when network anchors could serve as the ultimate authority on election results — has faded. And scrutiny on big media organizations on Tuesday, when 70 million people might tune in, is likely to be harsher than ever.
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WNU Editor: Years ago I trusted the U.S. (and Canadian) main stream media .... but today .... especially after this election cycle .... what little trust I had left is now gone.