Does MSNBC hype the bogeyman of racist "voter suppression" in a cynical ploy to alarm its liberal voter base? Only on days that end in "y."
Once again, network anchor Andrea Mitchell discarded any pretense of journalistic objective and played a game of softball with a liberal activist today, helping the Urban League's Marc Morial to denounce "voter suppression" laws -- that is voter ID laws -- that have passed in numerous states in recent years.
African-American voters "turned out overwhelmingly to vote for Barack Obama in 2008," but "are they going to be as enthusiastic this time around?" worried Andrea Mitchell as she introduced viewers of her 1 p.m. Eastern Andrea Mitchell Reports program to Marc Morial of the Urban League, who discussed his group's new study that warns that black voters may not show up in quite the numbers they did in 2008 when Obama first ran for president.
"A number of factors could cause people to stay home," including the fact that "African-Americans have been disproportionately hurt by crippling unemployment in the past four years," Mitchell insisted.
Of course, Mitchell failed to press Morial on the president's handling of the economy at-large and the black unemployment figure specifically.
Additionally, "voter ID laws in some states, 29 states in fact, could lead to the suppression of the minority vote," Mitchell claimed as she introduced Morial, using the term "voter suppression," without any qualifier to warn the viewer at home that it was a partisan talking point.
But in truth, voter ID laws are sensible bulwarks against voter fraud and are approved widely by the electorate.
In April, a national poll showed that "73 percent of the voting public says that these laws are not discriminatory," reported Commentary magazine. More recently, a poll of voters in the key swing state of Florida -- which has had a voter ID law on the book for 10 years -- showed a whopping 82 percent of Sunshine State voters favor requiring identification at the polling place.
So folks who have had voter ID laws on the books for years approve of them by a large margin. They make sense. What's more, polling has shown that even significant numbers of Democrats back voter ID laws.
But why let facts get in the way of a little race-baiting and fear-mongering?