“Following multiple claims that mail-in voting was unsafe and vulnerable to fraud, Trump changed his mind about the practice last week,” the AP claimed.
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It’s hard to pinpoint which mainstream media lie about President Trump over the last four years has been the most egregious and flagrant. But my personal opinion is that the fake news they continue to spread about his position on mail-in voting should easily rank in the top five.
They’ve provided us with numerous examples just in the last day alone.
It all started when it was reported by USA Today on Thursday that Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had requested mail-in ballots Wednesday for Florida’s primary, which is next Tuesday. Let’s take a look at how the paper framed the story, starting with the headline:
President Trump requests mail-in ballot for upcoming Florida primary, despite rhetoric
For the second time as a Palm Beach County voter, President Donald Trump has requested a vote-by-mail ballot ahead of Florida’s primary election on Tuesday.
And the president who has just spent the past few weeks excoriating mail-in voting has less than a week to cast it.
You have to read another six paragraphs and then scroll down below a large news video on the topic to find out the Trump’s issue is not vote-by-mail, but rather the process of states mass mailing ballots to voters they have listed on their voter rolls regardless of whether or not the person has requested the ballot:
Trump has blasted vote-by-mail — particularly universal vote-by-mail, where elections offices automatically send ballots to all registered voters, rather than allowing the onus to be on the voter to request a mail ballot.
Other media outlets followed USA Today’s lead in their false framing of the story, including CNN:
Trump and first lady request mail-in ballots despite attacks
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump requested mail-in ballots for Florida’s primary election on Tuesday, according to Palm Beach County records, despite the President’s frequent attacks on voting by mail.
Despite Trump’s rhetoric about voting by mail, the President has recently claimed that Florida’s voting system is secure…
The piece included a quote from White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere in the third paragraph on how “the President supports absentee voting, not universal mail-in voting, which contain several safeguards that prevent fraud and abuse” before pointing to alleged “election experts” who claim “there is no real difference” between the two:
Election experts have told CNN there is no real difference between absentee voting and no-excuse mail voting and the two are “essentially the same thing.”
“Essentially the same thing” except in one scenario the ballot has been requested by an actual human being while in the other scenario ballots are mass-mailed no matter how long it’s been since voter rolls have been cleaned up and/or updated. But yeah, there’s “no real difference” or something.
Here’s how NBC News reported the story:
President Trump, whose campaign has tried to thwart mail-in voting, has requested an absentee ballot that will allow him to cast a Florida primary ballot via the U.S. Postal Service. https://t.co/TbumEoLW9Z
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 14, 2020
Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.
The Associated Press:
President Donald Trump has requested a mail-in ballot for Florida’s Tuesday primary election, despite weeks of criticizing the practice.
Following multiple claims that mail-in voting was unsafe and vulnerable to fraud, Trump changed his mind about the practice last week, at least in Florida.
“Trump changed his mind about the practice last week”? Seriously??
The president has repeatedly demonized mail-in voting as governors across the country have sought to expand it amid the coronavirus pandemic, but has previously stated that some instances, including his, are permissible.
From The Hill:
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have both requested mail-in ballots for the upcoming Florida primaries despite the president’s frequent criticism of mail-in ballot systems in the U.S., USA Today reported
ABC News reported it this way:
After criticizing voting by mail, Trump, first lady request mail-in ballots
President Donald Trump, who almost daily criticizes voting by mail with false claims about fraud, on Wednesday requested a mail-in ballot for himself, as did first lady Melania Trump, according to county election officials in Florida.
I could go on and on, but I think the point has been made. This is “gotcha” journalism at it’s worst. There is no “despite” or “in spite of” or anything of the sort at play with Trump’s request of a mail-in ballot, in spite of how the media has framed both the request and his position on vote-by-mail.
There is no inconsistency at all between someone saying they think mail-in voting where ballots are mass-mailed to everyone is ripe for fraud, and then turning around and requesting a ballot be mailed to them. None at all.
I should also point out that in addition to playing this stupid “gotcha” game with Trump, reporters have also tried to claim White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is a hypocrite, too, for requesting a mail-in ballot. After reports surfaced in May of her past voting practices where in some cases she requested a mail-in ballot, McEnany explained the difference between a person requesting a ballot versus ballots being mass-mailed to everyone on the voter rolls.
The only conclusion I can draw from how the media continues to misreport on the topic of mail-in voting is that it’s deliberate. There’s just no other explanation I can come up with for why they continue to falsely suggest that Trump is holding himself to a different standard on this than he wants other voters to be held to.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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