Donald Trump has been loudly trumpeting about the results of online polls following his disastrous debate performance on Monday night, holding them up to assure his insecure ego that he perhaps didn’t expose himself as an ignorant fraud who, as RollingStone’s Jeb Lund put it, “could not have conducted himself more poorly if his goal was to vindicate all the haters and losers who bedevil him.”
Conservative media outlets like FOX News – especially Trump’s security blanket and sycophantic blowhard, Sean Hannity – jumped on the polls to continue deluding themselves and their gullible viewers into thinking Trump still has a decent chance at the Presidency. “The only one that has Hillary winning is CNN and they’re the Clinton News Network anyway…CNN’s poll had 500 respondents… These [online] polls have thousands of respondents and CNN is the Clinton News Network” said Hannity, forgetting the fact that CNN has been just as guilty as any of the other media jackals for feeding off Trump’s fetid carcass of a campaign.
But as anyone who ever has spent more than fifteen minutes online should know, you cannot ever trust anything that comes from the internet. The “online polls” were rigged by alt-right Trump supporters from Reddit and 4chan, who used automated programs to inflate the polls numbers while the #TrumpWon hashtag was kicked off by Vladimir Putin’s paid trolls in St. Petersberg.
It got to the point where even FOX News had to send out an internal memo informing their anchors to not cite the polls as they “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.”
While the most shocking thing about this news is the existence of editorial standards at the race-baiting, slut-shaming, fear-mongering fascist propaganda factory whose content literally makes you stupider for consuming, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hannity and at least three other FOX hosts ignored the memo and brought them up anyway.
It just goes to show how determined the right-wing is to remain entrenched in the the little fantasy world they’ve constructed for themselves.