The NYT's woeful Minnesota recount reporting

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The top of this article seems fine as the reporter outlines the extraordinarily close recount race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman. But boy, the piece completely falls apart as the Times' Christina Capecchi stuffs the second half of the dispatch with right-wing talk points presented by right-wing talking heads.

*The article quotes Coleman's election attorney who accuses the Franken camp of vote-counting ""shenanigans," but requires the attorney to provide not proof/examples.

*In addressing the fact that the Secretary of State overseeing the recount is a Democrat (last time we checked that was allowed), the Times reports that Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten traced the official's "ties to liberal Democratic groups."

The Times though, doesn't bother to note that Kersten is a right-winger who smeared Franken right before Election Day as a "slanderer of Christianity." She's hardly a source worth citing in the New York Times.

*Speaking of dubious sources, the Times also quotes Sean Hannity who claims there's some "fishy business" unfolding in Minnesota. This has been the right-wing mantra all week: Dems are trying to "steal" the Minnesota election. The proof? There is none, which means there's absolutely no reason for the newspaper to be legitimize that kinds of GOP conspiracy talk.

In total, the Times article quotes or references six Coleman supporters but just one Franken backer.

The Franken/Coleman recount is going to be a lengthy process. Let's hope the Times can improve its coverage.

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