Media Lies and Sloppy Reporting on Voter ID Exposed

Natl Center For Public Policy Research | September 13, 2012 

Mainstream Media Lies and Sloppy Reporting on Voter Integrity Measures Exposed

Journalists Press Racial Rhetoric Over Facts About Voter ID Laws, Says New Paper

Washington, DC -
 The mainstream media is flouting journalistic standards for fact checking, objectivity and integrity when they report on voter ID laws, concludes a just-published paper by National Center for Public Policy Research General Counsel Justin Danhof.

“The media are on a quest to deceive the American people into believing that voter integrity measures are racist, suppressive laws written by conservatives to diminish the black, poor and elderly vote,” said Danhof. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Voter ID laws treat every eligible voter equally and with dignity.”

Danhof’s paper, “Media Shows Pervasive Bias When Covering Voter ID,” evaluates media coverage of voter ID laws. Rather than objectively reporting the legal basis for voter ID laws, Danhof found, the media are engaging in race baiting and a misinformation campaign.

“The bias is staggering,” Danhof says. “The media needlessly injects race into discussions of race-neutral voter integrity laws almost 150 times more often than it discusses their legal underpinnings. Since 2011, 37 states have passed or considered some form of voter integrity measure. Many of these laws are based on Indiana’s voter ID law that the United States Supreme Court ruled was constitutional only four years ago in the case of Crawford v. Marion.”

“But it appears the media would rather claim new voter integrity measures are modern-day Jim Crow laws than explain that the Supreme Court found such a law to be constitutional,” Danhof added.

“I expected to find journalists arguing against the Crawford decision, but they don’t even do that much,” said Danhof. “Most voter ID articles don’t even bother to mention the decision. The media are either willfully misleading the public or grossly negligent when it comes to the voter ID debate.”

Danhof also discovered that the media often present “studies” and “reports” from liberal advocacy groups and pass them off as objective evidence that voter ID is evil.

“Whether it is News21 or the Brennan Center for Justice, the media use liberal advocacy studies to advance their progressive narratives. News21 is just a bunch of college kids whose recent ‘comprehensive’ report on voter ID – that was praised by the mainstream media – was debunked by National Center Executive Director David Almasi. And the Brennan Center is a George Soros-funded advocacy group whose work has been laid bare by election scholars,” said Danhof. “No objective journalist should ever rely on work by these groups.”

Danhof previously wrote about Pennsylvania’s voter ID law here and here. He has been interviewed about voter ID laws on dozens of radio shows nationwide, including, the Armstrong Williams Show, Talkback with Chuck Wilder, America Tonight with Kate Delany and the Tim Constantine Show.

Justin Danhof is the General Counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research. Prior to joining the National Center for Public Policy Research, Mr. Danhof worked in the Miami-Dade State’s Attorney’s Office in the Economic Crimes and Cybercrimes Division, for the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development and at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Danhof’s work has been widely published and quoted in major newspapers, including the Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Register and Politico, among others.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. In 2011, it received about two percent of its revenue from corporate sources and the vast majority of its revenue from over 350,000 individual gifts. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated .

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