As a preamble, let me introduce Shannon O’Conner, a writer for The Daily Beast. O’Connor is a “legitimate reporter”, as she clearly outlines her credentials in this field. She gave a lecture explaining why citizen journalists are ineligible and live shorter life than legitimate news outlets. They all went to school and are amazing at what they do and far better than any other Cool Table members.
O’Conner’s attempts to prove her own superiority here are amusing. She posts her frustrations with Twitter writers while ON Twitter and shuts off her replies to avoid having to deal with the comments of unwashed journalists. Their behavior during the week concerning the election has completely disproved her claim to unimpeachable journalism excellence.
We will not be able to see how these news organizations falsely reported the Russian collusion story for many years. Instead, we will examine the manner they have acted in the past seven days to discredit Shannon’s claim that journalism is free from “false or misleading information.” Let us now take a look at what misinformation these respected news outlets gave the public.
After years of being told that our electoral system is untouchable and that anyone questioning the integrity or legitimacy of the voting process is a threat to our democracy’s fabric, the media advised us in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election to expect long tabulation delays and strange behavior from unknown precincts throughout the country. It is not true that there is a problem counting votes. However, we should expect problems in counting votes in certain areas. Sure.
The tabulation challenge in Arizona was a hot topic. The press defended the methods that were clearly problematic. Arizona’s archaic practices were unable to keep pace with states with greater populations. However, there were reports from Maricopa County that voting was hampered by mechanical problems. Yet the press refused to be deterred. Even though the press promised that voting would become easier in Georgia, voters couldn’t cast their ballots in this region.
The New York Times declared that Twitter had not done its diligence in suppressing the voices of users who suggested that there was an issue with Arizona’s voting system. Literally, the paper stated that these were individuals who engaged in free speech and should have their voices muted on this topic.
According to the Election Integrity Partner, an alliance of online information researchers, more than 40,000 tweets were posted about the malfunctioning voting machines of the state’s Maricopa County. According to Zignal research, nearly 19,000 tweets specifically referenced Maricopa along with terms like “fraud”, “cheat” and “cheating.” These were all references to the widely disproven belief that the glitches were the first sign of widespread voter fraud.
Let’s go back to O’Conner’s comments above. She complained about people spreading misleading and false information because it seems like the Times is saying exactly the same thing. They are actually the ones who traffic in misinformation. This is the “Paper of Record” that claims certain accounts should not have been allowed to express themselves, even though they were citing factual information. Officials from Maricopa County confirmed that there were problems in getting ballots accepted. This wasn’t a problem with just a few machines – this was a problem that affected dozens of precincts.
The Times is stating that accurate information sharing should be prohibited. The Times tried to promote the false narrative that there was no problem with the voting machines in Maricopa County. It was not the only example. We were told that news organizations are highly respected sources because they use fact-checkers. Now we see the case of one of these fact-check sources, which delivers the same misinformation and is quickly debunked.
Politifact joined the case to defend Maricopa County from “fraudulent allegations.” They used Tucker Carlson’s comments about mechanical foul-ups in state claims of voting problems in that county as their foil.
Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host, warned that the public must have faith in the voting process in close elections. He claimed that Maricopa was the case. Carlson stated on Nov. 8 that electronic voting machines did not allow voters to vote.
Carlson stated that electronic voting machines did not allow voters to vote in Maricopa County. Voters who experienced glitchy tabulators could place their ballots immediately in a slot of the same machine for later counting. Carlson’s claim is without evidence.
Politifact and the county both claimed that the voting machines weren’t working. However, it was false to claim they were. The same county that is experiencing these issues is now taking one week for its votes to be counted, in a close race for the governor’s office. One of the candidates is the secretary of state, who oversees the very same elections. The press claims that anyone suggesting this could lead to questionable activities. This is despite the fact that the same press warned us last week not to expect such delays. People who predicted it would happen today condemn those who claim it is happening and confirm it has occurred.
This is the current state of journalism. They display a staggering level of ineptitude while insisting that they are the arbiters and truth. They might claim they have educated minds and are allowed to give the facts. This is the largest example of misinformation being spread these days.