Accuracy in Media

The Democratic National Committee held several primary elections this week despite warnings from federal public health authorities to limit public gatherings as much as possible.

But the mainstream media did not criticize the DNC or its chairperson, Tom Perez, for going through with the primaries in the face of public health warnings.

NBC News was one of the mainstream media outlets which did not criticize Perez and the DNC. In its write-up, NBC News said that after this week’s primaries, the DNC emphasized it does not want to postpone or reschedule upcoming primaries and recommended vote-by-mail options for voters.

But nothing was said about why the DNC did not postpone this week’s primaries in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland and Florida.

Ohio’s primary was canceled when Gov. Mike DeWine made the decision to not put Ohioans at risk by making them decide between voting and their health. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan did the same for his state’s primaries and postponed it. The DNC said that it respects the governors’ decisions to postpone their state primaries and would defer to governors on whether to hold primaries during the coronavirus shutdown.

The DNC said that states should not bring “our democratic process to a halt” by postponing primaries indefinitely and recommended vote-by-mail options for the remaining primaries. The DNC also noted that it will be flexible for states due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Yet the media did not criticize the DNC for failing to cancel or postpone this week’s primaries, which potentially put voters’ health at risk. Federal authorities encouraged “social distancing,” or remaining several feet away from other people in public and to limit time spent in public, but the DNC went ahead despite the warnings.

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