Right-wing media reacted to news that Democrat-backed JoAnne Kloppenburg emerged from Wisconsin's Supreme Court election with a small lead by predictably bringing up baseless allegations of voter fraud. The right-wing media regularly uses voter fraud to respond to elections where a Democrat wins or is winning, especially following a close race.
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Fox News hosts, reporters, and contributors have repeatedly provided or echoed the claims of only opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give workers the right to form or join a union if a majority of workers sign a card stating they want to unionize. Absent from numerous reports and discussions on Fox News is the argument made by proponents of EFCA that under the current system, employers often fire union supporters and pressure employees to vote against unionizing.
On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, co-host Fred Barnes echoed the discredited rumor that ballots in the Minnesota Senate race were mishandled, stating: "We've seen, under some questionable circumstances, Franken gaining, you know, 32 ballots from the trunk of somebody's car that had been sitting there for a few days. I mean, I find that a bit suspicious." In fact, state officials have refuted rumors that the ballots were handled improperly, and a lawyer for Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign, who initially raised questions about those ballots, reportedly said afterward that he had been assured the ballots were not tampered with.
On The Beltway Boys, Mort Kondracke conflated primary election and general election funding, falsely asserting that Sen. Barack Obama will be "violating a promise" if he "forgo[es] public financing ... between now and August" -- that is, during the primary. In fact, Obama did not pledge to accept public funds during the primary, and long ago opted out of public financing for the primary election. Rather, he has said that he will attempt to reach an agreement with Sen. John McCain to use public financing in the general election.
Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes stated on Fox News' The Beltway Boys that "MoveOn.org -- which hates the war, hates the military, hates America -- endorsed [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL]." Media Matters for America has documented numerous media attacks on MoveOn.org.
Several media outlets uncritically reported President Bush's claim that he delayed the release of his new "way forward in Iraq" strategy from before Christmas to until January 2007 to allow new Defense Secretary Robert Gates to join the policy discussion and visit Iraq. These media outlets did not mention that the White House scheduled Gates' swearing-in ceremony fully 12 days after his Senate confirmation in order for him to attend commencement at Texas A&M before resigning as the school's president.
The Washington Post, in citing Post columnist George F. Will in a news article claiming that an "icy exchange between President Bush and Virginia Sen.-elect James Webb" has "angered conservatives," failed to note that Will, in his column on the incident, left out a key part of an earlier Post account of the conversation between Bush and Webb in order to assert that Webb showed "calculated rudeness."
On The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes baselessly asserted that recent violence in the Middle East is the result in part of the voters' "repudiat[ion]" of President Bush in the midterm elections. Later Barnes asserted that "five, 10 years ago," Americans "didn't see dead bodies all over the front page of newspapers, whether it's an accident or an explosion or Iraq or something." By contrast, CNN's John Roberts stated that "the pictures on television are sanitized compared to" the events occurring "on the ground."
While discussing potential candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke mentioned Sen. John McCain's views on abortion rights, but did not note his apparently inconsistent statements. Neither Barnes nor Kondracke mentioned that McCain told reporters in 1999 that he would "not support repeal of Roe v. Wade" or that McCain later issued a "clarification" saying he "would work toward its repeal."