Media hysteria means Arizona election audit may be on to something

While an uncertain public awaits  results from the Arizona election audit, the immediate major media outcry, prematurely denouncing it, should be viewed as the audit's hitting a major media nerve.  The media's reaction vividly demonstrates their fear of a searching re-examination of the election purity they have so arrogantly and unwaveringly proclaimed.

After all, if this election were as well run as touted (with the customary admission to the mere occasional and inevitable, but insignificant, error), then the Biden-centric media should be cheerleading the effort.  Shouldn't the audit, to use a favored media word, be anticipated to "debunk" the claims of widespread irregularities?

The media have drawn great succor from numerous court cases turning down challenges to the 2020 election results.  However, these claims raised issues not properly cognizable by our judicial system.  Ordering a recount is one thing; relitigating a multimillion-vote election is quite another.  It looks tremendously suspicious that, after Republican poll-watchers were banished, massive blocs of Detroit votes were introduced in the early morning, with 95% Biden selection.  But what exactly is a smart person in black robes supposed to do with this tableau?  Overturn the election without taking evidence?  Convene a three-month trial with numerous witnesses and experts, while Biden and Trump cool their heels?  A wise court should toss the case, as each reviewing jurist did.  But this rejection should not be seen as validating the election process, as the major media did.

The election process itself, not the judicial system, is supposed to be administered so as to provide the public with confidence in the announced tallies.  For this reason, the only widely recognized judicial remedy, as in Bush v. Gore, is an order to recount, which brings the process back to its proper venue: the election centers.  So the unsuccessful Republican and Trump lawsuits to invalidate the various election results do not validate the propriety of election procedures; they merely demarcate the limited jurisdictional boundaries of our judicial system.

But that is not how major media, at once partisan and ignorant, have spun this string of unsurprising Republican defeats:

To Cast Doubt On Election Results, Republicans Lean On Conspiracy Theories —npr.org

Arizona Republicans are auditing election results using company run by man who spread conspiracy theories about them —chicagotribune.com

QAnon fans are obsessed with Arizona vote "audit," still hoping for Trump comeback —salon.com

Arizona Republicans' desperate crusade to find nonexistent voter fraud —washingtonpost.com

Media hyperventilation about the recently commenced Arizona audit is evidence that pro-Biden forces discern grave danger in the process.  They have known all along that an audit, not a court case, is the proper forum for detection of maladministration allowing improper votes.  If the media can portray the audit as being about nothing more than warmed-over voting machine paranoia, the yells of "conspiracy theory" will become even louder.  But if a credible evidentiary challenge to the results in Arizona can be strongly shown, the media will be soundly discredited, and with them their assurances of election legitimacy.

So it behooves the auditors and their sponsors to focus both on palpably wrongful voting and sufficient numerosity of suspect votes.  Such a result would not necessarily mean that the national election was illegitimate.  But it would give some support to that entirely reasonable inference.  At the least, it would dramatically demonstrate that, yes, our national election, especially in key urban areas controlled by Democrats, was so poorly administered, whether negligently or fraudulently, that radical reform is needed to ensure that this uncertainty never again occurs.  And yes, H.R. 1 would be a problem, not a solution.

One more conclusion that will be reasonably drawn if such an audit outcome is credibly proven: the major media were once again complicit in fraudulent partisan concealment of a major affront to our democracy, making their suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story just one leaf of their poisonous tree.  Indeed, they would be convicted by the jury of public opinion as one of the main culprits in the fiasco we call the 2020 election.

John D. O'Connor is a former federal prosecutor and the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005.  O'Connor is the author of the book Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today's Partisan Advocacy Journalism and the host of the new podcast series The Mysteries of Watergate.

Image: cagdesign via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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