The big three cable networks appear to be working hand-in-glove with Democrats, echoing President Joe Biden’s deceptive attacks on Republican voter integrity laws across the U.S. while ignoring the Democrats’ election takeover via H.R. 1, the “For the People” Act.
A NewsBusters analysis of ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news coverage from March 1 through June 10 found that these “big three” networks spend nearly 52 minutes of airtime on the Republican-sponsored state election laws — and a meager 2 minutes and 40 seconds covering H.R. 1.
Last month, MRC Latino reported the same skew at Spanish-language networks Telemundo, Univision and CNN en Español. The Spanish-language networks devoted nearly 35 minutes to the new state laws, and barely a minute to H.R. 1.
The big three networks also relentlessly attacked the GOP state election laws. “Taking into account statements from reporters, anchors, and non-aligned sources (such as soundbites from voters and experts), but excluding identified Democrats and Republicans,” NewsBusters “found just three positive statements about the Republican-sponsored laws, vs. 75 negative statements.” This amounts to a 96 percent negative slant.
Not once did the networks scold Democrats like Joe Biden for inflammatory rhetoric condemning GOP state election laws as “Jim Crow on steroids.” Instead, the networks occasionally repeated the heated rhetoric. “It’s the new election law that many tonight are calling racist,” ABC’s Steve Osunsami said about the Georgia law on March 26. “Black and brown voters are screaming that this is voter suppression.”
As Georgia State Rep. Wes Cantrell explained, however, the Georgia election law is far less restrictive than state laws in Delaware, Biden’s home state. Biden condemned the law as racist, but by his definition, Delaware’s voting laws are far worse than “Jim Crow.” The Washington Post gave Biden four Pinocchios for repeatedly claiming that the Georgia law “ends voting hours early.” In fact, the bill extended voting hours.
Most of the Republican bills represent a return to more secure voting after states weakened election integrity in order to allow easy access to voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Democrats’ “For the People” Act represents an obscene power grab.
H.R. 1 requires states to allow any eligible voter to vote by mail in federal elections, a practice that is inherently less secure than in-person voting. The bill also requires states to allow any eligible voter to use ballot drop-boxes of the kind that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) financed in the 2020 election, likely driving up turnout in blue areas. H.R. 1 also mandates that states accept ballots that arrive in the mail up to 10 days after Election Day, so long as they had been postmarked on or before Election Day, echoing a controversial practice in Pennsylvania in 2020.
The bill creates a nationwide automatic voter registration program, which would likely result in double-registrations and the registration of non-citizens. In fact, H.R. 1 explicitly exempts from prosecution people who are “not eligible to vote in elections for Federal office but [were] automatically registered to vote” (Sec. 1015).
It allows felons who have completed their incarceration to vote.
H.R. 1 also includes a new program providing for public financing of federal elections, matching small-dollar donations 6 to 1. The match would kick in for each grassroots contribution to a candidate up to $200. A $200 donation to a House candidate would garner a $1,200 match in public funds for a total contribution of $1,400, for example.
The bill would reduce the number of members on the Federal Election Commission from 6 to 5. Democrats argue that this will allow the commission to avoid deadlock and do its job, but Republicans warn that this would make the FEC a “partisan weapon.”
The bill would also require politically-active organizations, including 401(c)3 nonprofits, to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more; expand the definition of election-related communication; and reduce the influence of independent expenditure-only “super PACs.” Such campaign finance regulations would limit Americans’ ability to band together to advocate political causes they believe in.
While Democrats’ railing against “dark money” has convinced Americans there is something inherently sleazy about groups of Americans spending money to advocate for causes they believe in, Americans do not lose their right to free speech when they enter the political arena. The mandated disclosure of an organization’s donors, in particular, undercuts this fundamental right.
“It is beyond debate that the freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” The Supreme Court wrote in the landmark case NAACP v. Alabama (1958). The State of Alabama had ordered the NAACP to hand over a list of its members during the era of segregation when the Ku Klux Klan held tremendous power in the state. The Supreme Court defended the NAACP from this government harassment.
Even the ACLU, which supports many of the problematic aspects of H.R. 1, opposes this crackdown on free speech.
H.R. 1 represents a Democratic federal takeover of state elections, but the big three networks are so busy echoing the Left’s fear mongering about state laws that they ignore the true threat to election integrity. Or are there merely covering for it?