Issues ››› Elections
  • More on CNN's ACORN report

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The American Prospect's Adam Serwer explains the basic problem with CNN's report about ACORN: "CNN is unable or unwilling to make the critical distinction between registration fraud and voter fraud."

    That's a huge distinction. Here's CNN's Drew Griffin last night:

    GRIFFIN: ACORN's voting registration drives are under investigation or suspicion in several states. Just yesterday, local authorities raided this ACORN office in Las Vegas where ACORN workers allegedly registered members of the Dallas Cowboys football team.

    And here's how Griffin ended his report:

    GRIFFIN: It absolutely is a crime. That was a fraud, somebody who filled out those forms. And I looked at them, Anderson. They're obviously a fraud.

    But the election workers say we have to turn this over to the actual elected board of elections. The board of elections has to then bring in the county attorney to see if an investigation, a criminal investigation, should begin. So all of that will be, you know, weeks, maybe even months down the road, and of course, that's going to be after the election.

    By noting that the "criminal investigation" might not come until "after the election," Griffin suggests the fraud will have an effect on the outcome of the election. This is alarmist: Unless those members of the Dallas Cowboys actually show up to vote in Nevada, the fact that someone registered them to do so won't make a bit of difference on election day.

    From time to time, people whose job is to sign up new votes are going to fill out voter registrations for Mickey Mouse to pad their totals. That's a problem, but it isn't going to affect vote totals unless Mickey Mouse actually shows up to vote. But you wouldn't know that from the media's frenzied reporting of the Republicans' biennial attacks.

  • Fraudulent reporting

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Every election year, conservatives start screaming about "voter fraud." And the media pays a great deal of attention. And, when all is said and done, there is typically a negligible amount of actual voter fraud.

    Meanwhile, as we've been reminded in recent election cycles, voter disenfranchisement does happen.

    You'd think the media would have learned by now. And yet they're in a frenzy over the Right's attacks on ACORN ... and all but ignoring stories like this:

    Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social Security data by The New York Times.

  • NY Times' Bumiller uncritically quoted McCain's distortion of Obama's remarks on subprime lending

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The New York Times uncritically quoted Sen. John McCain saying of Sen. Barack Obama: "[A]s recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, a good idea." The article did not mention that McCain was distorting Obama's comments from a September 2007 speech, as several media outlets -- including the Times -- noted when McCain previously made the same accusation against Obama.

  • ABC refuses to run We Campaign ad

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    ABC is refusing to air an Alliance for Climate Protection ad criticizing "big oil" for "spending hundreds of millions of dollars" on lobbyists and ads to "block clean energy."

    I wonder how much of that ad money has gone to ABC?

    More than 100,000 people have already sent a message urging ABC to air the ad.

    UPDATE: Apparently this is ABC's excuse for not running the ad:

    "Per our Guidelines, national buildings may be used in advertising provided the depictions are incidental to the advertiser's promotion of the product or service. Given the messages and themes of this commercial, the image of the Capital building is not incidental to this advertising. Please replace the image with one that is not of another national building or monument."

    "Not incidental"? The ad is 30 seconds long. The Capital building is on-screen for less than two of those seconds.

  • Media continue to repeat Cindy McCain's comment about troop funding without noting her husband's own vote


    The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Morning Joe reported Cindy McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son while he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports noted that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Right-wing radio talker Hugh Hewitt still can't find a publisher for his book, How Sarah Palin Won the Election... And Saved America, according to The New York Observer. In fact, his agent has given up trying to sell the project.

    Maybe Hewitt, who last year wrote a Mitt-Romney's-gonna-be-president book, should go with a Plan B book proposal: How George Bush Transformed America and Left It A Stronger Country.

  • Media repeat Cindy McCain's attack on Obama troop-funding vote, ignore John McCain's troop-funding vote


    The CBS Evening News, Fox News' The Live Desk, and the Politico's Jonathan Martin noted Cindy McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports pointed out that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Charlotte Observer relies on flawed Factcheck.org claims to criticize VoteVets ad

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The Charlotte Observer reports on a new VoteVets ad:

    Meanwhile, a veterans' group is spending $200,000 on TV ads saying [NC Sen. Elizabeth] Dole voted against body armor for troops.

    The ad by VoteVets.org features a man identified as an Iraq war veteran firing shots from an AK-47 through a flak jacket given out early in the war. He also fires into more modern body armor, which stops the shots. It claims Dole twice voted against the more modern armor.

    The ad appears to be the same one used in 2006 in a Virginia Senate race. According to the watchdog site FactCheck.org, the votes came on a 2003 amendment that would have appropriated just over $1 billion for unspecified "National Guard and Reserve Equipment" but made no mention of body armor. The amendment lost on a generally party-line vote.

    The group called the ad false.

    Problem is, FactCheck.org got it wrong, as Media Matters documented at the time.

    Here's the short version:

    But as Media Matters for America noted in response to FactCheck's September 20 analysis, [FactCheck.org director Brooks] Jackson's assertion that "[t]here has never been a vote on body armour" is false. Allen opposed an October 2003 amendment offered by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), which would have provided additional funding explicitly for body armor. Moreover, Landrieu repeatedly stated on the House floor that the bill would ensure that National Guard soldiers had "helmets" and other "force protection" equipment intended to "minimize causalities." And in a March 26, 2003, press release, Landrieu further explained that the bill "targets shortfalls identified by the National Guard and Reserve in their Unfunded Requirement lists," including the "shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests."

  • Is that a threat?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    CBC's Dean Reynolds filed a lengthy piece online comparing and contrasting what it was like to cover the Obama and McCain campaigns from a journalist's perspective; which team was more informed and made life easier on the road for reporters.

    According to Reynolds, it's no contest. He much preferred the way the McCain camp ("helpful" and "friendly") treated the press, how it printed up schedules well in advance and how it was flexible in terms of accommodating deadline needs. By contrast, Dean complies a long list of complaints about Team Obama, including the fact the press' chartered press plane smelled bad.

    That's Reynolds' opinion and, since he's the one schlepping around the campaign trail, he's entitled to it. But the essay does end on a rather ominous note, and seems to indicate that angry journalists like Reynolds are already plotting their revenge against Obama if he wins the election.

    How else could you read this closing [emphasis added]:

    Maybe none of this means much. Maybe a front-running campaign like Obama's that is focused solely on victory doesn't have the time to do the mundane things like print up schedules or attend to the needs of reporters. But in politics, everything that goes around comes around.

  • "[J]ournalist" Sean Hannity gives bogus defense for interviewing Andy Martin


    On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity defended his report featuring Andy Martin -- who has called a judge a "crooked, slimy Jew" and accused African-American public officials of corruption -- by saying: "I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion. Fox has all points of view." However, during the report, Hannity did not challenge any assertion or statement by Martin, nor did he mention any of Martin's anti-Semitic and racially charged statements.

  • Calling in to Quinn & Rose from Kenya, Corsi said of his detention: "[C]all Barack's office and ask him why I'm being detained"

    ››› ››› HANNAH DREIER

    In a phone call to The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Jerome Corsi stated that he and his staff were "being detained by the immigration of Kenya 'cause they lost our entry papers." Corsi repeatedly suggested Obama was responsible for his detention, stating at one point: "[J]ust don't write anything bad about Senator Obama, because, otherwise, this is what happens to you." Corsi also said, "[C]all Barack's office and ask him why I'm being detained."