Accuracy in Media

Bloomberg, NBC and the Washington Post reported that President Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he accuses officials in Florida and elsewhere of voter fraud.

Rather, Trump is just trying to bully them into producing the results he wants, according to their reporting.

Bloomberg headlined its story Tuesday, “Democrats Accuse Trump of ‘Bullying’ in Bitter Florida Recount” by Anna Edgerton and Jonathan Levin.

“This is a large dangerous step away from the democracy we all cherish,” they quoted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as saying. “It’s a bedrock principle of our democracy that every vote is counted.”

Florida Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, “have joined with Trump,” who “has repeatedly weighed in on the situation, claiming without evidence that the vote tally is tainted and that the initial results from election night – which had Scott and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis ahead – should stand.”

NBC News hedged its reporting with a headline that read: “Vote fraud fact check: Trump’s bogus (so far) claims about Florida.”

There is no evidence of voter fraud aside from paranoia of Trump and fellow Republicans, NBC reported. The included video essentially adopts Democratic Party talking points.

“President Trump and Republican lawmakers frequently claim that widespread voter fraud is a huge problem in America,” the piece begins.

“Reality check … Fraud occurs in rare and isolated incidences. Prosecutors usually find only a handful of confused voters and some forged absentee ballots after the election. But the numbers are really small. Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to impersonate another voter at the polls.

“Trump still has not retracted his false claim that massive voter fraud in 2016 deprived him of the popular vote win. His own lawyers, however, wrote: ‘All evidence shows the 2016 election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.’

“The issue is not going anywhere. States keeping putting laws on the books that make it harder to vote all in the name of defending against unproven voter fraud. There’s just no evidence of widespread voter fraud. We rate this claim … false.”

The Washington Post reported that Republicans were “sowing skepticism about the electoral process in a state with votes that are too close to call, echoing President Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and suggesting that election officials should jettison the common practice of completing vote counts after Election Day.”

In “Republicans fan unfounded worries about voter fraud in Florid and other close contests,” Beth Reinhard, Sean Sullivan and Amy Gardner of the Post wrote of another theory.

“What appears to be a coordinated Republican strategy to undercut post-election voting counting is also evident in New Mexico,” they wrote.

“These public pronouncements are doing nothing but hyping the hysteria and lessening the credibility of our elections process and, by extension, democracy itself,” a retired election official told the Post.

Before his election, Trump “claimed that 2016 would be ‘rigged,’ but as president, he has dismissed evidence that Russians tried to influence the outcome.”

Trump was asked before the 2016 election if he would accept the results. He said not if they appeared to be rigged. He did not say they would be rigged.

The Post also averred that “use of his bully pulpit” by Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican senatorial candidate, “is provoking appeals that he recuse himself from the vote counting – not only from Nelson but also the Florida League of Women Voters.”

It suggested Scott was just being petty about contesting the continued counting of ballots of unknown origin a week after the election.

“Both Republicans and Democrats have questioned why Scott would allege fraud in an election many expect him to win,” the Post wrote. “Scott was surprised when DeSantis, a Republican former congressman from the Daytona Beach area running for governor, garnered more votes than a two-term governor, said one Republican familiar with the party’s strategy discussions.”

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