Fox made a dishonest comparison between checking ID for security purposes at the Democratic Convention to push for laws that disenfranchise people by requiring them to show photo ID before casting a vote.
Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson said that Democrats are guilty of a "double standard" because they support the repeal of states voter ID laws while at the same time, they require members of the press attending the Democratic National Convention to show identification three times.
But there is no hypocrisy at work here. The requirement that the press covering the convention show ID is based on the need to provide for the security of the president, while the stance on voter ID is based on opposition to laws that interfere with the ability of eligible Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote. These laws have been found to discriminate against the poor and members of racial minorities. Indeed, even staunch voter ID law proponent J. Christian Adams has called similar comparisons "silly and constitutionally incorrect."
The right to vote free of discrimination on the basis of race is protected by the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, but voter ID laws have been proven to discriminate against racial minorities.
A federal court recently found that Texas' voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act because it discriminated against African Americans and Latinos. As detailed by law professor Joey Fishkin, the court found that obtaining the ID costs money, requires people to take time off work to obtain the ID and requires people who may not have access to a car to travel long distances to obtain said ID. As a result, the court found that "many Hispanics and African Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by [the new voter ID law], likely be unable to vote in the next election."
The court also found that Texas had produced "virtually no evidence of in-person voter fraud in Texas," the only type of election fraud against which voter fraud protects. This is in line with a long line of studies finding virtually no evidence of this kind of fraud.
So this is what Democrats oppose when they oppose voter ID laws: discriminatory laws that deprive people of their constitutional rights. By contrast, these are the ID requirements for members of the press as mentioned by the Fox & Friends co-hosts, requirements which are geared toward protecting President Obama and other elected officials during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte:
- "At the security entrance." When passing through a security checkpoint, members of the press must show their identification in order to assure that only those members of the press who have been granted press credentials are allowed inside convention events.
- "When receiving press credentials." Members of the press will be required to show identification to assure that press credentials actually make it into the hands of the members of the press to whom they are assigned.
- "To cover events on Thursday night." Members of the press are asked to show identification on Thursday night when the President of the United States is in attendance. This is standard procedure with the president in attendance, as is passing through security checkpoints that often include metal detectors.
This is all part of a pattern at Fox. The network has repeatedly voiced its support for voter ID laws. Likewise, Fox has pushed the fallacy that photo ID should be required to vote because it is required to drive, buy liquor, rent a video at Blockbuster, purchase Sudafed, or attend a Michelle Obama book signing.
As much as Fox would like to pretend otherwise, it is not hypocritical to require ID to protect the safety of the president while at the same time opposing laws that discriminate and disenfranchise eligible American voters.