Date: 23rd November 2000

ABC Admits It Fell To Victim To Vote-Count Pressure

Implying that its own decision to call results in certain states on election night was based in part on what other network news organizations were doing, ABC News said on Wednesday that it will henceforth place its "decision desk" in a room without television sets tuned in to rival coverage.

In an interview with the online entertainment magazine Inside, Paul Friedman, executive vice president and managing editor of ABC News, indicated that the network called the election for George W. Bush after watching each of the other networks do so. "I think we the producers may have been guilty of putting too much pressure on the people who called the race," Friedman said.

The network also detailed other changes it would institute to bar a repeat of the blunders that occurred on election night. Among them: It will not announce projections until all the polls in a state are closed.

Source: Studio Briefing