Fox News, which is traditionally obsessed with purported cases of “voter fraud,” has yet to mention last week’s reports that President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany each apparently violated election laws, according to a Media Matters review.
Fox promotes a steady stream of false or exaggerated reports of “voter fraud,” which in reality is incredibly rare. The network’s commentators fill its airwaves with conspiracy theories about elections stolen through widespread irregularities to promote policies that make it harder for people to cast ballots -- particularly Black, brown, and younger voters who are more likely to support Democrats.
On Monday, for example, Newt Gingrich warned the hosts of Fox & Friends that Democrats are promoting the use of mail-in ballots in response to the coronavirus pandemic so they can engage in massive fraud because they “believe they can’t win an honest election.”
But there are some election fraud cases that Fox hosts traditionally downplay or even ignore altogether -- the ones that involve crimes committed by Republicans. And in that fashion, the Trump and McEnany cases have gone conspicuously unmentioned on the network.
Trump may have both committed voter registration fraud and voted illegally over the past year, according to a June 4 report in The Washington Post. On the same day in September, Trump registered to vote in Florida but listed his legal residence as the White House, and he separately filed paperwork to change his legal address to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. This apparently violated Florida law, which requires voters to be state residents. A month later, he filed a new voter registration form listing his address as Mar-a-Lago, and he voted by mail in Florida’s March primary. But that vote also appears legally questionable, as the club may not be a legal personal residence for the purposes of voter registration.
McEnany also appears to have voted illegally, The Huffington Post reported on June 5. She voted in the 2018 Florida primary and general elections registered under her parents’ Florida home address while living in the Washington, D.C., area and holding a New Jersey driver’s license.
Can you imagine how Fox might have reacted to a report that President Barack Obama and one of his press secretaries might have voted illegally? The network is so aggressive about such stories that just three months ago, Fox host Tucker Carlson warned that the implementation of former first lady Michelle Obama’s push for expanded mail-in voting “would instantly destroy the public’s faith in election outcomes and hence, our democracy.” An Obama voter fraud allegation would doubtlessly trigger nonstop special reports, doomsaying proclamations that our election system was hanging by a thread, and demands from Carlson, Gingrich, and their ilk to lock the Democrats up for their crimes.
It’s almost like Fox’s concern isn’t really with whether it is an “honest election” after all.