The New York Times attacked conservative news outlets on October 25 for publishing articles that “fuel voter fraud misinformation.” The article by Tiffany Hsu said news sites such as The Washington Examiner, Breitbart News, The Daily Wire and Fox News “published dozens of false or misleading headlines and articles that effectively back unsubstantiated claims by President Trump and his allies that mail-in ballots threaten the integrity of the election.”
Conservative outlets pushed back against the charge, citing numerous cases of false reporting from the Times. The Examiner said, the Times “throws stones in a glass house.”
Tsu cited a Harvard study, “Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign,” in which researchers “described a ‘propaganda feedback loop’ in right-wing media.”
The researchers believe, “The claim that election fraud is a major concern with mail-in ballots has become the central threat to election participation during the Covid-19 pandemic and to the legitimacy of the outcome of the election across the political spectrum.” They did not explain how news articles exposing election fraud keep people from voting.
“Our findings suggest that this highly effective disinformation campaign, with potentially profound effects for both participation in and the legitimacy of the 2020 election, was an elite-driven, mass-media led process. Social media played only a secondary and supportive role,” the authors assert.
Hugo Gurdon, Editor-in-Chief at the Examiner, responded to the Times accusation, “Although there has been stiff competition, it may be that the New York Times has spread more disruptive falsehoods than any other news outlet in the past four years. It led the way in stoking hysteria over the concocted narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.”
Speaking of misinformation, he cites a Times story from February 2017 which said that Trump associates had “repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials.” Gurdon added, “This false story was breathlessly repeated by such luminaries as MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow and helped spark a three-year hunt for a non-existent conspiracy, the media and Democratic obsession with which blighted an entire presidential term.”
Gurdon also points to the Times “1691 Project,” saying, “The paper resisted overwhelming counter-arguments from real historians and then, when resistance became impossible, sneaked corrections in surreptitiously and denied that it ever intended to say what it actually had said repeatedly and forcefully for more than a year. The 1619 Project is a ‘propaganda feedback loop’ for the children of America.”
“There are mistakes, there are distortions and misinformation — and then there’s the New York Times,” Gurdon concluded.
Another writer from the Examiner, Becket Adams, defended the paper’s reporting and listed other incidents of false reports from the Times, such as the editorial board repeating a “lie that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin inspired a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona” and the paper promoting a conspiracy theory that “the White House had recorded a video inside a studio and digitally manipulated it to make it appear as if it was recorded on the White House lawn.”
Adams also notes the bias of the researchers alleging misinformation, saying, “The Harvard study cites disgraced newsman Dan Rather, CNN’s histrionic Jim Acosta, and Media Matters as authoritative sources of real news, in case you were wondering what the researchers consider trustworthy.”
Breitbart defended itself against the charge that it was part of a disinformation “propaganda feedback loop.” John Nolte wrote, “The Times article is 1300 or so words long and not a single word – not one – is utilized to point out a single fact in a single one of our voter fraud reports that we got wrong.”
He continued, “The Times went through 30 articles we published on voter fraud – thirty! – and could not come up with a single misreported fact, a single example of fake news, or anything we reported that was misleading or deceptive.”
Nolte pointed out that the day after the Times accused conservative outlets of publishing misinformation, it “published its own investigation of voter fraud in New York.”
The lengthy article, “Inside Decades of Nepotism and Bungling at the N.Y.C. Elections Board,” reports, “Already this year, the New York City Board of Elections failed to mail out many absentee ballots until the day before the primary, disenfranchising voters, and sent erroneous general election ballot packages to many other residents, spreading confusion.”
The writers describe a 2000 election where Democrat candidate Liz Krueger “narrowly lost a 2000 State Senate race.” The article said, “Months later, according to three people familiar with the incident, workers found hundreds of ballots in a Board of Elections air conditioning duct. The ballots were from a part of the district that had favored Ms. Krueger.”
“How unscrupulous and irresponsible for the Times to spread this disinformation!” said Nolte.
Photo from The Toidi / Shutterstock.com
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