Sunday, June 07, 2015


On Face the Nation this morning, Chris Christie and CBS's John Dickerson discussed voter fraud:
[Christie] went after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who last week accused him and other Republican governors of trying to depress turnout at the polls among young and minority voters.

"In New Jersey, we have early voting that are available to people. I don't want to expand it and increase the opportunities for fraud. And maybe that's what Mrs. Clinton wants to do," he said.
There were so many opportunities for Dickerson to ask a strong follow-up here, or several follow-ups. He could have asked: Governor, are you saying that early voting leads directly to voter fraud? In which case, why aren't you trying to eliminate it in your state? Or are you saying that you have just the right number of days of early voting in your state in order to prevent voter fraud, but if you had any more, suddenly there'd be voter fraud? In which case, what's the magic formula? At what point does early voting inevitably lead to voter fraud? Are you aware of any cases of voter fraud that have arisen in your state as a result of early voting? Are you aware of any voter fraud in your state at all?

Dickerson doesn't ask any of that. He does ask, referring to Hillary Clinton, "She says it's fearmongering, this idea that there's a lot of election fraud going on." Christie replies, "Yeah, well, she's never been to New Jersey, I guess."

Meaning what? If she knew my state, she'd know what a fraud-ridden hellhole it is? Is he actually bragging about the level of voter fraud in New Jersey?

Shouldn't Dickerson have asked him to elaborate on this? Shouldn't he have tried to make the factual point that voter fraud essentially doesn't exist in this country, rather than treating the nonexistence of voter fraud as Hillary Clinton's opinion?

No, that's not how it works. The Republican Party is all in on the notion of widespread voter fraud, so the mainstream media allows it to be discussed as if skeptics are just expressing an opinion rather than reporting a fact. In the view of the mainstream press, it's perfectly OK for Christie to assert that the mythical voter-fraud problem is real and to make the utterly unsubstantiated assertion that too much early voting leads to voter fraud. You can't challenge these assertions as utterly contrary to the facts -- it would be considered biased and rude.

(Video via Huffington Post.)


petrilli said...

Shouldn't Dickerson have asked him to elaborate on this? Shouldn't he have tried to make the factual point...
That would be informing the public. Chuck Todd says that is not journalism's job.

Mark said...

In New Jersey, we have absentee voting, which you can use without having to explain why you can't be there Election Day - essentially, a "vote by mail" option. And you can fill out your ballot early, of course. But that's a multi-step process - register, request a vote-by-mail ballot, fill out the ballot and mail it.

What we don't have is early voting, as in opening the polls on a day before the official election day - so that all a person has to do is go to a polling place. Somebody should have been doing some fact checking before letting our Governor make that claim.

And if Christie is saying that early voting in person is more conducive to fraud, then voting by mail - well, again, he's just full of bluster without substance.

Professor Chaos said...

Fact checking? What is this, the 1960s? If we fact-checked Gov Christie, he might not come back on our show! Then where would we be?

Yastreblyansky said...

If there's any serious voter fraud in Jersey, you can bet (a) Christie knows all about it, and (b) it has nothing to do with early voting.

anthrosciguy said...

So, Gov. Christie, you're saying you were voted in in a state rife with voter fraud; doesn't that negatively effect any claim you might make to have a mandate?