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Hume’s Grapes are Cherry Picked

Reported by Priscilla - June 18, 2008 -

The “fruit” of last night’s (June 17th) Special Report “Grapevine” was carefully picked over (like Iraq “intelligence?”). Brit Hume obviously sourced his segment “Ballot Bandits” from an article in the Washington Post when he reported that “Virginia Democratic Governor Tim Kaine is teaming up with groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP to try to add thousands of nonviolent offenders to voting rolls in time for the November election. Under Virginia's constitution, people convicted of a felony lose their right to vote for life. But the governor can restore those rights if the felon has a clean record for three years”.The Washington Post article was quite extensive; but Hume only selected the parts that would do a “guilt by association” with Obama – in addition to playing the fear of African Americans card that Fox so dearly loves to play. Hume also gets in the perfunctory dig at democrats (Governor Kaine) and Fox’s perennial enemy, the ACLU.

This legal effort to restore civil and voting rights to non-violent convicted felons is quite upsetting to Virginia republicans and after a brief description of the plan, the rest of the “grape” was all about GOP angst: “The Washington Post reports some Republicans say the drive is an improper effort to recruit more Obama voters in the key battleground state. One Republican delegate says, "I don't know a lot of young Republicans who end up being felons... I am sure this registration effort is designed to help their candidate."
An Obama spokeswoman says there is no organized effort to target ex-offenders.”

Comment: So there you have it – an issue which has far more ramifications regarding civil rights condensed to a simple sound bite meant to smear democrats, Obama, and in not so carefully coded language, African Americans. (No republicans go to jail – really? – Let’s start with Jack Abramoff and work our way through the ranks. And if Vito Fossella, who would have made a great “Grapevine” story, gets convicted of drunk driving, he would go to jail in Virginia – with all those bad, black democrats.) If Hume were “fair and balanced,” he could have added this comment from the Washington Post: “The former inmates would be able to register in time to vote in the November presidential contest between Obama (Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive GOP nominee. The felons also would get their rights back to sit on a jury and hold public office.” One would assume that there might be some white ex felons who might vote for McCain. The only thing that Fox viewers need to know is that these black men will be voting for Obama and that is an outrage! According to Bernard Henderson, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth whose office will be processing the applications: "The whole name of the game is once they get out and once they serve their time and they have demonstrated they want to get into mainstream society and be good citizens, it's just fundamental to that, they have their civil rights restored," And “ballot bandits” – what’s up with that? What is being done is perfectly legal – but in Foxworld, politics is more important than civil rights. And in the twisted “Grapevine,” civil rights, especially for minorities, have no importance.

FYI - the Virginia "delegate" whose quote Hume pulled from the Washington Post article - that's Virginia legislator C. Todd Gilbert, who in 2007 "accused Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and other Democrats of embracing radical Islamic organizations that support terrorism." Gilbert and his pal accused a local Islamic society and mosque of having terrorist ties despite federal officials having found no such evidence.