News travels slowly into the Kansas City metropolitan area — or at least into the newsroom at the Kansas City Star.
On Friday, the paper's Dave Helling produced a 950-word writeup on Monday's Electoral College voting. With all of the widely published news about Republican electors receiving death threats, all Helling had to report was a rumor: "One spouse of a Missouri elector claimed to know of death threats to electors in other parts of the country." The folks at the Star really need to check the reliability of their Internet connections.
The headline at Helling's story indefensibly indulged those who are attempting to engineer what a Wall Street Journal editorial described as "An Electoral College Coup," describing leftists' attempts to change Trump electors' minds only as "pleas" (bolds are mine):
As Electoral College vote approaches, GOP electors are deluged with pleas to bolt from Trump
... because Missouri electors aren’t required to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote, thousands of Americans have contacted (Trump Elector Casey) Crawford and his Missouri colleagues in recent days to try to persuade them to support someone else: Hillary Clinton, a different Republican, maybe to not cast a ballot at all.
It hasn’t worked, at least so far. Missouri’s 10 electors — and the six in Kansas, who are also unbound by law — appear solidly committed to supporting Trump. The Republican easily won the popular vote in both states.
... for the second time in 16 years, the winner of the national popular vote is projected to get fewer electoral votes than the second-place finisher. The split has touched off a furious backlash from Democrats, and a small handful of Republicans and independents, who call the Electoral College undemocratic.
They’ve posted the names, email addresses and phone numbers of unbound electors on websites, urging like-minded voters to reach out before Monday. That’s why electors report a deluge of emails and phone calls.
We're eleven paragraphs in, and all readers have learned from Dave Helling is that there's a "furious backlash" of "emails and phone calls."
Continuing, with Paragraph 16:
Opposition to Trump electors has turned ugly in some places, with harassment of electors reported. One spouse of a Missouri elector claimed to know of death threats to electors in other parts of the country. Protests are planned in all 50 states Monday, when electors gather to cast their ballots.
That's it. The only info Helling had on threats of violence to electors comes from an unnamed spouse of an elector who only "claimed to know of death threats" to other electors in other unnamed states.
This will apparently come as a surprise to Helling and his editors, but dozens of news accounts of death threats reported by actual electors began appearing barely a week after Election Day. A Google News search on stories containing mentions of "death threats" (in quotes), the "electoral college" (in quotes) and "electors," done at 11 a.m. on Monday, returned 194 items in the past month — and that tightly defined search surely missed many others.
Electors in at least the following states have reported receiving death threats: Michigan (the link is to a Detroit News story whose reporter verified the existence of an emailed death threat), Arizona, Texas, and Ohio. While a few brave electors have decided to publicly reveal their receipt of death threats, it's reasonable to believe that many others are trying to avoid the glare of publicity. State officials in at least Georgia and Idaho have issued civility warnings to those attempting to communicate with electors. Pennsylvania electors voting on Monday are under police protection.
Two KC Star commenters had perfect reactions to Helling's whitewash:
"'Deluged with pleas...'??? More like deluged with death threats."
"It's interesting that the same people who mocked Trump for not accepting the election results are the same people who aren't accepting the election results."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.