Remember, admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.
The extent to which corporate media rigs elections for Democrats has been rigorously documented since at least Tim Groseclose’s 2012 book, “Left Turn.” In that book, the political scientist concluded through data-driven analysis that media bias on average shifts the electorate 20 points to the left on a 100-point political worldview scale. Without media bias, he argued, the average American state would be as Republican-leaning as Texas or Kentucky, and those two states would be even more conservative.
Media bias was highly visible even before Rush Limbaugh made it a regular feature of his top-rated radio show that became nationally syndicated in 1988. As the Trump era dawned, however, media coverage moved from biased to outright propaganda.
Corporate media went from picking left-friendly frames and omitting facts that reinforced right-leaning views about public affairs, as Groseclose documented in 2012, to outright mass hoaxing of voters by 2016. While hyperventilating about the minority of Americans who believe conspiracy theories like QAnon, leftist media not only inflamed but also outright fabricated conspiracy theories that the majority of Democrat voters believe.
For example, in 2020, a majority of Americans — including 81 percent of self-described “liberals” — believed the lie that Donald Trump committed treason for Russia. That claim was disproven by a two-year, Democrat-populated special counsel investigation that spent $32 million to find no evidence for this hoax, which effectively hamstrung a president from pursuing what voters put him in office to accomplish.
This corporate media smear machine was only one of the numerous unfair advantages Democrats exploited in the 2020 elections. My colleague, Mollie Hemingway, just put out a new, bestselling book that also documents things like big tech hiding election-shifting news from voters and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg embedding Democrat get-out-the-vote operations inside local election offices — which are supposed to be nonpartisan! What’s more, all these cheats affixed into our nation’s election machinery haven’t been scrubbed away, not by a long shot.
While I work with Mollie and am highly aware of media corruption since it’s our bread and butter here at The Federalist, she still had many surprises for me inside “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.” Here I’ll share a few things she reports in the book that made me gasp out loud.
1. The DNC Controlled All Poll Watchers for 40 Years
I had to read this section of the book two or three times to absorb what it was saying. I couldn’t believe it could possibly be true. Yet it is: “Shockingly, the 2020 contest was the first presidential election since Reagan’s first successful run in 1980 in which the Republican National Committee could play any role whatsoever in Election Day operations.”
What? Next sentence: “For nearly 40 years, the Democratic National Committee had a massive systemic advantage over its Republican counterpart: the Republican National Committee had been prohibited by law from helping out with poll watcher efforts or nearly any litigation related to how voting is being conducted.”
This section in chapter 1 goes on to explain how such an insane thing could be real. Essentially, after Democrats accused Republicans of cheating in a New Jersey race in 1981, a judge banned the RNC from poll-watching and voting litigation everywhere in the country, then kept re-upping the order until 2018, when it finally expired three years after he died.
This handicapped Republicans for almost 40 years while Democrats were free to do things Republicans couldn’t, like give boosts to their voters all along the voting process and track them extensively, challenge ballots, document irregularities, and sue over election disputes. By 2020, then, Mollie writes:
Democrats had spent the last forty years perfecting their Election Day operations while everyone at the Republican National Committee walked on eggshells, knowing that if they so much as looked in the direction of a polling site, there could be another crackdown. As a result, there was no muscle memory about how to watch polls or communicate with a presidential campaign.
That’s a pretty big handicap walking into the election chaos of 2020, in which Americans filled out an unprecedented 65 million mail-in ballots, which are known not only for their margin of error, but also for being structurally biased towards Democrats.
2. Lazy Voting Biases Elections Towards Democrats
Also made clear throughout “Rigged” is that lazier and sloppier elections strongly advantage Democrats. This means long election seasons, mail-in balloting, and loose ballot behavior such as mailing millions and opening dropboxes all tilt elections towards Democrats.
As Mollie writes, “the vote-by-mail system was becoming a major part of the Democratic Party’s get-out-the-vote operation. Regardless of fraud and other concerns, the press saw the success of the mail-in ballot effort in Wisconsin for what it was: an effort to turn out more Democratic voters.” Republican voters, she shows, prefer to vote in person because they want to make sure their votes are reliably counted.
Why Republicans would ever allow voting procedures that structurally advantage their opponents is, to put it bluntly, only understandable as self-hatred. Democrats would never, ever do that, because they actually want to win.
3. Facebook Bought Joe Biden the Election
In 2020, Facebook’s interference in the election was a one-two punch. Mollie notes: “[Mark] Zuckerberg didn’t just help Democrats by censoring their political opponents. He directly funded liberal groups running partisan get-out-the-vote operations. In fact, he helped those groups infiltrate election offices in key swing states by doling out large grants to crucial districts. That funding was the means by which [Democrat] activists achieved their ‘revolution’ and changed the course of the 2020 election.”
Elsewhere in the book, Hemingway notes that Facebook executives have boasted that they can shut off 80 percent of the traffic to any link they want. Facebook and Google blacklisting of conservative news sites such as The Federalist, The Daily Caller, and Breitbart has been documented since 2017.
