As If Another Was Necessary, Here’s Smoking Gun Evidence Of Politically-Motivated News Media Distortion

I am not certain any more which is more infuriating: the increasingly brazen abdication of American journalism’s duty  to inform the public fairly, objectively and without distortion and manipulation, or the refusal of members of the public whose personal political objectives are served by the abdication to acknowledge that it is occurring.

Yesterday, the New York Times carried a front page story headlined Kentucky Vote Drew Out Trolls In 2020 Omen. It contained numerous ethics alarm-ringers, such as…

A few hours after polls closed in Kentucky last Tuesday, a Twitter user writing under the handle @Overlordkraken1 posted a message to his 19 followers saying he had “just shredded a box of Republican mail-in ballots”…..just in case anyone missed the significance of the destroyed-ballots claim, @Overlordkraken1 added a final touch to his tweet: “Bye-Bye Bevin,” he wrote…Within hours of @Overlordkraken1’s tweet, as it became apparent that Mr. Bevin was trailing in the vote tally, hyperpartisan conservatives and trolls were pushing out a screenshot of the message, boosted by what appeared to be a network of bots, and providing early grist for allegations of electoral theft in Kentucky. High-profile right-wing figures were soon tweeting out their own conspiracy theories about the election being stolen — messages that were in turn pushed by even more trolls and bots — and the Bevin campaign began talking about “irregularities” in the vote without offering any specifics or evidence.

Yes, there we have an excellent example of how social media and the speed and reach of the internet can start rumors and facilitate disinformation, as well as serve the sinister objectives of those seeking to benefit from seeding untruths and distrust. Except..1. The Times has no idea whether or not the tweet was “trolling” and 2., The Times and other supposedly accurate news sources have been responsible for disinformation of their own that also started rumors and spread disinformation.

The Times also noted with approval that Twitter suspended the account, though there is no way Twitter could have determined that an anonymous poster had not shredded ballots. Never mind: the news media and social media are self-appointed guardians of the truth, at least the truth as they want it perceived.

Then we got this: “Kentucky is shaping up to be a case study in the real-world impact of disinformation — and a preview of what election-security officials and experts fear could unfold a year from now if the 2020 presidential election comes down to the wire.”

The message is insidious, implied but clear—Republican disinformation. We are told that…

“…allegations of irregularities echo the Trump playbook. Mr. Trump has sown doubts about a “rigged election” system since before his own election, including openly questioning the mail-in ballot process in Colorado. He then contended that fraud had lost him the popular vote (which Hillary Clinton won by 2.9 million votes). And he has amplified similar theories while in office, tweeting at least 40 times about unfounded voter fraud allegations, according to an analysis by The New York Times, including a claim after the midterm elections last year that “many ballots are missing or forged” in Florida.”

Then we get the pious lecture:

“Such divisive rhetoric after close elections has always risked shaking public faith in essential democratic institutions. But in a profoundly polarized country where narrow margins are hardly uncommon, sophisticated networks of social media users — human and bot — can quickly turn partisan rancor into grave threats, rapidly amplifying disinformation and creating an initial veneer of vast discord that can eventually become self-fulfilling….While the Kentucky election, held in an off-year, remains a sideshow to most people outside the state, election security experts see in it a worrying sign of what Americans may be forced to contend with next November.”

Damn Republicans.

Here are some matters never mentioned or even alluded to in the article:

  • The many-years long accusations by Democrats and activists, heavily supported by the media,  that Republicans are suppressing the votes of minorities by seeking to require reliable identification of voters, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that requiring voter identification was responsible and necessary.
  • The strong evidence that absentee voting and other efforts to make voting easier–all measures pushed by the Democratic Party— is a breeding ground for voter fraud.
  • The false narrative, still perpetuated by progressive activists and pundits,  that the Supreme Court “robbed ” Al Gore of the election victory in 2000. Gore’s name does not appear in the article.
  • The fact that Democratic “rising star” Stacy Abrams still declares publicly that she won the 2018 governor’s election in Georgia, and has refused to concede. Abrams and her election fraud claims, which are unsupported, are not mentioned in the article.
  • Hillary Clinton’s claim almost immediately after she lost the 2016 election that the vote was tainted, and rhetoric of leaders of the Democratic Party and “the resistance” that the Electoral College victory by Trump was undemocratic and illegitimate, and that Trump is an illegitimate President.

But “allegations of irregularities echo the Trump playbook.”

To my eye, the instances of flagrant misrepresentation and partisan bias in the news media have become increasingly defiant. There is nothing wrong with the general topic of this news story, but it is outrageous to discuss how “divisive rhetoric after close elections” shakes “public faith in essential democratic institutions” and risks turning “partisan rancor into grave threats.” without apportioning accountability according to known and recent facts, meaning that both parties have been guilty of these dangerous practices.

I would like to assume that any competent and ethical editor would check this story and return it to the reporters (in this case, Matthew Rosenberg and Nick Corrassanti ) saying, “Are you kidding me? You’re talking about sewing public doubts after close elections and don’t even mention Goer, Abrams, and Clinton? What’s the matter with you?

