News versus Opinion

Opinion by Jay Douglas

This morning (12/17/2020), The Advocate ran a portion of a story from the Associated Press on its page 3. That's a news page, not an opinion page. The headline in The Advocate is “Senate hearing reiterates baseless election fraud claims.” I can't find the story on The Advocate’s Web site, but you can read it at the AP site. The Advocate ran only the first several paragraphs, which I present below with some yellow highlights added by me:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators on Wednesday further perpetuated President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, two days after Democrat Joe Biden’s victory was sealed by the Electoral College.

Lawmakers bickered heatedly at times during a committee hearing as Democrats pushed back against the unfounded allegations and a former federal cybersecurity official who oversaw election security said continued attempts to undermine confidence in the process were corrosive to democracy.

The session, held by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee over Democratic protests, elevated the groundless claims of fraud to the highest levels of government and provided two of Trump’s lawyers with one more public opportunity to make the false assertions after repeatedly losing in court.

The hearing mimicked those held in some battleground states with local lawmakers, where Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani led some Republicans in airing their election grievances without any proof. Those hearings were held after consistent legal defeats.

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the committee chairman and one of Trump’s fiercest defenders, said his goal was to have a bipartisan hearing to examine the election. But he repeated Trump’s assertions without evidence and focused heavily on the claims being made by the president’s team.

There was no testimony from state or local election officials who conducted extensive checks to ensure the accuracy of the election before certifying the results. Those officials have said there was no indication of any widespread fraud.

Democrats did solicit the testimony of Christopher Krebs, who led the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency until he was fired by Trump in a Nov. 17 tweet. Under Krebs, the agency operated a “rumor control” webpage that debunked some of the conspiracy theories being perpetuated by Trump and his allies.

Does this sound like a news report, or an opinion page piece written by a pair of Democrats? Without the yellow-highlighted words and phrases, it might qualify as a news report; but with them, it certainly does not. Ironically, the authors of this article use the yellow-highlighted words without evidence of their own. There is no evidence that there is no evidence of vote fraud.

I'll leave the claims of fired and disgruntled Christopher Krebs, former leader of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for another day. The Associated Press report of his testimony at the hearing was fairly accurate, save for the allusion to Trump's claims as “conspiracy theories.” Gravity is a theory, yet very real. And I suspect these two AP reporters, Christina A. Cassidy and Mary Clare Jalonick, think a theory is debunked as soon as someone with whom they agree says it’s debunked.

By now, most of us have seen a tiny bit of the evidence of vote fraud in the 2020 election: the hundreds of eye-witness affidavits attesting to it, the many videos showing it, and more. For the most part, courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court have not opined on the evidence. Instead, they have invoked laches, standing, and other means to avoid having to look at the evidence, and certainly to avoid having to invoke a remedy. To say there is no evidence is, to be blunt, a lie.

In my stretch as the midday jock at WIXO in the early 70's, I had to perform a couple of short "rip-and-read" newscasts during each show as I played the hits of the day. It was the Nixon Watergate era, not to mention the Edwin Edwards era. There were plenty of crooked politicians to go around. The news I ripped and read came from an Associated Press teletype machine which sat noisily in the hallway just outside the control room studio. Never once did I consider that I might be reading opinions rather than factual reports of news. Things are different now.

If you miss actual investigative journalism, a good start on the election truth (in my opinion) is at The Epoch Times.

© 2024 - J. Douglas,