AP Coverage: Only Spin Deep?

January 4, 2022

The Associated Press doesn't have an editorial section -- but they might want to add one, considering the radical opinions that they're masquerading as news. The latest example, an outrageous feature on state election reform by Nicholas Riccardo, was so nauseatingly partisan that it read like an internal strategy document from the DNC. The GOP's push for voter integrity, the reporter insists, isn't an effort to save democracy -- it's a plot to subvert it. And January 6th, he wants readers to believe, was just the beginning.

For the far-Left, it's a date that keeps on giving. The riot at the U.S. Capitol -- a year ago this week -- has provided all the ammunition the media needs to smear anyone working to erase the doubts about the fairness of U.S. elections. In the 12 months since that unruly mob, Democrats have rushed to paint every conservative trying to safeguard elections with the broad brush of treason. "They're laying the groundwork," former Democratic operative Mark Brewer claims in the AP piece, "for a slow-motion insurrection." How? By trying to ensure that everyone's vote is sacred?

It's a ludicrous claim -- and yet the AP, in one of the greatest affronts to journalism, is passing it off as fact. To suggest that people who are changing the laws -- or using the process to reinforce the laws that already exist -- are trying to overthrow the government isn't just biased reporting, it's dangerous reporting. Taking the earnest efforts of citizens and wrapping them in a loaded term like "insurrection" is like the AP taking a pitchfork to democracy.

The Heritage Foundation's Hans von Spakovsky was so astonished by the suggestion that he wondered if he was reading the Babylon Bee. "I couldn't believe it," he said on "Washington Watch." This isn't a serious article, Von Spakovsky went on. "It shows that the AP is no longer really a newsgathering organization. It's as bad as MSNBC."

The real travesty, von Spakovsky argued, is that the Left has been undermining U.S. elections for years -- and no one in the legacy media has bothered to cover it. Just look at what Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are doing right now with the so-called For the People Act. If you want to talk about a partisan power grab, one that topples two centuries of fair and honest elections in this country, look there. In reality, the Left has been quietly chipping away at voting integrity for years -- systematically rewriting election rules to make it easier to cheat with things like ballot harvesting, mail-in voting, third-party election funding, and so much more. And yet the AP would have you believe that it's Republicans -- not these Leftists -- who are the "anti-Democratic force."

Just consider what the states are actually doing, Hans urges. In places like Georgia, Florida, Texas, and elsewhere, they're adding common-sense requirements like voter ID. "How in the world is that an insurrection?" von Spakovsky wanted to know. "That's something that benefits all voters -- no matter which political party they support... And [there are] attempts to clean up voter rolls, for example, to make sure that it's only citizens who are registered. To say that that's 'an insurrection,' has got to be one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. And yet this is written as a serious article by the AP."

Of course, what most Americans understand (and the media will continue to ignore) is that state leaders wouldn't be demanding this legislation if there wasn't a real problem. What 2020 taught us is that there are major vulnerabilities in our election system -- many of which were exploited, thanks to COVID. And anyone who doubts that these issues exist can check out Heritage's new election integrity scorecard and read the detailed ratings of every state. "[We look at it] from the standpoint of do they protect security and integrity? And you'll find, boy, there [are] a lot of states around the country that have serious problems in their election systems."

A lot of these legislators, von Spakovsky pointed out, are so distressed by the state of affairs that they're putting their own careers on the line to change them. They've sponsored election reform bills and suffered tremendous personal and professional consequences for the effort. "But that shows you the problems that [exist] -- and particularly, the way the media is now simply repeating liberal talking points whenever it comes to the election integrity issue."

There's a lot at stake here -- and both sides know it. Why would the Left come at engaged citizens with both barrels if they weren't afraid that everything they've been working toward -- relaxing the rules and corrupting the process -- is in jeopardy? The American people are determined, as are local legislatures, to fix these loopholes. That's why the Democrats are desperately trying to preempt these states and take this debate to the federal level. And while we're grateful for the work of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other senators who've stood strong, Americans aren't out of the woods on this one.

That's why all of us need to take the time to see how our states stack up -- and push for action where it's needed. Right now, as legislatures are getting ready to open their 2022 sessions, there's still some clean-up that needs to be done -- especially as we move into the midterm elections. One key state, Pennsylvania, is gearing up to take a second crack at election reform after their radical governor, Democrat Tom Wolf, vetoed the changes their state leaders had passed (later admitting that he hadn't even read the bill!). As these efforts get underway all across the country, we need everyone to contact their legislators. Even if your state has good strong laws, there's plenty to do on the federal level to stop the Left's Stick-It-to-The-People Act. Contact your senators and representatives and ask them: Why do you want to put in a federal law that would take away the people's power to set election rules?

The bottom line is this -- don't be influenced by what the legacy media is saying, and just as importantly, don't back down. The Left wants to scare people away from action by using terms like "insurrection," making you feel like you're a criminal for exercising your constitutional rights. Don't let them. This is our country, and we have to stand for it. And that means fighting for the truth and transparency of every person's vote.