If you’re making the mistake of getting all your news from the six corporations that control most of the American mainstream media, then you’ve heard that the 2020 presidential election ended days ago, Joe Biden was declared the winner, and the transition period between the incoming Biden administration and the outgoing Trump White House has already begun.
And you’d be wrong about that, because the corporate news media is deliberately misleading you.
The truth is that, as I write this column on Friday, Nov. 13, despite what the media is claiming, the actual results of the presidential election are still undecided.
A hotly contested race for the White House ended with no clear winner on election night, and indeed there might not be a clear winner for some weeks yet.
As troubling as that is all by itself, the corporate media using it as an opportunity to launch one of the most brazen gaslighting campaigns ever is infuriating to me.
The News Media Has No Power to Declare Who Wins an Election
First, corporate media outlets pretended they had the authority to declare who had won the election. The U.S. Constitution quite clearly states how the winner of a presidential election is decided, and the news media isn’t mentioned there.
All media outlets are limited to doing is predicting who they believe has won an election. That’s not what the U.S. news media did here. They’re claiming it’s their job to “declare” the winner.
After awarding themselves the magical ability to declare who had won the presidential race, the national news media quickly set about loudly claiming that the transition phase between the supposedly outgoing Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration had already begun.
Story after story has appeared over the past week about how “troubling” it is that the Trump administration is refusing to “work with” the Biden transition team.
Trump’s White House is completely correct in rebuffing attempts by Biden’s transition team to assert its authority, because the transition from one administration to another hasn’t started yet, as I will now explain.
The Media Has Created, and Then Sought to Take Advantage of, Transition Confusion
After Biden and his running-mate Kamala Harris came out for their victory speeches on the Friday night following the election, the major networks timed their own announcements that the presidential race was over for the beginning of the Saturday morning college football games. This is when these networks knew millions of American sports fans would be tuning in to watch.
And so the corporate media has stridently insisted for the past week that the election is over because they said it was over, even as states were not yet called, votes were still being counted in closely contested states, and President Donald Trump was pursuing legal action in multiple state and federal courts as he sought recounts and audits.
But a transition can’t begin until one of the parties concedes to the other. And that hasn’t happened yet.
The History of Past Transitions
In 2016, Hillary Clinton conceded to Donald Trump on the night of the election. This meant the very next day the transition period between the departing Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration began.
In the 2000 presidential contest, Albert Gore Jr. lost a very close race that came down to a razor thin margin of victory for George W. Bush in the state of Florida.
Gore initially conceded to Bush, but then later withdrew his concession and demanded a recount of the votes in Florida. Lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts and multiple recounts were held, all of which Bush won.
After these numerous recounts, it became clear that the Democrat strategy was to keep suing for recounts until Gore managed to win one, at which point the Democrats would demand the recounts stop.
Much to the Democratic Party’s chagrin, the Supreme Court finally ruled in Bush’s favor and stopped the recounts, leading Gore to reluctantly concede to Bush on Dec. 13, 2000.
Only at that point did the transition phase between the Clinton administration and the incoming Bush administration officially begin.
During those 30+ days of limbo in 2000, nobody in either party or campaign or the media went around loudly claiming the election was over and that the transition period had already begun, or that Bush or Gore was the “president-elect.” It would have been absurd.
If Trump had conceded and not sought recounts and audits in the courts, that would have signaled the beginning of the transition period.
But that’s not what has happened.
So the mainstream media has spent over a week brazenly insisting a transition period has begun and is now underway when this is simply not the case.
Abusing the Public Trust
The mainstream media has been willingly and deliberately playing a role in coordination with the Democratic Party and the political elite class to mislead the American public about how presidential elections are decided and when a presidential transition begins.
Fox New’s self-sabotage is the most crass example of a media outlet determined to do its part in the propagandistic charade.
The leftward tilt of Fox News has been apparent for some time, but the blatant partisan behavior of the network on election night still managed to stun its audience.
Fox will now reap what it has sown, as millions of former viewers change the channel to far more honest network competitors, such as OAN and Newsmax.
This kind of behavior is not serving the public trust; it’s abuse of that trust. Plenty of Americans have had enough of this abuse, and are seeking out alternative news outlets.