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.
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.
During a report on ABC's Good Morning America, David Wright stated that Gov. Sarah Palin "accus[ed]" Sen. Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," but did not note that The New York Times, in the article Palin cited in making that claim, reported that "the two men do not appear to have been close."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
In an article about the second presidential debate, The Washington Times falsely suggested that, during the debate, Sen. Barack Obama said he doesn't think the U.S. can "face the challenge" in Afghanistan "after spending years and hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq," and it uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Obama "threaten[ed] to invade Pakistan"; and quoted Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that Obama has been "palling around with terrorists" without noting that Palin distorted a New York Times article in making that claim.
In a National Review Online column, Lisa Schiffren claimed that "[i]n personal conversations," Sen. Barack Obama "asked that the Iraqi leadership wait for the next administration (his) to begin serious troop withdrawals -- as Amir Taheri has documented." In fact, a Bush administration official has reportedly said that Taheri's assertion was not true. Schiffren also repeated other false and baseless claims in her column providing "suggestions" to the McCain campaign.