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Salon dreams up forged petition signature narrative

Salon reports in a new piece that claims of forged petition signatures for gubernatorial candidates are extensive evidence of fraud and forgery, rather than calling them what they are: part of the normal shouting match that is politics in the raw.

Claims of forged signatures on such candidate petitions to be allowed to run for office are actually the bread and butter of this level of politics, this season in the political cycle. We can show this to be true as well.

So, Salon [1]:

“Extensive evidence of fraud and forgery”: Michigan Dems say GOP submitted fake signatures. Challenges seeking to disqualify Republicans allege they submitted names of dead people and unwitting non-voters”

Doesn’t that sound terrible? Except this really is standard behavior. No, not the dead folks voting (that’s Chicago) but the claims of false signatures. As we say, we can even show this. Here are the rules:

…a partisan nominating petition bearing a minimum of 15,000 valid signatures no later than 4:00 p.m. on May 11, 2010. Up to 30,000 signatures can be filed to cover the minimum signature requirement.

Well, why would they allow you to send in twice the number of signatures you need?

Michigan law allows [2] candidates to file up to 30,000 signatures — twice the required amount — and most typically aim for that mark to create a cushion in the event the validity of any signatures is challenged by a competing candidate or another interested individual.

Oh. So challenges – we might even say claims of false signatures, those of dead people – are entirely normal in Michigan primary petitions then.

That is, a claim of fraud and forgery isn’t quite news, it’s par for the course. But Salon runs with that headline and – of course, given Salon’s views – backs the Democrat claim that the Republicans have done this. When, in fact, it’s the claim that is the normality.

Salon is listed as the No. 64 site in the “law and government” section of the media. It’s very much higher up that list in purely progressive circles, very much more important in that crowd. It gains some 9 million visits a month from that position.

We simply wouldn’t see Salon headlining an R claim that the Ds had been indulging in the same behavior – which is an obvious indication of bias. Bias can come in which stories to cover, not just in how each one is told.