Since the recount effort in three states got underway last week, the major media have afforded it virtually no coverage. Even as the Wisconsin recount enters its third day and numerous inconsistencies are being documented, the mainstream media has remained silent. After the Michigan elections board approved the recount go-ahead, nary a peep. Now the major media outlets are finally talking about the Pennsylvania recount effort, but only to report that it’s now “over” – which is not the case.
What actually happened today is that in a desperate last ditch attempt at preventing the recount, the State of Pennsylvania suddenly invented a million dollar bond that third party candidate Jill Stein would have needed to immediately pay for. This came after the state of Wisconsin had surreptitiously increased its own recount price tag from $1.1 million to $3.8 million, for the rather transparent purpose of trying to bankrupt Stein’s recount effort.
Stein had raised millions of dollars, but with so much of that having been eaten up already by Wisconsin’s sudden price hike and the attorney fees required to fight fierce court battles against all three non-cooperating states, it turns out she didn’t have the $1 million cash on hand today to cover Pennsylvania’s sudden ransom demand. Thus she was forced to withdraw her court petition for a Pennsylvania recount. That doesn’t mean it’s over, of course, only that there is now another legal hurdle to fight. Two of them, in fact.
In fact her next step is to fight for precinct by precinct recounts in Pennsylvania until the vote totals have been sufficiently corrected and revised to drop Donald Trump’s lead in the state from the current 0.8% mark to the 0.5% mark, which in turn would trigger an automatic statewide recount under Pennsylvania state law. Stein is also now suing Pennsylvania in federal court. So how many mainstream major media outlets are correctly reporting that the PA recount effort is now continuing with a new strategy? There don’t appear to be any.
If you look at the headlines coming from the major media outlets this evening, they’re uniformly misleading in that they’re attempting to create the appearance that Stein’s recount effort is finished. “Green Party drops court case seeking statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election,” states the Associated Press in a tweet which paint the phony picture that there are no next steps. BuzzFeed News falsely claims that Stein put in a “request to discontinue the recount request,” misleadingly suggesting that she pulled the plug on her own effort. And this ABC News affiliate flatly insisted in its original headline that the challenge to the recount is “over” before ultimately changing the headline entirely to focus on Stein’s next move.
It would be one thing for the major media outlets to ignore the recount effort because they simply decided it wasn’t newsworthy. But after spending the past week largely pretending the recount effort wasn’t happening, these same major media outlets are now racing to report headlines which falsely claim the Pennsylvania recount effort is over. In other words, they didn’t want the public to know about that the recounts were even happening, but now they suddenly want to make the public believe that the recounts are “over.” The mainstream media agenda here isn’t entirely decipherable, but it is entirely unacceptable.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report