Accuracy in Media

Republican Texas elector Christopher Suprun, who is garnering media attention for his decision to not vote for Donald Trump when electors meet on December 19, was singing a different tune when he contacted me a month ago seeking Accuracy in Media’s assistance in getting the media to correct what he said was false reporting on who he planned to vote for.

Here is the email I received from Suprun on November 10:

Mr. Irvine:

Thank you for your time on the telephone a short while ago.  As I noted I am the Republican Elector for Texas’ 30th Congressional District.  Multiple reports have come out based on an interview I did with Politico in August stating I am considering voting for or considering voting for Hillary Clinton.  They are false.

At that time, I told Politico that I got into the race for Presidential Elector to remind people that 2016 was also the 15th anniversary of September 11 – an event which I responded to – and there were multiple policy issues we should be bringing up in light of the anniversary (immigration, life issues, infrastructure, etc.).  I also said at the time I was intent on supporting the nominee and while I had concerns for how we were running, he was my candidate.  Over the past few days several articles have been written – most without contacting me:

Laura Italiano, New York Post

I did not speak to Ms. Italiano, but told a colleague last night the article was factually false. They published anyway.

http://nypost.com/2016/11/09/the-one-scenario-that-could-still-get-hillary-into-the-white-house

Ryan Teague Beckwith and Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time Magazine

I never spoke to Ms. Edwards prior to publish.  I informed both her and her editor, Mr. Beckwith, the article was false.  No retraction, no correction.

http://time.com/4560682/faithless-electors/

Aaron Blake, Washington Post

Never contacted me – just republished the Politico story

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/07/how-faithless-electors-are-messing-with-our-electoral-maps-explained/

The worst part of this is the original Politico writer has done this before.  Kyle Cheney did the same thing to Ben Carson fabricating part of an article in November of last year.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/06/politico-admits-fabricating-a-hit-piece-on-ben-carson/

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/11/06/politico-edits-ben-carson-hit-piece-drops-claims-of-fabrication/

This is appropriate contact information for me at this email.  I am willing to do media nearly immediately to say this story is wrong and is not only click bait, but it is dangerous.  I am now getting tweets expecting me to vote for Secretary Clinton and there will be disbelief when I do not.  The media is trying to tarnish the Electoral College I think by creating a false illusion there is a chance Trump can still be defeated.  This is false and creates a false hope for something that should be over.  They are in essence saying Mr. Trump will have no honeymoon period.

As a conservative I have worked for good government for years and tried to give the media the benefit of the doubt, but this is now over the top.  As I noted in tweets to Haley Sweetland Edwards this would not pass muster in Ms. Tyree’s 11th grade journalism class when I was on the student newspaper.  It is embarrassing and should be stopped.  A hard race was run, both sides are justifiably tired, but it is now time to go on to the business of governance.  Thanks for your time and interest.  I remain respectfully yours,

In friendship and service,

Christopher Suprun

Just a few days after receiving the email, The New York Post did correct their earlier story. And when Suprun contacted me to get an update I told him that since the Post had made a correction we would not be acting on his original complaint.

I thought that was the end of the story until I saw an op-ed by Suprun in The New York Times on December 5 outlining why he will not vote for Trump.

In that op-ed, Suprun, who in his email to me that the media was tarnishing the Electoral College and creating an illusion that Trump can be defeated, wrote the following:

“The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.”

Why did Suprun change his tune?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he and some other Republican electors are being represented by “social media justice” firm Megaphone Strategies, which was founded by former Obama Green Jobs Czar Van Jones.

From Megaphone Strategies website:

“Megaphone Strategies is a new social justice media strategy firm run for purpose, not profit. We offer cutting edge strategy, training, and media relations services to high-impact social justice organizations and individuals. Our mission is to use PR as a tool to diversify progressive movements—lifting up diverse progressive leadership in the media—and to provide services based on ability to change the world, not ability to pay.

The chances are extremely slim that the outcome of the election will change on December 19, but at least Suprun got his 15 minutes of fame, which seems to have been his goal from the start.

 





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