Accusations of Hate Divert Attention From Need to Address Election Integrity

March 26, 2021 Updated: March 30, 2021

Commentary

The headline in the online edition of The New York Times on March 16 instantly caught my eye: “Florida Finds Election Fraud in High School Homecoming Votes.”

Ah-ha! I thought. So that’s where the Times’s crack team of investigative reporters looking into election fraud have been for the last five months: J.M. Tate High School in Escambia County, Florida.

No doubt it’s important for Times readers to know that Emily Grover, 17, was illegitimately elected as homecoming queen at J.M. Tate last October because her mother, Laura Rose Carroll, 50, an employee of the school district, was able to stuff the electronic ballot box. Yet, I couldn’t help wondering if the article’s author, Patricia Mazzei, might not have been better employed looking into the elections that have been held since Tate-gate in the neighboring state of Georgia.

Fortunately, we no longer need the Times for the latter investigation—or for much of anything else, really—since we have bulldog-like Mollie Ziegler Hemingway of The Federalist who, on the day after Mazzei’s bombshell hit, published an exhaustive and closely reasoned 3,500-word piece on the election mess in Georgia.

It’s headed “Media’s Entire Georgia Narrative Is Fraudulent, Not Just the Fabricated Trump Quotes.”

Mollie was following up on a piece, also in The Federalist, by her husband, Mark Hemingway, the day before that had summed up the story of the “fabricated Trump quotes,” allegedly taken from a phone call by President Donald Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2.

“The Washington Post,” wrote Mark Hemingway, “anonymously printed fabricated quotes they knew were from a second-hand source in the office of a political enemy, couldn’t confirm the quotes with additional sourcing, still attributed them to the sitting president of the United States, used those quotes as a basis to speculate [that] the president committed a crime, and the Democratic party would later repeatedly cite the bogus article when attempting to impeach Trump for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’”

Moreover, numerous other once-respectable media outlets claimed to “confirm” the Post’s fabricated quotes by citing their own anonymous sources, “including NBC, ABC, USA Today, PBS, and CNN.”

That the Post’s falsehoods were not accidental but deliberate is suggested by the fact that the fabrication only came to light when a recording of the phone call was found by an open records search in a laptop’s “trash” folder. Yet both the Post’s anonymous source—now identified (with her permission) as Jordan Fuchs, deputy to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and inveterate anti-Trump tweeter—and the Post’s own Eric Wemple attempted to minimize the importance of the falsified quotations to what they still see as the essential accuracy of the story.

As Mark Hemingway notes, “The conclusion [that] a sitting president may have committed a crime is still in the corrected story.”

The Post and its Trump-hating allies in Georgia appear to take as relaxed an attitude to media malpractice as they do to election fraud.

But as Mollie Hemingway points out, the Post’s contribution to the more general misdirection of inquirers into the Georgia elections is only the tip of the iceberg. Raffensperger’s office and other state election officials weren’t only not interested in looking into allegations of election fraud in the state, but they threw up roadblock after legal roadblock to prevent the Trump campaign from doing so.

They were also compliant, she notes, with a pre-election legal action by Perkins Coie, the Democratic-allied law firm behind the Russian “collusion” fraud, to relax the state’s election laws with respect to signature-matching and other security measures on absentee ballots.

At this distance of time, we will probably never know what really happened on election night(s) in Georgia. How many more laptop “trash” files will have been permanently deleted in the wake of the Post’s “correction” of its Fake News?

But the legacy of the state’s monumental screw-up in 2020 lives on in the federal election regulation legislation long on the Democrats’ wish-list and now reintroduced in the new Congress as H.R. 1—though its Democratic sponsors prefer to call it the “For the People Act of 2021.”

On March 12 in this space, I noted the UK Guardian’s smearing of Republican opponents of this legislation as attempting “to go back to Jim Crow.” Now, it appears that this same outrageous falsehood is an official part of Democratic propaganda on behalf of the bill.

Stacey Abrams, who rose to national prominence and Democratic heroine status for questioning the legitimacy of an election for Georgia governor that she lost, writes for CNN that “eliminating voter access under the guise of race-neutral actions that clearly target communities of color is nothing short of Jim Crow 2.0.”

It kind of makes you wonder if there’s something more to such outrageous language than just hatred of Republicans. Could this be, like the “impeachment” narrative that the Post’s fake quotations were meant to serve, another attempt at misdirection to cover up Democratic corruption of the electoral process?

John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog has written, “I don’t know whether the Democrats stole the 2020 election, but I do know that they tried hard to steal it.”

Now that they’re trying to write that same effort into federal law, binding on all states, the escalation of their hate speech against Republicans suggests that it’s getting harder and harder for them to keep up the fiction that Republican counterefforts to preserve election integrity are really just an excuse for “voter suppression” against “communities of color.”

James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The author of “Honor: A History,” he is a movie critic for The American Spectator and the media critic for the New Criterion.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.