From the February 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Fox News scandalized ordinary Iowa Democratic caucus procedures to baselessly suggest former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won a Des Moines, IA, precinct through "voter fraud."
During the February 3 broadcast of Fox & Friends, host Heather Nauert claimed that "voter fraud" benefiting Clinton may have occurred because "Votes at a Des Moines high school were counted by hand. The first count had Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders just separated by five votes. After a second count, Clinton gained more votes but counted different people."
Fox & Friends then aired video from Des Moines Democratic Precinct No. 43 of three apparent supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) questioning Clinton's vote total after a second count of voters.
In scandalizing the multiple voter counts, Nauert misunderstands the mechanism by which voters are counted at Democratic precincts.
Fox News also deceptively chose which portion of video from the precinct site to air, focusing only on the complaints of three voters. Fox News did not air the caucus chair explaining that it was extremely unlikely that a further recount of voters would change the delegate apportionment from Precinct No. 43. Fox News also failed to air the caucusgoers' vote on whether an additional recount was needed. According to full video available online, the vast majority of Sanders supporters joined Clinton supporters in declining to recount.
Here are several ways in which Fox's segment distorted and misunderstood the Iowa Democratic caucus process:
Multiple Voter Counts Are A Normal Part Of The Process. When caucusgoers arrive at their precinct they divide themselves into what are called "preference groups" for various candidates. After everyone has formed preference groups, a count is made. Any "preference group" that does not include at least 15 percent of total on-site voters is not considered viable. These voters then have the option of joining a "preference group" that is viable. Unless every single caucusgoer initially joins a viable "preference group," there is always going to be a reshuffling of voters and second count.
As The Caucus Chair Explained, It Was Highly Unlikely That A Recount Would Have Changed Delegate Appointment From The Precinct. Video of the Precinct No. 43 dispute indicates that three Sanders supporters were concerned that several Clinton supporters were included in her total count despite possibly having left the Clinton "preference group" after the first vote. The caucus chair explained that in his belief, this discrepancy had been accounted for, with three people having been identified as leaving, but he said that he would put forward a motion to recount anyway. Before the motion, the chair explained, "By the way, just so you know, the difference here will not change the delegate math. There are only nine delegates, I do not believe it will change the delegate math, but that being said I could be wrong." Even in the unlikely event that a recount did change delegate apportionment, it would have been a swing of one of approximately 11,000 county-level delegates awarded during the caucuses. (And as The Des Moines Register explained, the county-level delegates awarded at individual precincts have far less significance compared to the statewide delegate equivalents that "determine the outcome on caucus night.")
The Vast Majority Of Voters, Regardless Of Who They Supported, Did Not Want A Recount. In video that Fox News failed to air, nearly all the people in the room can be seen raising their hands against having an additional count of voters. Sanders supporters are on the right side of the image:
The type of conduct that Fox News falsely claimed occurred at Precinct No. 43 wouldn't even fall within what experts consider to be voter fraud. As the Brennan Center for Justice explained, voter fraud is "fraud by voters" and "occurs when individuals cast ballots despite knowing that they are ineligible to vote, in an attempt to defraud the election system," which bears no resemblance to what Fox News purported to demonstrate in its video. Fox News frequently makes baseless claims about widespread voter fraud -- often in support of restrictive voter ID laws -- even though actual in-person voter fraud is extremely rare.
From the November 30 edition of Salem Radio Network's The Hugh Hewitt Show:
Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano used California's newly-approved law that automatically registers voters when they obtain or renew a driver's license to fearmonger that undocumented immigrants will now be able to vote - but experts and election officials say the new law "is actually a more secure way of doing things" and will likely improve California's legal voter participation, which hit a record-low turnout in the 2014 midterm elections.
From the October 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the October 4 edition of MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry:
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Prominent advocates for the nation's Latino community highlighted how badly America's second-largest demographic is underrepresented in the media during a September 17 Media Matters-sponsored event to mark the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. The panelists underscored how the media's nearly complete lack of Latino representation ranges from the dearth of Latino voices and perspectives included in English-language news to the absence of substantive coverage of issues that matter most to Latinos -- and how that underrepresentation is mirrored by underrepresentation in the government, which deeply impacts "the quality of life of the Latino community."
Panel moderator and CEO of Voto Latino, María Teresa Kumar explained that despite the fact that Latinos "are the second-largest demographic group of Americans ... our policies, our issues, and our opinions are completely missed from mainstream."
National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Janet Murguía pointed out that when the media does cover Latino issues, the stories often present "a very shallow view of what the Latino voter looks like," and frequently portray the community as concerned with the single issue of immigration, despite evidence that the economy, health care, and education are just as important to Latinos. Murguía noted that Latinos "are not monolithic, but we are multidimensional in terms of what we care about and how we engage in different roles in society."
