Journalists Should Care About Election Fraud

By Daily Editorials

November 16, 2020 5 min read

We should never fear election fraud in the United States. We have journalists, an institution of professionals who make up the "Fourth Estate," to watch, police and protect the process.

We call the media "The Fourth Estate" because it ostensibly keeps three branches of government — the executive, legislative, and judicial — in check. This nonregulated establishment of free-market competitors purportedly has no agenda other than the truth. We expect journalists to follow leads, instincts, intuitions and smells.

The media establishment spent more than four years scratching, clawing, digging, interrogating, and using every resource it had trying to find evidence — any smidgen of it — that might indicate collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government. Its tenacity gave implicit credibility to what otherwise sounded like a crackpot conspiracy theory.

Journalists did their jobs. They never let go of the possibility the 2016 election was rigged and led to the illegitimate election of President Donald Trump. They reported no compelling evidence but never stopped trying to find it.

Fast forward to November, and our journalistic sleuths are slouching on the job.

An unprecedented election of nationwide mail-in voting and other new procedures has raised potentially credible concerns. Mailboxes served as ballot boxes, circumventing by default traditional polling place security measures. Nationwide, for the first time, voting began weeks in advance of Election Day. It leads to concerns and questions society should examine.

We cannot know the truth about charges of election mistakes and/or fraud any more than anyone knew conclusively for years if rumors of 2016 Russian collusion were true or false.

The Heritage Foundation maintains a database of election fraud cases from recent years. It documents 1,298 proven cases that led to 1,121 criminal convictions. At least some evidence, including allegations in multiple lawsuits, suggests this election potentially consisted of mistakes and fraud, regardless of that information's validity or relevance to the outcome.

Without passing judgment on the outcome, and whether it was fair, any reasonable person supporting either major candidate should support the need for objective inquiries by the Fourth Estate into the election's integrity. The media did this throughout Trump's first term and should continue today.

Instead, the public gets a steady stream of off-hand dismissals from the country's more elite media organizations. Examples:

— "There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election," declared The Associated Press on Tuesday, offering no source or documentation to support the unprovable declaration of a negative conclusion.

— "The president and his allies have baselessly claimed that rampant voter fraud stole victory from him," states The New York Times, which never used any form of "baseless" even after four years of inquiry failed to support the Russian election conspiracy theory.

— "Trump's barrage of new claims of voter fraud have been disproved," claims a Washington Post headline.

— "President Trump continues to baselessly contest the election results," CNN assured the world Wednesday.

These are the same media organizations that never stopped pursuing the tin-foil-hat Russian interference claim. Even after a yearslong special investigation found no credible evidence to support the hypothesis, these companies never used the words and phrases "disproved," "no evidence," and "baseless" to describe the Russia-collusion hoax.

This time, a week past the election and in advance of any formal investigative process, the elite media has ruled on the conflict. All lawsuits, including those not yet filed, have no merit because "there is no evidence" and there never will be because we ain't gonna look.

Americans on both sides of the political divide deserve better than this. They need the country's biggest media players to objectively search for the truth and relentlessly ensure our elections are fair.


Photo credit: Pexels at Pixabay

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