Fox News' Bill O'Reilly stated on The O'Reilly Factor that "we're going to document every ACORN situation and any other voter fraud," but according to a Media Matters search of Nexis, the program has yet "to document" the reported complaints against Young Political Majors, a group hired by the Republican Party to register voters.
On the October 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly stated, "[W]e're going to document every ACORN situation and any other voter fraud." However, during the segment, in which O'Reilly, Fox News' America's Newsroom co-host Megyn Kelly, and Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl discussed allegations that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) submitted allegedly false or duplicate voter registration applications this year in a number of states, neither O'Reilly nor his guests noted the reported complaints of voter registration fraud surrounding the Young Political Majors (YPM), a group hired by the Republican Party to register voters. Indeed, according to a Media Matters for America search* of the Nexis database, O'Reilly has yet "to document" the reported complaints against YPM on the Factor.
On October 18, the Los Angeles Times reported that "[v]oters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed." The article later noted that "[s]ome also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote." According to the article, YPM, "which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime." The Times also reported that it "randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them -- more than 80% -- said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge." On October 18, Mark Jacoby, the owner of YPM, was reportedly arrested on charges that he had himself fraudulently registered as a California voter and on related perjury charges. The next day, Jacoby was reportedly released on bail and is scheduled for arraignment on November 25. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, on October 21, the California Board of Supervisors ordered that the county registrar-recorder office "contact every voter who had such an affidavit submitted by YPM to ensure that they had intended to change their party affiliation."
An October 20 FoxNews.com article noted the LA Times report on YPM's activities and reported on Jacoby's arrest.
From the October 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: -- this is a totally fabricated deal, and nothing wrong, nothing going on.
O'REILLY: This is the same newspaper that went wild in Florida with the hanging chads -- same kind of situation going on there, and, of course, it's ideologically driven. But let's face it -- a lot of people are confused about ACORN. Is it a big story, Wiehl, or not?
WIEHL: It is a big story now, and it'll be a bigger story two weeks from now if it is a tight election. If we're talking about, you know, the difference between 200,000 registered voters.
O'REILLY: Why is it a big story? Why is it a big story?
WIEHL: Because if these -- if ACORN and these other groups have actually registered people that either A, don't exist, or re-register and then have them come in, voting 17 or 20 or 78 times, that if in a close election, that is the election, Bill.
O'REILLY: OK. Now do you believe that's happening, Kelly?
Moreover, in the past week or so, we've had actual evidences -- evidence of voter fraud -- the actual fraud in the balloting, in the actual voting, through absentee balloting and otherwise. And we talked about it on Thursday with this college group -- the Palestra.net -- that went and unearthed this group vote from home. This isn't ACORN; this is something else that's in this house. People came from outside of the state, Democratic operatives, trying to register people to vote -- so far so good.
But then they decided they got so in the spirit, they decided to vote themselves, which is all well and good if you're an Ohio resident, but these people weren't.
KELLY: They were from Ohio, and now, they're [unintelligible] back at Harvard.
O'REILLY: Now, the New York Post reported that story, Wiehl, and pretty extensively, they named names.
O'REILLY: I mean, they had names of people who went from New York to Ohio, said they were moving into the state, when they weren't, then as soon as they voted, they high-tailed it out of there. But The New York Times says this is bull.
WIEHL: No, absolutely not. Look, what the Post reported, and it's accurate is that 13 people were living -- in just one example -- 13 people living in a three-bedroom home. They had moved there -- "moved" -- for the campaign, and -- but the residence was back still in New York, to vote in Ohio.
Now the problem is, in prosecuting something like that, Bill, is you've got to go inside the mind of somebody. You've got to show intent -- that they intended never to ever live there in Ohio, to always come back to New York.
O'REILLY: But they're not in Ohio anymore. Most of them are gone.
WIEHL: That's right. That's right. But they were there when they voted.
KELLY: They claimed they didn't know the law, Bill.
O'REILLY: But, Kelly --
KELLY: But these were people were there to perform election work, to get people registered to vote. You're going to tell me they didn't understand registration law.
KELLY: ACORN -- that's not ACORN, but let me tell you, just this morning on my show, we had somebody come on to talk about another county out in Ohio encompassing the Cincinnati area, where there was another instance of voter fraud -- registration fraud, where they were found to be registering at homes that allegedly existed in the middle of some river.
KELLY: They were no such homes and the special prosecutor --
O'REILLY: -- ACORN doing this?
KELLY: This was ACORN. And the special prosecutor has just been appointed to look into this. Unfortunately, that investigation is going to take six to nine months.
O'REILLY: Of course. OK, so --
KELLY: I'm sure the next president will look right into it.
O'REILLY: But what -- here's what I don't understand, ladies. Why does The New York Times say it doesn't exist?
WIEHL: Well, The New York Times had a big boost last Friday when the Supreme Court said, "Look, Ohio, you don't, you know, you just go right on doing what you're doing. We're not going to get involved in this. We're not going to interpret the law because the GOP does not have the standing or the status to even attack this." So they just --
KELLY: No, no, these are two separate issues.
WIEHL: -- bunted it, and -- but bunted it, and so, that's why I say, in two weeks, we're going to be coming back to this.
KELLY: No, no, but that's a voter fraud issue. Let's not get it confused. There's ACORN, which is -- there's no question -- perpetrating some voter registration fraud, and then there's just the broader issue of registration problems in Ohio.
O'REILLY: Well, we're going to document every ACORN situation and any other voter fraud. But what I was trying to get at is The New York Times doesn't care whether there's voter fraud or not, especially because it's on their team. If it was on the other team, they would care.
*Media Matters searched the Nexis database for "O'Reilly" and ("Young Political Majors" or (Mark w/2 Jacoby)), as well as for "vot! and show(o'reilly factor)" since September 22.