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Fox News Joins The Republican War On (Democratic) Voting

Reported by Ellen - November 3, 2011 -

As Rolling Stone reported in an article called The GOP War on Voting, a number of Republican state governments – many in important swing states – have imposed new legal impediments to voting. America Live with Megyn Kelly held a discussion yesterday on the situation deliberately framed so as to suggest that the Obama campaign is stealthily working to undermine voter integrity and enable voter fraud. Guest and conservative talk show host Chris Plante not only grabbed that ball and ran with it, he began by openly accusing the Obama administration of voter fraud (unchallenged by Kelly) and later laughed heartily at every mention of voter disenfranchisement. UPDATED.

As Rolling Stone said,

Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. "What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century," says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

Of course, it’s only a coincidence that so those same people now being targeted are likely to vote Democratic. From Rolling Stone:

Taken together, such measures could significantly dampen the Democratic turnout next year – perhaps enough to shift the outcome in favor of the GOP. "One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time," Bill Clinton told a group of student activists in July. "Why is all of this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate" – a reference to the dominance of the Tea Party last year, compared to the millions of students and minorities who turned out for Obama. "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today."

America Live is supposed to be part of Fox’s “objective news” programming. But Kelly somehow failed to note those rather startling allegations from no less an authority than an ex president. Instead, she opened the discussion by suggesting the Obama campaign was looking to corrupt the vote - something that just happened to be in line with her conservative guest. Her voice was filled with theatrical suspicion as she announced that the Obama campaign will “look for ways to counter… laws in various states, Chris Plante, aimed at stopping voter fraud. Why do they want to look for ways to counter that?”

Plante replied, “Well, because they want to engage in voter fraud, of course. What other possible answer could there be?”

The other guest, Democrat Christopher Hahn did a fine job expressing his objections but no challenge came from “objective” host Kelly. In fact, she never even asked for any evidence to back up such a disgusting allegation from Plante.

Hahn smacked down the fear mongering and he pointed out how the laws result in disenfranchisement. That brought hearty chuckles from Plante. But as Hahn said the effort was to “disenfranchise millions of people who are young, poor and the elderly who may not have government-issued ID’s,” Plante erupted in deep belly laughs.

Laughing at voter disenfranchisement? Not a problem for Kelly!

She went on to give Plante another opportunity to allege fraud ask Plante if he saw “any risks” to the Obama administration sending “voter protection teams” to the areas in question. Predictably, Plante said “They’re not voter protection teams, they’re get out the vote, they’re corrupt the vote. Why are they even concerned about these? …There’s only one reason to object to these laws and that’s to get people who aren’t eligible to vote to vote.”

Once again, no challenge from Kelly.

As Kelly wound down the segment, she gave Plante the “last word,” even though he also got the first one. He repeated his charge that Obama wants to “corrupt the election.”

Rather than challenge, Kelly sat quietly and smiled. “Gotta go,” she said amiably.

As we've previously noted, Fox News starts fear mongering about voter fraud every election cycle while consistently ignoring the two voter-fraud investigations into one of their fave pundits, Ann Coulter.

By the way you can tweet "voter disenfranchisement is a laughing matter" Plante at @ChrisPlanteShow and Megyn Kelly at @MegynKelly. You can also follow Hahn at @Christopherhahn.

Note: After this was posted, I realized I had not given credit to Hahn, who really did a fine job in this debate. So I made some edits to give him the credit he deserved - and maybe some Twitter followers, too.

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