In an hour-long CNN special entitled Donald Trump’s Conspiracy Theories, host and serial plagiarist Fareed Zakaria dabbled conspiracies himself by pushing the idea of orchestrated and widespread voter suppression. Zakaria used claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election as an excuse to dismiss the “voter fraud conspiracy theory.”
According to Zakaria, “voter fraud is virtually nonexistent because it doesn’t make sense for people to risk it. It’s unlikely to swing an election and penalties are severe.”
Leaving the debate about voter fraud aside, Zakaria proceeded to dabble in the conspiracy theory alleging voter suppression. The CNN host painted a picture of a sinister agenda by Republicans to begin “spinning tales of widespread voter fraud” because “there was growing concern in the party about the nation’s demographics,” namely that “more people of color, who traditionally voted Democrat, were going to the polls.”
At this point, one of Zakaria’s guests, Professor Russell Muirhead, accused “certain Republican elites” of believing “that the Republican Party had an interest in depressing turnout and that’s when they invented the fiction of voter fraud.” It became clear that the rest of the segment would peddle the conspiracy that requiring voter IDs was a form of voter suppression.
Of course, Zuckerville doesn't want to acknowledge the argument from conservatives that one needs an ID to accomplish anything from boarding an airplane to buying Sudafed to driving.
After complaining that “some in the party used the myth of rampant voter fraud…to justify new voting restrictions…that made it harder for black Americans to vote,” Zakaria called the push for voter IDs a “shameful echo” of “the Jim Crow south.” The CNN host argued that “these measures had a real impact,” making the case that Trump would not have won the 2016 presidential election without voter suppression.
He specifically pointed to Wisconsin, where “Trump won the state by less than 23,000 ballots.” Zakaria contended that the President’s victory there was attributable to the fact that “tens of thousands of people were deterred from voting in Wisconsin because of that state’s voter ID law,” therefore, “black voter turnout plummeted.”
One of his guests proclaimed that “voter fraud doesn’t change an election result, voter suppression does” but Zakaria and other leftist fail to acknowledge that in spite of alleged “voter suppression” in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election (which Democrat Stacey Abrams still had refused to concede defeat), minority turnout surged.
Zakaria concluded by accusing Trump of “doubling down on his ballot box conspiracy theories in 2020.” He also spoke about “growing fear that Trump’s disinformation campaign will cast doubt on the outcome of the election.”
Once again, a member of the liberal media engaged in a classic case of projection. While Zakaria wanted people to think that it’s the President who “will cast doubt on the outcome of the election,” his choice to peddle in the conspiracy theory about voter suppression proved that it’s actually the media who is determined to “cast doubt on the outcome of the election” seeing as how they won't admit they lost in 2016.
A transcript of the relevant portion of the CNN Special Report: Donald Trump’s Conspiracy Theories is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CNN Special Report: Donald Trump’s Conspiracy Theories07/24/20
FAREED ZAKARIA: A few days after the 2016 election…
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, I just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with President-elect Trump.
ZAKARIA: …an obscure right-wing operative named Greg Phillips tweeted a bombshell, “Number of non-citizen votes exceeds 3 million.”
CHRIS CUOMO: Can you prove right now, that three million people voted illegally?
GREG PHILLIPS: Yes.
FAREED ZAKARIA: But Phillips, a voter fraud watchdog, was cagey about showing any evidence.
CUOMO: Do you have the proof?
CUOMO: Will you provide it?
CUOMO: Can I have it?
PHILLIPS: We’re going to release everything to the public.
PHILLIPS: As soon as we get done with the checks.
PHILLIPS: The challenge…
CUOMO: Hold on, so, so you’re not done checking it yet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Questions about a possible recount…
ZAKARIA: In fact, when Phillips made his outrageous claim…
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Recount votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin…
ZAKARIA: …states had not even certified their election results.
PHILLIPS: We’re not going to make a mistake.
CUOMO: But that’s on you.
PHILLIPS: We’re going to do this. We’re doing it.
CUOMO: But you already accused them.
PHILLIPS: Look, I’m not a politician. I’m just a guy.
ALEX JONES: Millions of dead people voting, millions of illegals voting.
ZAKARIA: Then, Alex Jones, the notorious conspiracy theorist who said the U.S. government staged 9/11, picked up the story.
JONES: Donald J. Trump didn’t just win the Electoral College; he also clearly won the popular vote.
ZAKARIA: And after that story ran, President-elect Trump tweeted for the first time that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Greg Phillips still won’t show us any evidence.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Illegal immigrants voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.
ZAKARIA: Just like that…
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We don’t want noncitizen voters.
ZAKARIA: …a voter fraud conspiracy theory was born.
PROFESSOR CAROL ANDERSON: Voter fraud, voter fraud, here’s the evidence. It’s a lie.
ZAKARIA: Trump has made an astounding number of completely unsubstantiated voter fraud claims over the years. As early as the 2012 election, he tweeted that President Obama’s win was a “total sham.”
SENATOR TED CRUZ: God bless the great state of Iowa.
