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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
NewsBusters Misinformation Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

In the midst of a freakout over Salon suggesting that George Wallace was a Republican, P.J. Gladnick goes on a misinformation spree in a Sept. 12 NewsBusters post. In whining that a Salon article on Republican voter suppression "is chock full of blatant attempts to rewrite history," Gladnick engages in his own revisionism.

Gladnick complains that Salon references "the myth of the 'stolen' Florida 2000 election , citing a CNN report that "Bush's margin would have tripled if the 'undercounted' ballots had been checked as Gore wanted." In fact, a news consortium that reviewed all presidential ballots in the 2000 election in Florida found that "Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to 'count all the votes.'"

Gladnick then has a fit over Salon's claimthat "the parties switched places over civil rights," citing a random guy at an obscure history bulletin board to claim that "With only one exception [Strom Thurmond], all of the Democrat segregationists remained Democrats when that [civil rights] era ended."

But that's miseading -- because the Southern shift from Democrat to Republican didn't happen immediately doesn't mean that there was never a shift. Jody Seaborn points out

The party shift was underway. It was multilayered and would take decades to complete, but Johnson was right. The South was a conservative stronghold in 1964. It remains so. What has changed over the past 50 years is the region that was once solidly Democratic, with only a handful of Republican representatives and senators scattered here and there, is now solidly Republican. And the passage of the Civil Rights Act is a big reason why.

Jamelle Bouie wrote at the American Prospect:

White Southerners jumped ship from Democratic presidential candidates in the 1960s, and this was followed by a similar shift on the congressional level, and eventually, the state legislative level. That the former two took time doesn’t discount the first.

Gladnick also complained that Salon cited an alleged voter fraud complaint in Georgia but "very conveniently did not mention that Kemp's investigation was initiated by complaints at the local county level by election officials of registration irregularities." But Gladnick conveniently didn't mention that the group conducting the voter registration drive at the heart of the complaint, by state law, must turn in all voter registration forms even if they are incomplete. The Washington Post also reported that the group "reached out to the secretary of state’s office proactively in June to ensure they complied with state law."

If Gladnick couldn't manufacture the kind of outrage he cobbled together for his post, would he still be a NewsBusters blogger?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT

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