Acting again as a video press release service for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), MSNBC today has repeatedly highlighted the DNC's complaints about new voter ID laws on several programs today.
In the 10 a.m. hour, Jansing & Co. anchor Chris Jansing gave a platform to the DNC's "director of voter protection" Will Crossley to plug he party's new website, protectingthevote.com. The segment was entitled onscreen, "War on Voters?" Jansing failed to bring on either a Republican Party official for a rebuttal nor a state secretary of state to defend voter ID measures.
In the 11 a.m. Eastern hour, anchor Thomas Roberts gave colleague and "civil rights activist" Al Sharpton air time to blast voter ID laws. Anchor Alex Wagner also devoted a segment to bashing voter ID laws in her 12 p.m. Eastern Now with Alex Wagner program.
Roberts misleadingly described the voter ID laws as "tighten qualifications for voters" when in fact they do no such thing, merely requiring those who have the right to vote to establish their identity at the polling place.
"Is voter ID laws -- and I know the right is trying to frame this in the fact that they're trying to help avoid voter fraud in this country -- What's the deeper look that we're supposed to be figuring out here?" Thomas prompted Sharpton as he opened the interview segment.
Unlike Jansing or Roberts, Wagner did have a conservative panelist on her program who defended voter ID laws, but he was outnumbered by panelists who blasted them as unnecessary measures that could "disenfranchise" five million voters, mostly minorities and senior citizens.
"Should people have to show anything?" when they show up to vote to verify their identity, Daily Caller's Matt K. Lewis posed to host Alex Wagner. Neither Wagner nor any of the other liberal panelists answered Lewis's question, although Wagner conspiratorially noted, "It's not just coincidence that all the states that enacted voter ID laws this year were held by Republican governors."
Even there, however, Wagner is incorrect as Rhode Island, governed by liberal ex-Republican Lincoln Chafee passed a law that gradually goes into full effect over the next three years. What's more, Mississippi's new strict voter ID law was overwhelmingly approved in a state ballot initiative.
All the attention to the issue this morning and afternoon is apparently an appetizer for Al Sharpton's week-long focus on the issue on his Politics Nation program:
WAGNER: A programming note: "Block the Vote," a series airing all this week on Politics Nation with the Rev. Al Sharpton. It will investigate new voting laws around the country. You can catch that right here on MSNBC at 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Previously MSNBC has featured partisans who insisted that voter ID laws will amount to "electoral genocide." MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir has also dismissed the voter ID laws as "voter restriction laws."