On the eve of the final presidential debate, Wednesday’s New York Times went after Donald Trump cover to cover, with attempts to shame the Republican nominee and a cavalier dismissal of his allegations of election rigging as racist and paranoid, though the Times was quite amenable to Democratic conspiracy theories about Bush stealing the 2004 election.
Wednesday’s off-lead story by Trip Gabriel was headlined, “Few Answering Call by Trump To Watch Polls – Fraud Warnings Raise Intimidation Fears.” The text box cried racism: “Increasing worry about intimidation focused on minority communities.”
Warning darkly of a stolen election, Donald J. Trump has called on supporters to turn out in droves on Election Day to monitor polling places, telling them they need to be vigilant against widespread voter fraud and a rigged outcome.
“Voter fraud is all too common, and then they criticize us for saying that,” he said at a rally Tuesday in Colorado Springs. “But take a look at Philadelphia, what’s been going on, take a look at Chicago, take a look at St. Louis. Take a look at some of these cities, where you see things happening that are horrendous.”
His language has stirred increasing fears of intimidation of minorities inside polling places, where their qualifications to vote could be challenged, or outside, where they would face illegal electioneering.
The type of in-person voter fraud Mr. Trump is warning about is extremely rare; one study by a Loyola Law School professor found 31 known cases out of a billion votes cast in United States elections from 2000 to 2014. Moreover, the ability to commit fraud on a scale vast enough to swing a statewide election would require the coordination of scores of people, a possibility widely dismissed by experts.
His call to monitor polling places betrays an ignorance of election laws in most states, which require poll watchers to be registered in the county or precinct where they operate.
Mark Landler and Ashley Parker lovingly quoted President Obama’s condemnation of Trump in “Stop ‘Whining’ and Trying to Discredit the Election, Obama Tells Trump.” (Landler may have discussed this with Obama as he was welcomed as a guest at the State Dinner.)
President Obama ridiculed Donald J. Trump on Tuesday for saying that the presidential election was rigged against him, telling Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, to “stop whining and go try to make his case” to win more votes than Hillary Clinton.
At a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said, “I have never seen in my lifetime, or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place.”
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump did not heed Mr. Obama’s warning. While he did not address the president directly, he repeated his claims of an election stolen through voter fraud — singling out, with no evidence, African-American communities as the likely culprits of the fraud.
There is no evidence, [Obama] said, that a presidential election has ever been rigged. He said there was little indication that it could be, given that elections are run by state and local authorities, with people from both parties supervising polling sites and ballot counting.
The paper’s dismissal of the very idea of vote fraud comes off hypocritical, given how Times reporter Ian Urbina helped keep hope alive for Democratic conspiracists, who claim Bush supporters stole the 2004 election from John Kerry in Ohio, in his August 2006 story "Ohio, Facing Suit, to Delay Destroying Ballots From 2004 Election." The text box: "A group of critics says it has found signs of widespread voting irregularities." The phrase "far-left critics" would have been more accurate, but there wasn’t a single label in Urbina's credulous story.
The hostile labeling in Matthew Rosenberg’s profile of Trump adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn started in the headline: “Ex-General Offers an Angry Voice of Authority.”
General Flynn, 57, took a star turn at the Republican convention in July, and no matter who wins in November, he appears likely to emerge from the campaign as the angry voice of what could best be described as the alternative right of the American national security establishment.
In an election year filled with strange and jarring turns, General Flynn’s entry into politics may be one of the most unusual. He has gone from being one of the most respected military officers of his generation to one of its most openly partisan, loudly inveighing against what he sees as a corrupt Washington elite that has left the United States weak and vulnerable.
No one else on Mr. Trump’s national security team comes with the pedigree of General Flynn, who was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency until 2014, and no one has brought the same level of vitriol.
In “Keys to Debate: Trump’s Brand, Clinton’s Tone and Sexual Harassment,” Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns answered the subhead question: “Will Mrs. Clinton seek to reposition herself?” by suggesting Hillary could conquer some Red state reliables like Arizona and Utah. (And subliminally admitted that Clinton’s a liberal candidate by pondering whether she would “flash some of the centrism she has displayed in private.”)
Now that she is comfortably ahead in blue America and making incursions into conservative redoubts like Arizona and Utah, will Mrs. Clinton flash some of the centrism she has displayed in private?
More attempts to shame the Republican nominee on Wednesday: On the front of the National section, Julie Bosman’s “Teaching Seventh Graders In a Shocking Election Season,” featured a 7th-grade Wisconsin classroom.
Maybe it’s the talk of fat shaming, or adultery, or sexual assault, or bans on Muslims and walls to keep out Mexicans. But Brent Wathke is having a rough time teaching this presidential campaign to his seventh graders.
And legal reporter Charlie Savage got into the nitty-gritty of criminalizing Donald Trump’s sexual misbehavior in “State Laws Address Groping Accusations, but Prosecutions and Lawsuits Are Rare.”