Friday, April 20, 2007


Shillin', Shillin', Shillin' ... Keep those senior correspondents shillin'

Today NPR's Morning Edition interviewed "senior correspondent" Juan Williams about the GOP's constant allegations of voter fraud. He reported these allegations as if the GOP was just innocently after voter fraud. And even though he did report that studies show voter fraud is not really an issue, all he could muster in terms of balancing his reporting was something to the effect of "Democrats are livid about GOP efforts to combat voter fraud" -- as if the Dems. are cheating.

This is not reporting, it's yet another example of stenography. A journalist would ask real questions: "The Republicans claim to be conservative. Let's take them at their word. A conservative, by definition, believes 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Yet the GOP is so keen to fix something that ain't really broke? What gives?"

At the very least, a journalist would report all the relevent facts. Not only did Renquist get his start as a GOP poll watcher trying to look out for voter fraud, but he was, as has come to light recently, part of a generation of GOP poll watchers whose "mission" was to intimidate voters with false accusations of voter fraud. And it isn't just Democrats being concerned that the constant crying of "voter fraud" by the GOP is cover for something more sinister -- it has actually happened, e.g. in FL in 2000. Yet, these facts, which would totally change the impression of the story, were mysteriously left out.

Is Juan Williams stupid? That's the impression he sometimes leaves, but he's a very smart man. Also left out of the NPR story was a disclosure of the Williams family's ties to the GOP (as Atrios would say, "time for another blogger ethics conference") -- Mr. Williams knows on which side his bread is buttered, and he shills accordingly. And yet again, "even the liberal NPR" has reporting as if the GOP is sincerely, if misguidedly, concerned about voter fraud and the Dems. are being paranoid about the GOP's actions or worse ... actually trying to get away with voter fraud.

Of course, we Dems. have been infamous for voter fraud in the past -- but there's a difference: when the Daley machine took stacks of absentee ballots into nursing homes and then emerged with stacks of ballots voting for Dems, even if the machine was breaking the law in "getting out the vote", most likely those AKs would have voted Dem. anyway. As would have the dead people if they lived a few more days ;) I'm not excusing what the Dems. did, but two wrongs don't make a right and moreover the wholesale effort to disenfranchise large segments of the population is so eerily remeniscent of our racist past that it truly is frightening at a level in which the Dem. voting fraud of the past was not.

So NPR, et al., let's report on the whole story instead of letting shills with ties to a particular party report on half of the story in a way that makes that party look good.

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