Elections

Issues ››› Elections
  • Washington Times' cornucopia of voter fraud misinformation

    Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

    It's election day, so the right-wing's fevered cries of "VOTER FRAUD" have reached their highest pitch. And, the Washington Times has admirably done their part by penning an entire editorial on voter fraud that does not contain one credible allegation of fraud.

    Let's go down the list, shall we? First, the Washington Times claimed, "Nevada and North Carolina are among states where early voters reported trying to cast ballots for Republicans only to see their votes registered for Democrats instead." Nevermind that claims of voting irregularity in Nevada have been investigated and were determined to be unfounded, and in North Carolina, there were complaints from both Democrats and Republicans that their votes were cast for the opposite party but, according to the deputy director of the State Board of Elections, Johnnie Mclean has said that these were "isolated instances" that "were corrected." He added, "There is no hard evidence voters were not able to cast their vote as intended."

    They go on to claim that "[t]he very idea that voting is the cornerstone of citizenship is under attack. Last week, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor provided the deciding vote in a 2-1 court decision telling Arizona it could not require proof of citizenship for voter registration." Yet, as we've noted, this ruling has no bearing on the current election.

  • "Corrupt bastards": Timeline of a Fox-Palin-Breitbart manufactured controversy

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN & SHAUNA THEEL

    After Fox News' Sarah Palin made the entirely unsupported claim that a taped voicemail proved that "corrupt bastards" in the media were conspiring to fabricate smears of Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, Fox News heavily promoted the allegation. By the next day, Glenn Beck joined Palin in calling for the reporters to be "purged."

  • PFAW to ABC: Breitbart puts your reputation at risk

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Today, People for the American Way released an open letter to ABC regarding its invitation to Andrew Breitbart to participate in post-election coverage. In it, PFAW president Michael Keegan stated that providing any sort of platform for Breitbart legitimizes his deceitful practices:

    Breitbart has proven time and again that he is willing to make up stories and smear the names of innocent people in order to draw attention to himself and advance his political causes. By associating with Breitbart, ABC News acknowledges the credibility of his dishonest tactics, and draws its own credibility as a news source into question.

    We respect ABC News' commitment to balanced analysis, and expect that any unbiased news source will seek to provide equal platforms to each side of any debate. However, part of the responsibility of providing balanced news is ensuring that those participating in the debate are approaching the issues honestly and dealing in facts.

    Andrew Breitbart, far from dealing in facts, has a long history of fabricating smears in order to advance his own agenda:

    • He famously doctored a recording of Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod speaking about overcoming racism in order to accuse her of racism. His smear led to Sherrod's firing, but even more troubling, served to stoke existing racial resentment against the Obama Administration.
    • His pushing of a tape that supposedly showed an ACORN employee helping a pimp and prostitute to establish a brothel helped to drive the smear campaign that eventually brought down the respected community organization. Independent investigations later found the tapes to be heavily edited and the storyline that Breitbart pushed to be far from the truth. Breitbart's smear of ACORN helped to propel the right-wing media's current fixation on the discredited fear of "voter fraud" resulting from minority voting.
    • Breitbart is currently engaged in another fishy media campaign in Alaska, where he has accused a local CBS affiliate of concocting a plot against Senate candidate Joe Miller…but the only evidence he has been able to produce is a fuzzy audio clip that hardly substantiates his claim.
    • Andrew Breitbart has every right to continue spewing his lies and conspiracy theories on the Internet, but his deceptive "analysis" has no place in an honest debate on an unbiased news program. Even including him in an online feature, as you have now said you will, lends a legitimate platform to his lies. And providing that platform makes ABC News complicit in Breitbart's deliberate, excuseless smears.

    We urge you to reconsider your invitation to Andrew Breitbart before providing a platform to harmful smears and putting your own reputation as a news source at risk.

  • The voter fraud & intimidation stories you won't hear about on Fox

    ››› ››› CHELSEA RUDMAN

    For the past several months, Fox News has hyped GOP accusations of voter fraud, no matter how little evidence exists to support them, and Bret Baier has promised that Fox will cover voter fraud allegations "in every show." But Fox has failed to report on, or has dismissed and distorted, numerous accusations of voter fraud or intimidation carried out by individuals linked to right-wing groups and politicians.

  • UPDATED: Breitbart says ABC invited him to appear on broadcast television

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

    Andrew Breitbart has released what he says is an email contradicting ABC News' assertion that the network never planned to include him in its televised Election Night coverage.

    On Friday, Breitbart's Big Journalism website reported that Breitbart would be "featured" on ABC's "election night coverage." According to Big Journalism, Breitbart would be "bringing analysis live from Arizona."

    Several hours later, ABC spokesman David Ford confirmed to Media Matters that Breitbart "will be one of many voices on our air."

    After receiving heavy criticism, ABC released a statement Saturday purporting to "explain what Mr. Breitbart's role has always been as one of our guests at our digital town hall event" [emphasis added]. According to the ABC statement, "Breitbart will not be a part of the ABC News broadcast coverage" and will instead "engage with a live, studio audience that will be closely following the election results and participating in an online-only discussion and debate."

    But on Sunday night, Breitbart insisted that wasn't the original deal. Breitbart wrote, "I can state with absolute certainty that the verbal pitch to me to participate was punctuated by the opportunity to appear as part of ABC News' broadcast television for the night. I was also aware that the majority of my participation -- seven long hours -- would be online."

  • Beck pitches in on Fox's voter-fraud fear fest

    Blog ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox News has mounted an impressive campaign to convince its audience that voter fraud is a rampant problem ahead of Tuesday's elections -- Bret Baier even promoted his channel's coverage of the topic on Sunday's Special Report by telling viewers that Fox would be reporting on voter-fraud allegations "in every show." (As we've noted, voter fraud occurs infrequently, and the conservative media's incessant claims about election fraud have been false more often than not.)

    Glenn Beck contributed to the campaign during a special Sunday edition of his TV show, bolstering the narrative with false claims and fearmongering. In fact, during the opening segment, Beck told viewers that he was going to "scare the bat snot out of you in the next hour."

    Glenn Beck is nothing if not subtle.

  • Even Brit Hume isn't convinced by Palin and Breitbart's allegations

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

    This morning, on Fox News Sunday, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin announced that "we have the tape that proves" that journalists at CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA "conspired to make up stories about" Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller.

    Hours earlier, several websites operated by discredited blogger Andrew Breitbart had posted audio and transcripts that they claimed showed "the news director for ... KTVA, along with assignment editor Nick McDermott, and other reporters, openly discussing creating, if not fabricating, two stories about ... Miller." Breitbart has a history of posting deceptively edited videos and making false allegations.

    Unfortunately for Palin and Breitbart, their claims are entirely unsupported -- and media are starting to notice.