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Familiar fear tactics fuel FOX Friends' fraud frenzy

Reported by Chrish - October 9, 2008 -

Top story on FOX and Friends this morning 10/09/08 was - you betcha - ACORN and voter fraud (or more aptly, voter registration fraud), and wonder of wonders, the Friends have discovered the years-old story that electronic voting machines drop votes. With only 26 days until the election, Gretchen Carlson feels the need is urgent to do something! Many of us have felt that urgency since the 2000 debacle.

(Note Brad Friedman's own Top Story this morning:

RNC Cuts Out Middleman, Issues Verbatim Fox 'News' Transcript as Press Release
Misleading, Unsubstantiated 'Fox & Friends' Conversation on the GOP's ACORN 'Voter Fraud' Nonsense in NV and MO, Offered to Media, Public, Without Comment...

The RNC isn't even trying to pretend like they're independent from their media arm, Fox "News", anymore, apparently.

Here's today's RNC press release. It's, quite literally, a transcript of this morning's Fox & Friends, wherein the FNC/RNC clowns "report" on yesterday's PR stunt/raid on a Las Vegas ACORN office and then, for good measure, prime the pump for yet another similar raid in Missouri (another swingstate, go figure.) Needless to say, it's utter stuff and nonsense, with zero evidence of "criminality" by ACORN --- as explained in my coverage yesterday --- and includes plenty of unsubstantiated hearsay and garbage, as if it were actually fact. So, naturally, it's been released as a press release by the RNC, as is.

Unless they find that yesterday's PR stunt in NV has blown up on them (and it might, as folks, even some in the corporate media, are beginning to understand what a desperate scam this GOP "voter fraud" hoax really is) we'll expect a similar stunt or two, akin to the one in Vegas, soon in MO, OH, and anywhere the GOP feels they need a phony reason to challenge elections, intimidate voters, and otherwise cause havoc at the polls before, during and even after Election Day.

ACORN has made the front page of the Murdoch-owned NYPost (whose trashy tabloid cover gives you a hint of their level of journalism), showing that this is a full-blown propaganda echo-chamber effort. A guy in Ohio was asked to register by different ACORN canvassers numerous times and even though he told the he was already registered, they persisted, and he relented, registering multiple times.

So ACORN is to blame? If someone harrassed me like that I'd get their name and report them, wouldn't you? The guy who registered is at fault - although I wish he had reported the canvassers, who should not have persisted. It's one thing to persuade someone who thinks their vote doesn't count, quite another to nag someone who's told you he's already registered. But the blame is squarely on this guy for caving. AND let's not lose sight of the fact that he has not voted multiple times. Back at ACORN headquarters, where ALL the canvassers turn in ALL their applications, there are policies and procedures to flag fraudulent applications.

FACT: The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that ID be shown in ALL states, at the polls, for first time voters who did not register in person.

From Brad Friedman:

"What you should know, and what the wingnuts won't bother to tell you in their disinfo campaign concerning ACORN, is that the group verifies every single registration form they collect by calling the phone number on the form to authenticate it. When they are unable to verify the form as legit, or when it's incomplete, etc., they flag the form as potentially-fraudulent but -- by law -- must turn in the form to election officials anyway.

So, yes, they are "handing in phony voter registration" forms in some cases, because the law requires them to do so, and when they do, it is actually ACORN who is notifying officials about potential concerns with the reg forms.

The thanks they get? GOP election officials and operatives (who know better, but who hope to suppress the largely Democratic-leaning registrants collected by ACORN's heroic attempts to register low-income voters that few others bother to sign up) run to the media and claim "ACORN has turned in thousands of fraudulent voter registrations!!!"

[snip] (the) claim that "ACORN is...facilitating election fraud" has absolutely no basis in fact or reality, as I am unaware of anybody actually voting via any of the so-called "fraudulent" registration forms that ACORN has submitted (as per the law!)

But at FOX, the chyron reads "ACORN admits fraud" even as Steve Doocy reported about three individuals who committed registration fraud - he assumes viewers will get the "right" message without thinking about the facts as presented. Where's the outcry about "personal responsibility?"

Gretchen Carlson chimed in with her outrage (she who just this Tuesday discovered that Electors are "actual physical people"), and wonders if "anyone has any recourse, legally, with this once the election is over?" Like we've been saying, FOX is helping the RNC prime folks for a nasty legal fight in the likelihood of an Obama win.

Brian Kilmeade has just discovered the error-prone ways of Diebold (actually, Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold Election Systems, had to change their name ("rebrand") because their reputation was so blackened after the 2004 controversies).

Steve Doocy misrepresented the process, not noting that a.) ACORN flags potentially fraudulent registration cards for the county to investigate, and b.) first-time voters have to show ID if they were registered by outside agencies such as ACORN. Then the Friends showed a graphic of states where investigations are being launched, and oh so coincidentally, they are by and large swing states leaning Democratic. Yes, I agree - there's somethig fishy and undemocratic going on...but not what FOX wants viewers to think.

It's impossible for me to document all the segments devoted to this push to shed doubts on the election outcome, now that it appears Obama, barring an October surprise, will win. Here's some, including segments where attorney Peter Johnson Jr. helps tie Obama to ACORN via his work with Project Vote in 1992 to register low-income and minority voters, and talks about the possibility of the Justice Department challenging the outcome state by state.

The Post segment engages the viewer with a tangible, personal story they can relate to:

and then Johnson warns of the wider implications:

We can look forward to more stories like this: Montana GOP Spanked by Judge for Bogus, Illegal Voter Challenges


If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it's the same exact thing they did with "drill here drill now." It became the number one story day after day, for weeks on end, whipping viewers into a frenzy of urgency and forcing the other networks to pick up the story, amplifying its voice and importance. Hopefully the rest of the media will not follow FOX's lead in spinning the instances of voter registration fraud into a viable reason to challenge the election, because all hell will break loose, I'm afraid. Hmm, but that would be good for ratings, so maybe they will - ratings first, you know...

Meanwhile, State-run large-scale purges of voters from rolls remain essentially unreported on FOX. No fairandbalanced there.