Elections

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  • New Black Panthers just the latest bogeyman in Fox News' election ghost story

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Fox News' breathless fixation on the phony New Black Panther Party scandal fits into the channel's history of pushing right-wing fears of stolen elections -- a history that conservative activists readily use to their advantage.

    A telling moment occurred last night on Special Report, when The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes acknowledged that right-wing cries of voter fraud were part of a strategy for "post-election arguments in the event of close tallies and the need for recounts." Back on script, Hayes immediately pivoted and said that claims of "rampant" voter fraud are "serious allegations."

    Think Al Franken and the Fox News-led attack on the legitimacy of his election, even though Republican candidate Norm Coleman made no claim that election fraud occurred. Those attacks were nothing new: In 2004, Fox News discussed voter fraud during at least 37 segments in the weeks leading up to the election, despite the fact that actual voting fraud is extremely rare. In 2008, that figure swelled to at least 52 segments, according to the Nexis database.

    But one thing is certain: Stoking fears of stolen elections is serious red meat for Fox News.

    Which brings us to the New Black Panther Party.

  • CNN's Erickson urges Coloradans to impose religious test in Senate race

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    In an October 28 RedState blog post, CNN contributor Erick Erickson attacked Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet as "outside the mainstream" for supposedly not having enough religious faith. Erickson linked to an article on Politics Daily, that stated that "Bennet does not affiliate with a particular religion but says he believes in God."

    However, it seems that to satisfy Erickson's religious test, you not only have to believe in God, you also have to belong to a congregation. Erickson wrote:

    The Democrats really are running an inconsistent campaign across the country.

    In Missouri they are running an attack on a Republican saying he covered up pedophilia in the Catholic Church.

    In Minnesota the Democrats are attacking Catholics full on for not living up to Christ's teaching to help the poor.

    In Kentucky they are attacking Rand Paul for blaspheming Christ or some such nonsense.

    In Colorado, home of Focus on the Family and a huge evangelical movement, the Democrats have decided to go the opposite way.

    Michael Bennet, you see, rejects religion. Yes, he says he believes in God, but he makes clear he does not go to worship, does not believe in organized religion, and does not affiliate with a religion.

    And they say the Republicans are running candidates outside the mainstream.

    Although voters can, of course, use any criteria they want in deciding who to vote for, it is noteworthy that the Founders frowned on such religious tests. Indeed, the Constitution explicitly states: "[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

  • Fox vs. Fox: Karl Rove edition

    Blog ››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

    It's not easy managing a 24 hour campaign to oppose President Obama. Sometimes when you you pack all that blatant politicking, anti-government fearmongering, and tea-party promoting into one network, the cracks will start to show. We've already begun to see this with the network's growing tension with Glenn Beck. And as we move towards the 2012 elections, Fox's infighting is bound to increase as the network decides how to handle five of their employees running against each other for the Republican nomination for president.

    Well, we may have seen the first salvo in the 2012 Fox News Primary. Fox News contributor Karl Rove recently told the Daily Telegraph (also a News Corp. product) that Sarah Palin's new Discovery Channel show does not fit "in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office'," and went on to suggest she does not have the "gravitas" for the job.

    From the article, titled, "Karl Rove questions Sarah Palin's suitability for president":

    "With all due candour, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office'," Mr Rove told The Daily Telegraph in an interview.

    He added that the promotional clip for Sarah Palin's Alaska could be especially detrimental to any political campaign. It features the mother of five in the great outdoors saying: "I would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office."

    Mr Rove, who remains a major force on the US political scene, also implied that Mrs Palin lacked the stomach for the rigours of a presidential primary campaign, which will begin early next year before the first polls in 2012.

    Mr Rove was asked if the 46-year-old Mrs Palin, who is among the front-runners for the next Republican nomination, would be a wise choice if the party wanted to seize the White House from President Barack Obama. He replied: "You can make a plausible case for any of them on paper, but it is not going to be paper in 2011. It's going to be blood, it's going to be sweat and tears and it's going to be hard effort."

    He said Mrs Palin had done a "terrific job" in 2008 when Senator John McCain took her from near obscurity to the vice-presidential nomination, but added: "Being the vice-presidential nominee on the ticket is different from saying 'I want to be the person at the top of the ticket'.

    "There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say 'that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world'."

    So far, Fox has dealt with their increased infighting by pretending it doesn't exist, but other conservatives aren't so eager to let this transgression go. HotAir's Allahpundit already penned a post asking if, in the wake of his previous -- if inconsistent -- criticisms of Delaware senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell, Rove is "trying to alienate grassroots conservatives." So it doesn't look like this issue is going to go away.

    For years Fox has been working on its unholy hybrid of news analysis and political campaigning; soon it will have to deal the monster it created.

  • Right-wing takes Nevada voting machine non-scandal to new levels of stupidity

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    As we are just days away from the midterm elections, right-wingers are in their usual full-on Chicken Little mode over flimsy claims of "voter fraud." One of the many overhyped claims of "voter fraud" the right has been pushing is a story out of Clark County, NV, where some voters claim that their electronic ballots were pre-cast to vote for Harry Reid. Of course, the Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax has called the claims of fraud "patently false" and advised voters to be aware of the sensitivity of the voting machines' touch screens. And, considering Lomax also previously called for an investigation into voter fraud allegations related to ACORN, you'd think the right would believe him.

    Undaunted by their total lack of evidence, right-wing media went on to declare that the whole thing must be a giant SEIU scam since the voting machine technicians are represented by the SEIU. Oh no!

    It gets better. Now, the right-wing media have gone a step further, tying Ried's son, Rory Reid to the whole non-scandal. See, Rory Reid is the Chairman of the Clark County Commissioners, which Rush Limbaugh claimed meant "Harry Reid's son is the person in charge of overseeing the election machines that are being maintained by the SEIU."

    Our favorite right-wing blogger Jim Hoft provides Limbaugh with what I'm sure he thinks is bulletproof evidence to back up his claim. According to Hoft, since Rory Reid is the Chairmen of the Clark County Commission, that means he "is a member of The Nevada Association of Counties (NACO)," and part of NACO's mission is to "foster public trust in county government," so therefore, that means Rory Reid is "in charge of overseeing the election machines" in Clark County, Nevada. You can't make this up.

    Not that I really need to mention this, but, of course, Rory Reid appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the elections.