By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2012, 10:44am PT  

NPR is as much the problem as the rest of the corporate MSM. Here's how Wade Goodwyn, of NPR's On Point, summarized their "Battle Over Voter ID" show from last Wednesday on their website...

Republicans say the new laws are necessary to prevent possible voter fraud.

Democrats respond it’s a solution in search of a problem, there’s no evidence of fraud except on the smallest of scales.

Well, gosh! Who knows what the truth is?! Both side lie, so the truth must be somewhere in the middle or something! Who can tell?

To make matters still worse, one of their guests was the notorious Hans von Spakovsky, the GOP con-man who has long-ago, and many times, been debunked as a "voter fraud" fraudster. He was there to offer the argument in favor of Republican voter disenfranchisement laws, meant to combat pretend, non-existent, in-person polling place impersonation "voter fraud" --- you know, the type of "voter fraud" that even Republicans, when pressed in a court of law, are forced to admit doesn't actually exist.

I dispatched with von Spakovsky's nonsense on NPR four years ago, when we were both guests on the Tavis Smiley Show. But, I guess NPR needs to keep pretending that his discredited bullshit back then isn't still discredited bullshit now. Or something.

Of course, On Point is hardly alone in their misinformative l he-said/she-said description of this un-American, anti-democratic shame. Their summary of the pretend "problem" is almost identical to the ones you'll read in the New York Times, or from the AP, and everywhere else in the mainstream media. Ya know, from pretty much the very same irresponsible news outlets which also pretended there might be WMD in Iraq, because Republicans said so, when the actual evidence was clear from the jump that there were none.

The cost in that case? Thousands of dead Americans, perhaps more than a million innocent, dead Iraqis. The cost this November? That remains to be seen. But, as before, the media is failing their job of informing the electorate with demonstrable facts.

In a piece this week at the Nieman Watchdog Blog headlined "You Know What the ‘Voter ID’ Push Is All About, So Say So", Dan Froomkin, formerly of Washington Post, currently of Huffington Post and Managing Editor of the blog at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, called out the corporate MSM, and called on them to start telling the truth about the GOP's purposely disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions, rather than report it, as they most frequently do, as little more than Left/Right "politics as usual".

His piece begins: "Does any journalist who is not an overt shill for the right actually believe that Republicans are pushing voter ID laws because they’re concerned about· voter fraud?"...

Does any journalist who is not an overt shill for the right actually believe that Republicans are pushing voter ID laws because they’re concerned about· voter fraud?

No, of course not.

And for good reason. Voter fraud simply isn’t a problem in this country. Studies have definitively debunked the voter fraud myth·time and·again.

In Pennsylvania, which just adopted a tremendously restrictive photo-ID law that could·disenfranchise 1 in 10 votersstate officials conceded they have no evidence of voter fraud, nor any reason to believe it could become a problem.

By contrast, there is·ample evidence that voter ID laws inhibit voting, particularly among minorities and the poor — two major demographic segments that tend to vote Democratic.

And that’s hardly a coincidence. Consider the·recent bragging by the Pennsylvania House Republican leader that his state’s voter ID bill “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

This is not simply another gratuitously partisan act by the GOP.·This is an attack on the very notion of democracy. The voter ID push, along with·intimidation of voter registration groups and·purges of voter rolls have only one goal: blocking legitimate but probably Democratic voters from exercising their constitutional rights. It is a·poll tax with a new twist.

And the pursuit of this goal ostensibly in the name of voter fraud is an outrageous deception that only works if the press is too timid to call it what it really is.

For reporters to treat this issue like just another political squabble is journalistic malpractice. Indeed, relating the debate in value-neutral he-said-she-said language is actively helping spread the lie. After all, calling for someone to show ID before voting doesn’t sound pernicious to most people, even though it is.
Think about it. If you were covering elections in another country, and one political party was actively trying to limit voting in the name of a problem that objectively didn’t exist, would you hesitate for a moment to call out that tactic — and question that party’s legitimacy? Hardly.

Hardly. But that's in other countries. Ya know, banana republics where folks try to steal elections! Back here in the United States, we've got two civilized political parties representing the greatest nation on God's green earth. Neither of them would ever do anything as cynical and loathsome as blatantly try to steal an election by keeping people from being able to exercise their right to vote, now, would they? Of course not. They'll tell you so themselves! And who are the media to doubt them?

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