Rachel Maddow runs us rubes about those very long lines: In fairness, Rachel Maddow covers some perfectly decent topics.
Her play list is limited for our taste, and her political sense is quite weak. But worst of all, she just isn’t overwhelmingly honest.
As part of that problem, she sometimes peddles big piles of bogus facts. Consider what happened on Monday night, which was, after all, April 1.
The state of Virginia had passed a new law requiring more documentation to vote. That was a perfectly worthwhile topic, but Rachel just couldn’t help it.
The darling child started out like this. To watch the full segment, click here:
MADDOW (4/1/13): Epic lines for voting in Florida and Ohio last year were a national scandal when it came to the election.As far as we know, almost everything Maddow said can be defended as technically accurate, if you’re willing to stretch a bit, then self-medicate later on. We will assume that, somewhere in the state of Virginia, someone actually did have to wait seven hours to vote.
But you know what? Virginia was right there with them! Get in line!
The November elections found voters in Virginia standing for three hours, four hours, five hours—seven hours? Seven hour lines to vote in a state that considers itself a cradle of American democracy.
Only four states had longer average wait times than Virginia did in this past election. A survey by the New York Times found that it took twice as long, on average, to cast a ballot in Virginia as it did in Ohio. And in Ohio, it was really bad.
That said, we reviewed the list from the New York Times to which the darling child referred. According to the Times, these were the average wait times for the states she cited:
Average wait time to vote, November 2012 election:Florida was pretty much in a league of its own. But was it “really bad” in Ohio? In fact, the average wait time in the state was just eleven minutes! According to the New York Times, Ohio actually ranked near the middle of the nation on this measure. It had the twenty-first longest average time, if you count D.C.
Florida: 45.0 minutes
District of Columbia: 33.8 minutes
Maryland: 28.8 minutes
South Carolina: 24.8 minutes
Virginia: 23.6 minutes
Ohio: 11.0 minutes
To her credit, Rachel’s statements were sometimes technically accurate. For example, it’s true that “it took twice as long, on average, to cast a ballot in Virginia as it did in Ohio.” But in Virginia, the average wait time was 23.6 minutes. Rachel made it sound like the poor field hands had to wait all day.
Here in Maryland, our average wait time was five minues longer than in Virginia—and we have a Democratic governor and legislature. In Maryland, no one was trying to make minority groups and/or students wait in long lines that day. But you can see how it turned out.
Rachel does this sort of thing quite often. Who knows? Maybe her staff typed up this shit and she didn’t even realize. That said, we’ll offer two objections to this practice:
First, this is exactly what Hannity does. He peddles bullshit to the rubes. This convinces them that they’re pitiable victims. They’re grateful to Sean for his lies!
Our second objection is perhaps more serious. Rachel has played this card ever since November. It substitutes for real reporting about who had to wait how long where.
Rachel constantly shows us video of people standing in very long lines. But she is too lazy, or perhaps too dishonest, to get off her keister and make her staff perform research.
Where did people have to wait in absurdly long lines? Why did it happen in those places? Is some racial pattern visible? This would be valuable information.
Rachel doesn’t waste time with shit like that. She takes the short cut. She plays you!
Sorry, Virginia! Very few residents had to stand in those seven-hour lines! (To quote Rachel, "Seven hours!") That may have been Rachel running us rubes, playing her Sean Card again.