President Trump’s preoccupation isn’t the coronavirus, it’s the election. Obsessed with his loss, President Trump continues to claim that last month’s presidential election was rigged. His Twitter feed, for instance, ignores the pandemic to concentrate on the “rigged” election. Here, his source for evidence to prove his assertions leaves much to be desired:
To that end, Trump has filed numerous election lawsuits with very little success. The Associated Press regularly documents these losses. For example, from earlier today:
In an Associated Press tally of roughly 50 cases brought by Trump’s campaign and his allies, more than 30 have been rejected or dropped. About a dozen are awaiting action. Trump has notched just one small victory, a case challenging a decision to move the deadline to provide missing proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.
In addition to the lawsuits, the Associated Press has also been fact checking Trump’s claims of Democratic election rigging and voter fraud. Their Thursday analysis, for instance, examined the various claims of election fraud made by Trump and his supporters and found them “all wrong.” Unfortunately for local readers, neither Ogden paper (not surprisingly) reported the AP's findings.
Despite the various court findings and a lack of evidence to support his claims, Trump and his followers continue to argue that the election was rigged. Such assertions can be found all over social media and in rightwing outlets like Ogden and Fox News; what they all have in common is, as the AP has found, there is either no evidence or questionable support for their claims. Note the political cartoons in the insert at the top of this page: there is no identification of which poll rendered the 47% figure, nor is there any documentation of how exactly Biden and the Democrats carved-up election security. (I searched and could not find either reference.) Laura Hollis’ article (you can find it here) tells us that “there is more and more evidence that unlawful actions were deliberately taken in multiple swing states.” So, according to Hollis, there is all kinds of evidence and yet she fails to give us just one specific example. That is because the evidence doesn’t exist and Hollis knows what Ogden and Fox and the WV GOP know: that if they repeat a baseless charge often enough, it becomes a “truth” for a certain percentage of the population that wants to believe it.
Over the course of this blogs 6+ year history, I have moved from calling the Intelligencer and News-Register “newspapers” (without quotation marks) to “newspapers” (with marks) to suggest that I have become skeptical of whether they are newspapers. (They are “so-called.”) It may be time to drop the scare quotes and simply call them what they have increasingly become, propagandists for the Republican Party. Newspapers, it seems to me, ought to be about the search for truth wherever it leads. For propagandists, however, truth is irrelevant -- only the result matters. For Ogden, then, what matters is that the Republican Party succeeds; if the truth gets printed, it is purely coincidental.
Off-topic: For regular readers, I would be remiss if I did not note that today’s editorial cartoon attacks Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. It’s #11 this year.
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