In his Washington Post column, George F. Will falsely claimed that the 25-year extension in 2006 of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act "was based on the evidence used for the 1975 extension." However, as the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia wrote in a May 2008 ruling, before extending Section 5, Congress "held extensive hearings and compiled a massive legislative record documenting contemporary racial discrimination in covered states." Indeed, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees examined evidence of discrimination since 1982 -- the year of the last major reauthorization -- in extending the VRA.
In an article about President-elect Barack Obama's emphasis on alternative energy production in his economic stimulus speech, Reuters quoted criticism of Obama's plan by Thomas Pyle of the Institute for Energy Research. However, the article did not mention the Institute for Energy Research's ties to the oil industry or that Exxon Mobil Corp. has funded the organization.
Wall Street Journal editorial board member Kimberley A. Strassel claimed that Al Franken "has been manipulating the socks off the Minnesota system ... by litigating back to life absentee votes that had been rejected on Election Day." In fact, any rejected absentee ballot that was counted in the race was approved by the campaigns of both Franken and his opponent, Norm Coleman. Strassel also claimed the recount "took place behind the scenes"; in fact, the public was able to view the recounting of all ballots and attend all canvassing board meetings concerning the recount.
It's from Joe Conason's piece in Salon:
These [right-wing] media figures, some of whom occasionally pretend to be journalists, have spewed such accusations repeatedly, without offering any proof whatsoever -- in plain contradiction of the available facts. Not only is there no evidence that Franken or his campaign "cheated" in any way during the election or the recount, but there is ample reason to believe that the entire process was fair, balanced and free from partisan taint.
On the January 7 broadcast of his radio show, Lou Dobbs responded to the following recent Media Matters for America items:
On Fox & Friends, Michelle Malkin falsely suggested that Minnesota's State Canvassing Board is comprised of no Republicans, while, in a column, Newsmax's Lowell Ponte claimed that the "selection of the Canvassing Board and the recount were controlled by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie." In fact, the board is bipartisan.
Dick Morris baselessly claimed that Al Franken is "cheating" in the Minnesota Senate race, that "Minnesota's doing it for him," and that "[t]his is outright larceny" and "a total theft." As evidence, Morris again repeated the debunked claim that in Minnesota, "[t]here's a county where there are 177 more votes than there are voters."
Lou Dobbs Tonight baselessly included Al Franken in a segment on, in host Lou Dobbs' words, "Democratic Party scandals and downright bad behavior." During both Dobbs' teaser for and introduction of a report by CNN correspondent Casey Wian, CNN ran on-screen text reading "Dems Behaving Badly" over video footage that included Franken. During the portion of Wian's report on the Minnesota recount, on-screen text read, "Dems behaving badly: Democrats rocked by party scandals."
Ann Coulter asserted that "the inestimable economist" John Lott Jr. has said the "500 corrections" made to unofficial Senate election returns prior to the beginning of the recount is a "statistical impossibility." In fact, Lott -- a discredited research scholar -- wrote in a FoxNews.com column that the "sizes of the errors" in some Minnesota precincts which led to the 504-vote correction were "surprisingly large," but did not claim they were statistically impossible. Further, an election analysis by Minnesota Public Radio has shown that changes in vote totals of up to 1,000 votes after polls close are "fairly typical in Minnesota."
ABC's The Note, busy spinning GOP talking points, collides with ABC News regarding Al Franken's victory in Minnesota, which Norm Coleman is now going to try to overturn in the courts.
The Note today [emphasis added]:
Al Franken prepared to show up to claim a seat he hadn't really won yet.
From ABC News yesterday
Two months after Minnesota voters went to the polls, Democrat Al Franken has been declared the winner of the U.S. Senate race, but his opponent, Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, is ready to challenge the results in court.
Rush Limbaugh baselessly claimed that Democrat Al Franken "stole the race" for Minnesota's Senate seat and asserted that "The Wall Street Journal has a story on this. They're counting votes twice -- votes that were rejected, all kinds of things." However, the Journal "story" Limbaugh referred to was an editorial, which simply asserted that there was double counting -- echoing the accusation by the incumbent, Republican Norm Coleman -- and did not cite reporting to support its claim.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely suggested that assertions in The Wall Street Journal about the Minnesota Senate race were the result of "reporting," including the Journal's reference to "double counting" in the race. But in claiming that there was "double counting," the Journal did not cite reporting and echoed an accusation by the campaign of the incumbent, Republican Norm Coleman.
On MSNBC Live, Contessa Brewer suggested that there is "a cloud over" Al Franken because a potential legal challenge by Sen. Norm Coleman or filibuster by Sen. John Cornyn could impede efforts to seat Franken in the Senate. Additionally, Brewer said that despite a potential legal challenge or filibuster, Sen. Chuck Schumer is "saying we should get him [Franken] in right away." But in purporting to represent Schumer's remarks, Brewer did not mention that Schumer reportedly said "there are still possible legal issues that will run their course."
ABC News' Jonathan Karl uncritically quoted Sen. John Cornyn's assertion that "[o]ne can't help but wonder why Senator [Chuck] Schumer believes Al Franken should be seated without an election certificate signed by both the Secretary of State and Governor, as Minnesota law requires." In fact, Schumer has not advocated bypassing legal requirements; he reportedly said that "it is now clear that Al Franken won the election," but added that "there are still possible legal issues that will run their course."
First it was the AP that dragged its feet over the Minneapolis story, which broke amidst the ongoing Coleman/Al Franken recount. And now we see the WaPo remains silent. To date, nothing in the newspaper of Beltway record about the FBI investigating a wealthy donor of a sitting U.S. senator for trying to improperly funnel money to the senator's family.
Last time we checked, that was news.