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Hannity And FOX News Allege Voter Fraud In Minnesota Voter Fraud Allegations Without Proof And Despite Admonishments From Governor

Reported by Ellen - November 13, 2008 -

Didn't we just know that in the event of a close race, FOX News was going to trot out accusations of voter fraud as quickly as you can say “Katherine Harris?” Sean Hannity and FOX News repeatedly pushed those allegations last night (11/12/08) in the still-undecided Minnesota senate race yet without offering any real proof. Hannity & Colmes devoted two segments to the “question” (read suggestion) of voter fraud in the recently added votes for Al Franken that have substantially narrowed the lead of Republican Norm Coleman. But despite Hannity's best efforts (and getting significantly more time to argue than Alan Colmes did), Republican Governor of Minnesota Tim Pawlenty repeatedly demurred and admonished him for making such allegations without evidence. With video.

The discussion began with a “FOX News Alert” in which a banner read, “Voter fraud concerns grow.”

Hannity asked, “The question is, 'Is the fix in?'”

“No reasonable person can conclude there's not funny business going on here,” Hannity said as his opening question to Pawlenty.

Pawlenty said, “We don't have any evidence of wrongdoing, “ but, he added, the numbers (in which recent added votes broke disproportionately for Franken) were “cause for concern.”

Instead of providing evidence, Hannity moved on to Plan B, innuendo via smearing the Democratic Secretary of State (and implicitly suggesting that he was a conduit for voter fraud). Hannity said, “We have a problem with the Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, do we not? ...He has ties to this controversial group we've discussed a lot, ACORN. He attended the 2008 Democratic Convention. How much faith and hope and confidence do you have in Ritchie considering his radical relationships and partisanship, even connected to MoveOn.Org?”

Once again, Pawlenty would not take Hannity's bait. He noted that all Secretary of States have some kind of partisan background. Pawlenty added, “In this case, the final decisions are made by a canvassing board.” He noted that four of the five members were judges, two of whom he had appointed and that the other two had good reputations. “I think it's gonna be a fair system,” Pawlenty said.

Hannity gave a brusque “OK” and reverted to Plan A, pressing his case for voter fraud based on the suspicious numbers. “My fear is that the fix may already be in,” he said.

Pawlenty answered, “Sean, we don't have any direct evidence of that. And when you make an allegation, not you but anybody, of fraud in an election, it's a very serious matter. So you gotta have specific evidence to back it up.”

Hannity never offered any.

Not until Part 2 did we learn the Franken camp's side of the story, that Coleman is trying to prevent all votes from being counted.

But that was in a brief clip that included lawyers from both sides speaking. The panel that followed was made up of Republicans Erick Erickson, Rick Santorum and one Democrat, Steve Murphy.

So let's see, Republican Pawlenty got a segment to himself, with more time given to Sean Hannity. The Democratic guest in the following segment was outnumbered two-to-one.

Just another night of “fair and balanced” debate on FOX News.

By the way, it's particularly ironic to see Santorum in a voter fraud discussion. His own vote was challenged as fraudulent in the recent election. I could find no report as to the outcome of that case.

That was not discussed on the show.