Washington Post Greg Sargent's innaccurate and biased report on military voting

Once upon a time you could count on the Washington Post to be accurate, even if everyone knew they were biased.   Greg Sargent of the Washington Post proves today that is no longer true.  For his latest piece has both bias and inaccuracy.  Mr. Sargent’s lack of accuracy demonstrates why the Post doesn’t have a rosy future – bias and inaccuracy are the death knell of dead-trees journalism.  The cost structure doesn’t have enough of a market that enjoys both bias and inaccuracy in their product.

For starters, he reports that no states have applied for waivers from military voting protections for the November 2010 election.  One can’t help but wonder whether he is parroting an inaccurate DOJ spin, whether he making this up on his own, or whether he is parroting a DOJ spin and never bothered to check his facts.  Of course if he read Election Law Center he would know that five states (now at least six with the addition today of Colorado) have applied for waivers from the new MOVE Act. 

He might actually read the
Fox news story he cites and read the quote from the Pentagon spokeswoman:  

Defense Department spokeswoman Major April Cunningham told FoxNews.com that New York, Delaware, Maryland, Alaska and Virgin Islands had also applied for waivers. (Cornyn's co-sponsor for the MOVE Act was New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat.)

"All waivers are currently under review. The Defense Department must respond, under the law, after consultation with the Department of Justice, no later than 65 days before the election, which is August 29, 2010," said Robert Carey, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Or Mr. Sargent might look
here or here  or here  or here .  Frankly, his failure to do the most basic research on the issue is astonishing.

Sargent also can’t help making this about me or the Black Panthers or something other than the failure of DOJ to aggressively protect military voters.  (See for example the belated updating of their website until attention was cast on their inactivity.)  He also inaccurately asserts: these claims are "based largely on claims made by former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams."  Wrong again Mr. Sargent.  My article on Pajamas Media did not come out until 4 days after Eric Eversole of the Military Voting Protection Project and the Washington Times had similar articles.   It might be tempting to blame me for the sudden Senatorial scrutiny of the issue, but it isn't accurate.  It's interesting how Mr. Sargent fails entirely to note that 17,000 votes were tossed from military and overseas voters in the 2008 election because the ballots were not sent in time.  I suppose defending DOJ is a higher priority than military voters to Mr. Sargent.

One suspects Mr. Sargent’s glee in attacking me and reporting inaccurate facts is because his own ombudsman scolded the reporters  for ignoring an important story relating to voting.  Since that ombudsman scolding, the Post reporters, never a fan of being told they messed up, have made it perfectly obvious where their biases lie. The bottom line is that DOJ dropped the ball in 2008 and 17,000 votes were trashed. 

A bureaucrat’s first instinct is to deny that anything is wrong.  It’s a shame, because there are states which could be sued right now because their state laws don’t permit compliance with MOVE, but they aren’t being sued.  If Senator Cornyn ever gets that state by state breakdown, I wonder what it will show for Alabama.  I and other experts on this issue will be watching closely over the next few weeks at what DOJ does, or doesn’t do, regarding military voters.


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