Last Saturday, after all major news media outlets announced Joe Biden’s presidential victory, ebullient Biden supporters (or more precisely, Trump opponents) took to the streets to celebrate. Mr. Biden obliged the crowd of supporters—oddly, the largest crowd he has ever had—and gave a speech accepting the job of president of the United States.
Few people, conservatives or progressives, seemed to have the wherewithal to remind the country that the media do not call elections and that many states’ election results are still being contested and ballots are still being counted. If President Trump wins these states in the final count, or if his lawyers prove that Mr. Biden cheated, this presumed outcome will be reversed. To simply ignore this key fact and pop the champagne bottles prematurely serves only to mislead and confuse so many Americans about the process—which may very well be the point.
Even for those 70 million Americans who voted for President Trump and knew this election had yet to be decided, the media pronouncement of President Biden was a huge blow to their confidence. Despite the polls and bad press leading up to the election, Trump supporters had good reason to believe Trump would win reelection, remarking on the size of his crowds, the enthusiasm of his supporters, and Trump’s successful first term. Sure enough, at the end of Election Day with most of the votes counted, Trump was blasting through the expectations of a blue landslide and, in fact, was bringing about a Republican landslide.