Atop this were what’s been termed “Zuck Bucks,” the nearly half a billion dollars Zuckerberg gave to essentially fund a shadow elections system that again structurally advantaged Democrats. To list just a few things the book shows Zuck Bucks facilitated: literally designing mail-in ballots and their envelopes; sending partisan activists to “help” local elections offices in conveniently located swing districts; “fix” unclear or illegal mail-in ballots; designing absentee balloting instructions; and collecting absentee ballots.
The details are breathtaking. Mollie gives so many facts about the partisan tilt and effectiveness of Zuckerberg’s grants to local elections offices that it truly leads one to conclude Zuckerberg flat-out bought the election for Joe Biden.
4. The United States Has Republican No-Go Zones
I’d also never heard about this shocking story that illustrates the extent to which political repression is tolerated within the Democrat Party. In her chapter about the 2020 Summer of Riots, Mollie writes:
In 2017, Portland canceled its annual Rose Parade after violent threats from Antifa, which objected to the Multnomah County Republican Party’s being included as one of the many civic groups marching in the parade. Forget Trump; it was unsafe for even an ordinary Republican to walk down the streets of Portland. And in canceling the parade, [Portland Mayor Ted] Wheeler effectively conceded that Antifa ruled the streets.
Mollie later quotes former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr describing how Antifa — a violent group implicated in actual domestic terrorism — “use[s] legitimate demonstrations as a host body.” “Further,” Mollie writes, “they operated in liberal cities in blue states where local authorities were both reluctant to stop them and unwilling to help federal law enforcement go after them.”
In other words, Democrats are willing to concede the safety of Americans’ lives, limbs, and property to ideological allies, even when those allies openly commit violent crimes and threaten more.
5. The FBI Is Systemically Biased Towards the Left
In discussing why Antifa is allowed to threaten peaceful American citizens with violence, Mollie uncovers one of the political problems with addressing this: The FBI is systemically biased on behalf of the left. “[T]he agency had long focused its attention on right-wing extremists and was ill-equipped to deal with threats from the left,” she notes.
Yes, this is the nation’s top law-enforcement agency that helped hatch the Spygate plot to frame a Republican president. Politically biased — you think? Mollie writes further:
…Even though decades had passed, the FBI was still skittish about the criticism it had received for infiltrating radical left-wing groups in the ’60s and ’70s.
The inaction in response to Antifa certainly helped take the pressure off Biden [in the 2020 campaign], who never had to answer for the bricks flying through windows, rampant looting, toppling of statues, and assaults on innocent business owners that defined urban life throughout the summer of 2020. To do so would have been to confront an uncomfortable truth — the Democratic Party and its allies have been tolerating, encouraging, and mainstreaming political violence for decades.
6. It’s No Longer Media Bias, It’s Media Lies
As my opening to this essay explains, I’m aware media bias has been transcended by outright propaganda. In her book, however, Mollie makes an excellent point about this after detailing other cases proving this shift.
She makes it in relation to what I’d call a relatively minor offense — The New York Times publishing a Trump-smearing piece from an anonymous author it described as a “senior administration official,” meaning “someone in the upper echelon of an administration.” Of course, it turned out this person wasn’t any such thing. He was just a mid-level bureaucrat.
After giving the truly asinine details of that story, Mollie makes this comment:
If the New York Times was willing to lie about how high-level an anonymous source was for its very high-profile September 2018 information operation, what lies was it willing to tell about all the other anonymous sources it used? And if this is how one of America’s biggest newsrooms operates, readers are right to ask how much other papers and media outlets were willing to lie in support of their anti-Republican narratives.
If you don’t believe it already, after you read Mollie’s book, you will come away with the inescapable conclusion that Trump was right when he called corporate media “the enemy of the people.”
7. Mail-In Balloting Is More Outrageous Than Anyone Can Imagine
“Up to a quarter of a million votes were cast in Wisconsin’s presidential election without any identification check at all,” Mollie writes on page 66. I already knew a lot about how error-riddled mail-in voting is — I wrote about that when few would. But just encountering this new fact and realizing this represented just one swing state was another mind-blowing moment for me about just how corruption-enabling and confidence-destroying are vote-by-mail-tainted elections.
There are many more shocking things in Mollie’s book, and I’m not even done. I just started the Hunter Biden chapter, and holy mackerel. Until I read further, a few thoughts.
Republicans expect to win a wave election in 2022. How many points will they have to beat Democrats by to prove it? How many dubious ballots will be produced or negotiated away by partisan election workers or judges? How many urban areas run by Democrats will produce suspicious numbers of ballots that outweigh the votes in the rest of their states? How many Republican voters will stay home because they can’t trust elections run by some of the loosest rules in the developed world?
We shouldn’t even have to be asking these questions right now. If Republicans genuinely want to win elections — and that is sadly in doubt — they have no choice but to use whatever power they have to make those elections trustworthy again. That means in-person voting, with ID, for everyone except the truly disabled, and returning to an election day, not an election season.
The left and their media are going to lie about Republicans no matter what they do, so they might as well get secure elections out of the never-ending smear cycle. Republican voters don’t believe the media anyway, so why do any of their elected officials? Remember, admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.
Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Check out her recommended classic Christmas picture books, “The Read-Aloud Advent Calendar,” and her bestselling ebook, “Classic Books for Young Children.” Sign up here to get early access to her next full-length book, “How To Control The Internet So It Doesn’t Control You.” A Hillsdale College honors graduate, @JoyPullmann is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books.