Hector Sánchez, executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, illustrated how media coverage often fails Latinos by "responding to ratings" and overemphasizing sensational stories -- like Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants -- rather than providing a balanced platform for substantive coverage of issues that affect their lives:
The media is responding to ratings. When you have to respond to ratings, the sad reality is that you're not reporting what's important for the nation, what's important for the community. You're not researching in depth the issues that are happening on the ground. But it's more about tabloid news. This has a deep impact in the quality of life of the Latino community.
This is not a superficial issue. This has a deep impact in the quality of life of the Latino community, hate crimes against Latinos have increased 50 percent in the last five years, poverty increases because of this, there is a direct correlation with anti-immigrant pieces of legislation.
Felix Sánchez, co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, shed light on the importance of increasing Latino visibility in the media. As Media Matters has documented, improving diversity remains a challenge for decision-makers at media outlets: every broadcast Sunday morning political show is hosted by a white man, and guests of color are still underrepresented on not just the major broadcasters' Sunday shows, but also on morning political talk shows on MSNBC, and CNN.
As Voto Latino's Kumar noted, representation of Latino voices and perspectives in the media is "not just good for American Latinos, but it's actually good for the country to make sure that we are covering stories and our issues accurately." NCLR's Murguía added that Latinos who actually work in media have "a real understanding of the Latino community" and are therefore uniquely positioned to make "sure that our community is more informed" and "can engage at a higher level."
Cristóbal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Project, also explained that the underrepresentation of Latinos in the media is matched by their underrepresentation in government, saying, "When we talk about our voice missing in media, think about our voice missing in government."
From the September 11 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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From the August 20 edition of KLUZ's Noticiero Univisión Nuevo México:
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Fox News' Steve Doocy falsely claimed that undocumented immigrants issued driver's licenses in California "have gotten the right to vote." But in reality, licenses issued under the California program are "specially marked" and "do not entitle [undocumented immigrants] to vote."
From the August 9 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
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Fox News' first GOP debate of the primary season is taking place on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a landmark piece of legislation aimed at preventing states from passing discriminatory voting laws. But with the help of most of the Republican politicians currently running for president, voting rights have been steadily rolled back in recent years. With today's spotlight on the GOP presidential hopefuls taking the debate stage, here's what reporters should know about the candidates' efforts to roll back voting rights for minorities, the young and elderly, and low-income Americans.
Fox's Outnumbered roundly denounced a proposal that would allow permanent residents in the District of Columbia to vote in local elections, lamenting that it undermines the notion of American citizenship while ignoring that D.C. citizens do not have a vote in Congress.
On July 8, D.C. legislators discussed a bill that would allow U.S. permanent residents, or green card holders, the right to vote in local elections. According to WAMU, advocates of the proposal suggest the measure would give a "formal voice" to permanent residents who already pay taxes.
Discussing the bill on the July 10 edition of Outnumbered, host Sandra Smith remarked that "[y]ou are not an American citizen so you don't have the right to vote. Period." Andrea Tantaros agreed, calling D.C.'s measure "lunacy" as Harris Faulker claimed that her "sensibilities are offended by the fact that we don't at least respect where we come from." Fox contributor Julie Roginsky went on to ask "[w]hat does it mean to be an American citizen if not that you have the privilege of voting for the representative government that you want?"
But Roginsky's question ignores that all residents of the District of Columbia, citizen and non-citizen alike, are not represented by a voting member of Congress. D.C. is represented in Congress by a non-voting delegate, currently Eleanor Holmes-Norton, who cannot vote on the House floor. DC Vote, a group that advocates for D.C. voting rights, points out that citizens in the District "pay federal taxes, fight and die in wars, and serve on juries, yet are denied voting representation in Congress," and that Congress has the final say over their laws. According to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, over 600,000 people live in DC -- more than the state of Wyoming-- and its residents pay $1.6 billion in federal taxes each year.
After Hillary Clinton proposed reforms to increase access to voting, right-wing media accused her of playing the "race card" and sowing "division" for political gain.
Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson, the state's self-appointed vetter of GOP presidential candidates, recently told members of the League of Women Voters that it should be harder for people to vote, suggesting it be limited to state property owners or people who pass a civics test -- both of which were used to disenfranchise black voters and others in colonial America and the Jim Crow era.
On the June 4 broadcast of Mickelson in the Morning, Mickelson hosted two representatives of the League of Women Voters. During the discussion, Mickelson declared that unlike his guests, whose group works to register more Americans to vote, he is in "the voter repression business" and doesn't want people to vote "unless they agree" with him. He also suggested that in order to vote, Americans should have to pass a "civics test" to prove they're smart enough.