The New York Times drew criticism after using “cherry picked” and “distorted” examples of conservatives pushing “election falsehoods” to accuse popular commentators of spreading disinformation.
The paper published an article by tech reporter Stuart A. Thompson Tuesday under the headline, “Election Falsehoods Surged on Podcasts Before Capitol Riots, Researchers Find.” The report cited research published by the Brookings Institute that pinned conservative podcasts as the main source of election misinformation and proponents of the so-called “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
From the beginning, the Times article’s thesis is dubious. It begins:
Weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck outlined his prediction for how Election Day would unfold: President Donald J. Trump would be winning that night, but his lead would erode as dubious mail-in ballots arrived, giving Joseph R. Biden Jr. an unlikely edge.
“No one will believe the outcome because they’ve changed the way we’re electing a president this time,” he said.
The article leaves out necessary context around Beck’s quote, that the conservative radio host was commenting on the analysis of a report by the Transition Integrity Project, which “was launched in late 2019 out of concern that the Trump Administration may seek to manipulate, ignore, undermine or disrupt the 2020 presidential election and transition process.” The report found that in all cases except for a Joe Biden landslide victory, the outcome of the election would be in doubt. Blaze CEO Tyler Cardon pointed the omission out on Twitter:
Read this opening paragraph from New York Times piece about “election falsehoods” that published yesterday. Note the ominous framing. Apparently, on a random day in September, big bad broadcaster Glenn Beck outlined his prediction for Election Day in a single sentence.
But the quote they pulled was from a segment in which GB was reacting to a report by the Transition Integrity Project, which got a ton of media coverage largely because it predicted the end of the Republic in all scenarios except a Biden landslide. …
Where’s the lie? You need to look no further than the TIP report itself to find support for GB’s “prediction” here. The only difference is that GB is more generous to the Dems by assuming they’d accept a Trump landslide. In the report, this resulted in “constitutional crisis.”
Cardon also pointed out that multiple prominent Democrats – such as Rep. Adam Schiff (CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Rep. Val Demings (FL), and Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) – spread doubt about the outcome of the 2020 election in the lead-up to Election Day. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who ran in the Democratic primary for president, and then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), now the sitting vice president, also joined in seeding doubt about the legitimacy of a potential Trump win.
For further support, here’s a montage of prominent politicians expressing sincere concern about the integrity of our elections process before all such concerns were solved by mail-in ballots, relentless sloganeering, and fairy dust. 4/ pic.twitter.com/LCyl6LEtam
— Tyler Carditis (@TyCardon) January 5, 2022
Critics hammered The New York Times over the report.
“The NYT (and other dusty, legacy media outlets) are desperate to connect every effective dissident voice in today’s media landscape to some flavor of ‘dangerous misinformation,’ not because it’s true, but because they’re losing influence & want to silence their competition,” Carditis said.
Molly Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, added: “I’m shocked, shocked, that a known propaganda rag would continue its campaign of deception against its political opponents. (But seriously, that is awful of them to do.)”
“This is exactly why readers need to treat legacy media reporting about ‘election misinfo’ skeptically. It’s either cherry picked, out of context, distorted or all of the above in 99% of cases,” Daily Caller editor-in-chief Geoff Ingersoll said.
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