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Cavuto Tries to Win it For McCain By Scaring People With a Fake Story About Black Panthers and Voter Intimidation

Reported by Melanie - November 4, 2008 -

Fox News is pushing a fake story today (November 4, 2008) about how alleged Black Panthers at a Philadelphia polling station were allegedly intimidating voters and "confronting" a Fox reporter. TalkingPointsMemo interviewed an eyewitness whose account makes the whole thing sound like a set up by outside parties, including the McCain camp (more here). She said it's bogus, but this is what Fox's Rick Leventhal reported this afternoon at the top of the hour on Your World:

"Well, Neil, you know, Philadelphia is very important, ah, to the state of Pennsylvania in terms of how this state votes ah, and both parties are very interested because the last four elections Philadelphia as voted roughly four to one Democrats over Republicans and a big enough Democratic cushion can mean a win for the Democrats in this state. So, as you can imagine, both sides are watching every polling place very closely and there are 1,681 of them across the city of Philadelphia. We visited a number of them throughout this day with our quick response vehicle. Ah, there had been some reported problems with machines breaking down, with lines being down. We've seen some of that and with paper ballots not being handed out. We haven't confirmed that yet. And we've seen some observers being kicked out of polling places. Ah, that's an issue that's ongoing. In this particular instance, Neil, we had two Black Panthers apparently, ah, standing in front of this polling place when ah, someone walked up with a cell phone camera and recorded the two men, one of whom was carrying a night stick ah, and, and, and suggested to these men that it might be intimidating to some people. That person called police. Police came and asked the one guy with the night stick to leave, which he did. He was not charged with any crime. The DA says there was no crime committed here. We then showed up with our camera and we were asked to leave, not just by the Black Panther but by people who were working ah, at this polling place, apparently as volunteers and in some cases perhaps not volunteers. In any case, Neil, things got a little heated and we have some tape apparently of some of the confrontation."

With that, Fox showed a very short clip of Leventhal interviewing a scary black man who said he had no idea was Leventhal was talking about. Back to Leventhal live:

"Well, again, that person is no longer here. The other Black Panther is here. Ah, it's worth noting Neil that we spoke with a spokesperson for the New Black Panther party who told us that while they have more than 300 people across the country watching polling places, ah, they're not aware of anyone in an official capacity for the Black Panther party here in the City of Brotherly Love. Neil."

Comment: Leventhal's version of the non-story story roughly jives with what TalkingPointsMemo learned after talking to the eyewitness. Basically, that there's no there there. So it seems to me that the point of this fake fuss is to get images out of scary black people like the ones below and imply that if Barack Obama is elected they'll be all over the place? Maybe guarding the White House? Maybe intimidating you at the grocery store? At the DMV when you go to renew your driver's license? Or, just basically, be afraid. Be very, very afraid.