CBS Notices Electors 'Pressured' To Change Vote; Omits Death Threats

November 23rd, 2016 12:59 PM

Wednesday's CBS This Morning was the sole Big Three morning newscast to report that Hillary Clinton supporters are lobbying members of the Elector College to not vote for Donald Trump. Charlie Rose cited a USA Today article that disclosed how "some Electoral College members are being pressured to change their votes....Hillary Clinton supporters want Donald Trump electors to change sides, but there are apparently no takers." However neither Rose, nor the original USA Today report, mentioned that some electors have received death threats in recent days.

The previous evening, Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs spotlighted the threats against electors in several states during a lead-in for an interview of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee [video below]:

LOU DOBBS: Left-wing activists [are] now resorting to threats of violence against Electoral College voters — electors — in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Texas. Of all — well, many of them have reported receiving death threats, after Clinton supporters posted their personal information on social media....[Donald] Trump last week called on his supporters, who might have incited violence, by the way, to — quote, 'Stop it.' No word from the President, other than to say he has nothing to add to the conversation and he doesn't want folks to be silent. What can you make of it?

Dobbs later asked Huckabee for his take on the death threats. The Republican replied, "Somebody ought to be investigating these crimes....they are public officials doing a public job; and therefore, the penalty is enhanced. So, people can't ignore this; and the best way to stop this kind of hateful, vile, venomous activity is to grab a couple of them; prosecute them to the hilt; send them to the slammer for five to ten; and let be that a lesson."

The Fox Business host also read a response from Alex Kim, one of the electors targeted by the anonymous threats: "You may all go to hell, and I shall go to Texas." NBC's Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate quoted Kim in a November 17, 2016 article about the sometimes-vicious harassment of Electoral College members:

...In Texas, unlike some other states, electors may change their mind, and it has Democrats from around the country urging them to do just that, said Alex Kim, an elector for Texas' 24th Congressional District.

"At first everyone was kinda enchanted by it," Kim said. "Now all the electors are starting to get beaten down. There are some electors who have been threatened with harm or with death."

A Michigan elector received at leat one threat, according to a Detroit News report.

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The USA Today report on Wednesday from correspondents Joseph Gerth, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, and Joseph Baucum noted the effort by some "supporters of Hillary Clinton" to get 38 electors to "switch their votes." However, they pointed out that the "problem with this particular political fantasy" was the fact that the Electoral College members are "among the Republican Party's most loyal members."

Later in the article, Gerth, Sanchez, and Baucum noted how "some Trump electors consider the drama more as harassment." They noted how "Sharon Geise, an elector from Mesa, Ariz....estimates 8,000 emails have flooded her inbox." Geise called on Mrs. Clinton to issue a message: "She has to stop all of this...This is ridiculous." However, the USA Today journalists left out any mention of the death threats.

The transcript of Charlie Rose's 21-second news brief from CBS This Morning on November 23, 2016:

CHARLIE ROSE: USA Today reports that some Electoral College members are being pressured to change their votes. Twenty-eight states do not require electors to back the winner of the state's popular vote. Hillary Clinton supporters want Donald Trump electors to change sides, but there are apparently no takers. They will meet on December 19 to make the election result official.