New York Times Lamely Turns Democratic Voting, Disruption Scandals Back on GOP

October 21st, 2016 2:16 PM

Even when the New York Times does run articles (not on the front page) about Democratic scandals, it tried desperately to turn attention to old Republican Party controversies. That was the case with two Friday articles involving possible Democratic vote fraud and electoral disruption.

Reporter Mitch Smith’s “Voter Registration Effort Spurs Inquiry in Indiana” defended the controversial left-wing “community organizers” at the now-defunct Acorn, asserting that conservative “claims of voter fraud...largely found to be without merit.”

In Indiana and elsewhere, Republicans have embraced voter identification and other restrictions on registration and voting, claiming that they were necessary to prevent fraud and protect the integrity of the process. Democrats have pushed back, accusing conservatives of trying to suppress the vote of blacks and other minorities, who more frequently vote Democratic.

Mr. Varoga suggested that Mr. Pence’s administration might be involved in the investigation -- an accusation the governor’s office and the State Police have denied.

Civil rights leaders have said that just conducting such an inquiry could disenfranchise or intimidate black voters, and have called for the federal government to intervene. (A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.)

Similar claims of voter fraud and deception were made against the group Acorn in the 2008 election, but they were largely found to be without merit. The group dissolved, however, in an avalanche of accusations by conservatives.

Read this about multiple cases of voter registration fraud by Acorn, and decide if those complaints were “without merit.”

An article on Democratic dirty tricks managed to swing the spotlight toward alleged past GOP shehanigans: “Video Forces Democrats On Defensive About Tricks” by Steve Eder and Jonathan Martin.

A Democratic operative, wearing a checkered blue shirt and a tie, spoke calmly, explaining exactly how agents could infiltrate the rallies of Donald J. Trump and cause mayhem among the Republican’s nominee team, his security staff and supporters.

Creating an explosive reaction, said the operative, Scott Foval, was “the whole point of it.”

Mr. Foval and Robert Creamer, another operative working for the Democratic National Committee, were the unwitting stars of undercover videos released this week in which they and others were captured discussing unseemly tactics like instigating violence at Mr. Trump’s rallies and arranging for fraudulent voting.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the party committee moved to distance themselves from the behavior described in the videos, and the committee said the two men were no longer assisting it. The party also cast doubt on the veracity of the released videos, which were produced by Project Veritas, a conservative group led by the activist James O’Keefe that has been heavily criticized as using deceptive editing.

Still, the videos were an embarrassment for Mrs. Clinton at a moment when she is trying to frame Mr. Trump’s claims of a rigged election as nothing more than the fevered dreams of a conspiracy theorist. During Wednesday’s debate Mr. Trump referred to the videos, which together have been viewed more than eight million times on YouTube, as proof of unfair play.


But in the Project Veritas videos, the tactics described went far beyond mere distraction.

Mr. Creamer is not seen on the Project Veritas videos approving or endorsing plans to instigate fights at Trump rallies, but his underling, Mr. Foval, is shown boasting about using unseemly methods, like planting people at the gatherings to agitate the crowd.

“Sometimes the crazies bite,” Mr. Foval said. “Sometimes the crazies don’t bite.”

Both men and others in the videos are seen discussing -- or at least nodding along when their undercover interviewers broach the idea -- how people could illegally vote. Among the practices described are moving voters across state lines by using cars with the destination state’s plates, and using pay stubs to make illegal immigrants appear to be citizens for voter registration purposes.

Yet the Times still managed to turn this Democratic vote fraud scandal onto the GOP.

While the 2016 race has been remarkable for its ugly tone, there is a rich political history of campaigns pushing ethical and legal boundaries to undermine the opposition. In 1972, supporters of Richard M. Nixon, who was even better positioned to win than Mrs. Clinton, unleashed an organized campaign of sabotage: forging letters, disrupting rallies and even flying an airplane over the Democratic National Convention that year with a banner that read “Peace Pot Promiscuity -- Vote McGovern.”

And during the Florida presidential recount in 2000, George W. Bush’s backers, including the longtime Trump confidant Roger J. Stone, staged the “Brooks Brothers Riot,” when young Republicans were flown into South Florida to disrupt the recount.

At least the Times noted the Obama White House connection:

Mr. Creamer is a longtime Democratic strategist from Chicago, and was a consultant during President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. According to White House guest logs, he has been a frequent visitor, usually as part of groups of Democratic activists or while accompanying his wife, Jan Schakowsky, a Democratic congresswoman from Illinois, to social events.