ZAKARIA: In the 2016 primaries, he accused Ted Cruz of stealing Iowa and Marco Rubio of rigging Florida.
TRUMP: New Hampshire was taken away.
ZAKARIA: He said there were busloads of out-of-state voters who stole the state of New Hampshire.
TRUMP: People that have died ten years ago are still voting.
ZAKARIA: Nearly two million dead people voting for Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: Tens of millions mail-in ballots.
ZAKARIA: And in 2020…
TRUMP: Will they be forged?
ZAKARIA: …According to our President…
TRUMP: Will they be stolen from mailboxes?
ZAKARIA: Mail-in ballots will be riddled with fraud.
TRUMP: Will they be taken from the mailmen and the mailwomen?
ANDERSON: It’s based on a lie. It’s a big, magical trick but it’s lethal to American democracy.
ZAKARIA: Voter fraud has been investigated ad nauseam by academics and governments, Republicans and Democrats. Proven cases are less common than someone being struck by lightning.
ANDERSON: From 2000 to 2014, in one billion votes cast, there were 31 cases of voter impersonation fraud. That’s not massive, that’s not rampant.
ZAKARIA: Voter fraud is virtually nonexistent because it doesn’t make sense for people to risk it. It’s unlikely to swing an election and the penalties are severe.
PROFESSOR RICHARD L. HASEN: Voter fraud is a felony. So, that’s a big disincentive.
TRUMP: They even want to try to rig the election.
ZAKARIA: But thanks to Trump’s constant repetition…
TRUMP: The system was rigged. That election’s going to be rigged. First of all, it’s rigged.
ZAKARIA: …the voter fraud lie has become the truth for many Americans.
ZAKARIA: In one poll, nearly half said that voter fraud occurred often. Among Trump supporters, over two-thirds said it happened a lot.
ANDERSON: The beauty of a lie is if you say it over and over and with conviction, it sounds like the truth.
TRUMP: We have to protect the integrity of the vote and our voters.
ZAKARIA: Trump doubled down on his conspiracy theories when he formed a presidential commission to investigate voter fraud.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Criticized as a misguided effort to prove the unprovable.
ZAKARIA: After a few months of bureaucratic blundering…
ANDERSON COOPER: One senior White House adviser telling CNN “it was a “poop show.” They used a different word.
ZAKARIA: It ended in disgrace.
ANDERSON: In that commission’s report, when you get to the section marked voter fraud, the pages are blank.
ZAKARIA: But the voter fraud lie lives on.
TRUMP: We’re not going to lose. The only way we can lose is if cheating goes on.
ZAKARIA: Voter fraud conspiracy theories have been around long before Donald Trump.
THOR HEARNE: Vote fraud threatens the very integrity of our process.
ZAKARIA: In the 2000s, some Republicans began spinning tales of widespread voter fraud.
KARL ROVE: There are many ways to jimmy the system.
ZAKARIA: There was growing concern in the party about the nation’s demographics.
OBAMA: This is your victory!
ZAKARIA: That more people of color, who traditionally voted Democrat, were going to the polls.
PROFESSOR RUSSELL MUIRHEAD: Certain Republican elites came to believe that the Republican Party had an interest in depressing turnout and that’s when they invented the fiction of voter fraud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Requiring people to show photo I.D. In order to vote.
ZAKARIA: Some in the party used the myth of rampant voter fraud…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pushing more voters out of the ballot box.
ZAKARIA: …to justify new voting restrictions…
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think it’s terrible. Because there’s so many people that don’t have I.D., and they’re not going to be able to vote.
ZAKARIA: …that made it harder for black Americans to vote.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: We are ready to March on ballot boxes.
ZAKARIA: A shameful echo…
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are ordered to disperse.
ZAKARIA: …of the Jim Crow south.
WOLF BLITZER: We’re taking a very close look at Wisconsin right now.
ZAKARIA: In 2016, these measures had a real impact.
BLITZER: Donald Trump continues to maintain his lead of about 90,000 votes.
ZAKARIA: Tens of thousands of people were deterred from voting in Wisconsin because of that state’s I.D. Law.
JOHN KING: The question then is, are there other Democratic votes out there somewhere? It’s just not enough.
ZAKARIA: And black voter turnout plummeted.
BLITZER: CNN now projects that Donald Trump will carry the state of Wisconsin.
ZAKARIA: Trump won the state by less than 23,000 ballots.
ANDERSON: Voter fraud doesn’t change an election result. Voter suppression does.
TRUMP: Millions and millions of ballots.
ZAKARIA: Trump’s doubling down on his ballot box conspiracy theories in 2020.
TRUMP: Will they be counterfeited by groups inside our nation?
ZAKARIA: From rigged mail-in ballots…
TRUMP: Will they be counterfeited by the millions by foreign powers?
ZAKARIA: …to votes being air-mailed from China.
ZAKARIA: There’s growing fear that Trump’s disinformation campaign will cast doubt on the outcome of the election. Democrats and Republicans are gaming out worst-case scenarios.
JOE BIDEN: This President’s going to try to steal this election.
TRUMP: This will be, in my opinion, the most corrupt election in the history of our country.