On Friday night, CNN ran a special unsubtlely titled Democracy in Peril: The War on Voting Rights, hosted by CNN correspondent Kyung Lah, which touted accusations by liberals that Republicans are engaging in "voter suppression" by enacting voter ID laws, targeting minorities to prevent Democrats from winning.
The one-hour special which ran at 11:00 p.m. Eastern was stacked mostly with ardent liberal activists appearing on screen as sources, including Ari Berman of The Nation, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Dan Ho of the ACLU, former Missouri Democratic Attorney General Jason Kander, and several other left-leaning activists on voting rights.
A few minutes into the show, the accusations of racism started flying as Berman was heard charging that there was a "concerted Republican strategy to make it as difficult as possible for certain people to vote."
Lah then blamed the election of the first black President for Republicans deciding to enact voter ID laws: "Berman says the strategy to drive down Democratic turnout in Wisconsin and beyond came after President Obama took office."
However, a Nexis search finds that back in September 2006, FNC's The O'Reilly Factor reported on efforts by Republicans to pass photo ID laws in a couple of segments -- one with liberal activist Al Sharpton and the other with conservative Newt Gingrich. Additonally, in Wisconsin, Republicans never had complete control of state government until after the 2010 elections since Democrats in the 1990s and 2000s always had at least one house of the state legislature.
A soundbite of Berman added: "This is their response to the election of the first black President. Their first instinct is to make it harder to vote to try to decrease turnout among the Obama coalition. The goal is to keep people from voting."
Lah was then seen adopting the liberal "voter suppression" terminology as she was seen asking: "Is there a leader of the voter suppression movement in the state?"
After Bermain implicated Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other Republicans, Lah claimed that Republicans had "chipped away at voting rights" in the state, and noted that the Republican governor declined to be interviewed.
Lah soon cited studies by liberal activists suggesting that the voter ID law had caused a drop in Democratic turnout that was enough to cost Hillary Clinton the state in the 2016 presidential election. The CNN reporter then showed the case of a woman who was not allowed to vote because her photo ID was expired who did not make time to get a new one because she works long hours.
Not mentioned was that the legal challenges against Wisconsin's law were finally concluded in 2015, meaning voters had well over a year to get new IDs for the 2016 election.
Then came the case of an elderly "lifelong Democrat" who was unhappy about having to get a ride to go obtain a photo ID as she was was seen complaining: "I don't think they care about us as people anymore -- they really don't."
Not mentioned is that the state of Wisconsin makes special efforts to accommodate disabled or elderly voters who have difficulty leaving home. In fact, voters over 65 who do not have a driver's license can obtain a photo ID that never expires.
After Holder was seen helping to narrate the history of the actual denial of voting rights before the 1960s, Berman suggested that Republican are trying to undermine voting rights for blacks as he asserted that "there were more and more sophisticated attacks on the Voting Rights Act and on the right to vote."
After spending time on the issue of gerrymandering, Lah finally devoted a significant amount of time to a right-leaning source as she spoke with Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, although she employed another example of liberal terminology as she recalled that he had pushed for the "show me your papers" law in states like Arizona to try to catch illegal immigrants.
The only other source who got a soundbite to argue a right-leaning angle was an attorney involved in the lawsuit striking down part of the Voting Rights Act in the U.S. Supreme Court.