Accuracy in Media

NBC News published a one-sided article about mail-in ballot voting and only cited the concerns of a prominent widow of a coronavirus victim and advocates for absentee voting.

The outlet headlined the story, “Wife of COVID-19 victim John Prine pleads for more mail voting. State panel spikes plan.”

Fiona Whelan Prine, the widow of singer and songwriter John Prine, told Tennessee state senators that she believed absentee voting would be safer than in-person voting. John Prine died of coronavirus, and his widow told state lawmakers that absentee voting “is a serious health issue.”

NBC News went into detail about Whelan Prine’s coronavirus experience, which involved recovering from the coronavirus while finding out that her husband’s condition worsened as time went on.

The article emphasized the widow’s experience while leaving out important contextual details about election integrity concerns about mass absentee voting. The news outlet noted that Tennessee did have a dozen categories for voters to qualify for an absentee ballot, but a pandemic is not one of the exemption categories.

There was no mention of potential ballot fraud nor any acknowledgment about the potential lack of verification about the ballot’s accuracy. Also, Tennessee is not a mail-in voting state and will most likely not have the capacity to conduct fair and accurate absentee voting. NBC News omitted several examples of absentee ballot issues, such as a company mistakenly sending South Carolina ballots to Maryland residents.

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