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Trump Campaign Caught In Blatant Lie About Media Reporting On Elections

Donald Trump has sown distrust in the election process, news reporting, and now, in particular, his campaign is targeting the reporting of the election process.

[Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

While each state has some rules and methods of its own, by and large the method during elections is this: counties report their ballot counts to state elections officials, and the media reports the numbers gradually as they trickle in. On election night, or sometime soon thereafter, the media will project a winner based on the counts. This can happen before all ballots are counted, if, for instance, it’s clear that one candidate couldn’t get enough votes in the remaining ballots to win. At a later date, votes are certified by the states, electors are selected based on the vote totals, and those electors then cast votes for the President of the United States. The full process state-by-state is available at the National Conference of State Legislatures official site, here.

Since votes aren’t certified until days or weeks after election day, until then, it’s new media that projects the new President of the United States.

Thus, when Trump demands to know the results immediately after the polls close, the only results available at that point are media projections.

Still, his campaign continues to sow discord and misinformation, and Tim Murtaugh, his Director of Communications, followed the announcement by major news sources of a Biden win by sharing a falsified newspaper front page apparently from 2000, showing Al Gore as the winner.

[Screenshot via Tim Murtaugh/Twitter]

However, social media detectives, news reporters, and fact-checkers quickly dove in and pointed out the discrepancy. The page was fake. In fact, zooming in on the story in the paper showed that it contradicted the fake headline.

As you can see, the real headline, which credited Florida with pushing “Texan” to victory, and declaring President Bush, was altered to suggest that the Washington Times wrongly or prematurely declared an Al Gore victory.

Though the Bush-Gore election has been compared to this one, due to contested results and a recount dispute that made it to the Supreme Court, the implied parallel — that the wrong party was initially declared a winner prematurely by the media and later corrected by the courts, and that Trump’s presidency will be restored by the same means — is not based in fact.



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