But no. I know bias makes you stupid, but it can’t make smart and competent people THAT stupid. If this happens, and it did here, it is no accident. It’s intentional, and it is done because the unethical journalists think it works, and that they will get away with it.

8 thoughts on “As If Another Was Necessary, Here’s Smoking Gun Evidence Of Politically-Motivated News Media Distortion

  1. I just can’t understand why ‘his 19 followers saying he had “just shredded a box of Republican mail-in ballots” destroying REPUBLICAN ballots is being used to criticize the Republicans? My first thought, long before any supporting bad behaviors is that Democrats are the ones with the motive to shred GOP votes. Not Republicans,

    I find this disturbing, as one who used a mail-in ballot when I’d been particularly ill. That ballots of a particular party could so easily be separated and crocked would show serioous security issues which affect every voter. I do NOT trust electronic based voting practices either, I worked in programming websites and testing too long to trust it with some things. But I do not appreciate being disenfranchised because some asses never learned how to play well with others in kindergarten. No matter how noble and righteous they think they are.

    • IF {select class} {candidate selection} != [Democrat]
      Then voteresult = ‘NULL’

      As easy as that

      (I am not a developer professionally, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once)

      • Ah, but since they were talking burned a box, and I had understood voting is supposed to have a physical material to allow recounts and chad debates, I took the claim as literal.

        After working in software testing for ten years, the combination of design error and user abuse of the system means I want NO digital voting. It may be slower and less efficient, but the ACM risks newsletter has plenty of examples why we don’t want digital votes.

  2. To add another data point, the NYT today released an article claiming FBI hate crime data showed violence from hate crimes reaching a 16-year high.

    Now, I believe I’ve explained the problems with the FBI’s data here before, and the same problems persists. For instance, during this year where hate crime violence supposedly peaked, Alabama reported zero hate crimes. Nada. Zilch.

    So why wasn’t the headline “Alabama Eradicates Hate Crimes? ” Apart from it not feeding the desired narrative, it’s a rather implausible claim, particularly if we continue to accept the premise that liberal bastions like NYC continue to hit the triple digits. In other words, it reveals the results to be garbage, but they’re willing to hide that as long as it’s the garbage they want.

  3. Matt Bevin deserves to lose, but he doesn’t deserve to lose by fraud.

    If this is nothing but trolling, fine. But as you say, the Times has no idea if it is or not, they have just decided to declare it “trolling” and use that to beat the Republican Party over the head.

    I wish I could say I was surprised about the narrative “Republicans not accepting election outcomes,” but that has been going on from the day Donald Trump suggested he might not accept the outcome of the 2016 election a month or so before it happened. Trump deserves some blame for this stupid lie, and the fact that the Left refuses to let it go, like the mythical snapping turtle hanging on for the sound of thunder, just emphasizes the fact that they are totally invested in removing or defeating Trump by any means possible regardless of ethical turpitude or even tort liability. Lying, cheating, stealing, fraud — all are acceptable in the service of the “greater good” as the Times sees it.

    And the unfortunate thing is, I think it is working. In the end, if it does, will there really be any recourse or reckoning? I don’t believe the Times thinks there will be, and I’m coming around to the view that they may be right.

    • In the end, if it does, will there really be any recourse or reckoning?

      Blood in the streets, my friend. Targeted removal (with extreme prejudice) of those perceived responsible. Mainstream reporters have already been identified for that list, as have many politicians.

      Just sayin’: the heartland will not go down easy, or alone.

  4. The crux of the matter is that if an election in Kentucky is “contested”, the result is set aside and a joint sitting of the legislature chooses the Governor. Both houses have GOP supermajorities.

    A single anonymous tweet alleging that ballots were destroyed might be enough. If it is, then why bother having Gubernatorial elections at all? That would seem to argue that something more concrete in the way of evidence should be required, but that is up to a legislature appointed committee.

    • (sigh)

      Zoe, we are seeing the result of the Elites collecting power for themselves, and passing laws that ensure they stay there, as well as enriching them at our expense. This is not a partisan thing: a lot of modern politics is kabuki theater, designed to fool the voters that one side matters more than the other. The Democrats are scripted to be the shining knights (cannot say ‘white’ ones anymore) and the GOP is supposed to be the loyal opposition, ready to take a dive to keep the gravy train moving.

      The only new thing is now the Democrats have lost control of the dog, and the tail is wagging their party. They used and dumbed down (with the willing compliance of the GOP, no doubt) their base until the script, the narrative, became the reality. Who knew that Orwell would be taken for scripture?

      The Elites believe they are insulated from the consequences, and that others will suffer and bleed when the revolution they plan starts. Their loyal shock troops (like Antifa) will be the strong arm, with LEO sufferance or even outright help in some areas. The ‘weak common Americans’ will fold or be placed into reeducation camps, to be taught how to serve their betters, or liquidated if necessary.

      President Trump and the deplorables are a fly in that ointment, ones they intend to destroy before the next election. We will see how successful they will be.

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