News and Commentary

NPR Strikes Different Tone When Writing About Matt Bevin’s Election Fraud Claims Than Stacey Abrams’
Stacey Abrams, former state Representative from Georgia, speaks during the 110th NAACP Annual Convention in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Monday, July 22, 2019.
Anthony Lanzilote/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NPR has provided another example of the left-leaning media outlets claiming there is “no evidence” to back up Republican claims, even when the same phrase is not used when Democrats make similar claims.

On Sunday, NPR published an article about Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) claiming election fraud led to his loss. While promoting the article on social media, NPR wrote: “Without providing evidence, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin questioned the election’s legitimacy. And he isn’t the first politician to do so. Elections specialists worry that unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud erode confidence in democracy.”

The article is almost entirely about Bevin’s claims, which is fine. NPR glosses over major cases of candidates claiming voter fraud for election losses. The outlet mentions then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s claims about “rampant voter fraud” even though he won his election. Scott and President Donald Trump are the only named politicians in the article that raised doubts about the election. The article does not mention Stacey Abrams at all, even though she has been on a year-long tour of the country claiming she actually won the governor’s race in Georgia last year. NPR wrote a single sentence alluding to her loss, saying, “Democrats also have continued to blame the results of the Georgia gubernatorial election on election administration issues that they say suppressed turnout.”

NPR employed the “without providing evidence” trick after Bevin made his claims. The outlet struck a different tone when covering Abrams, a Democrat. As pundit Stephen Miller pointed out, NPR did not make the “no evidence” claim when covering Abrams’ non-concession speech.

“In a fiery speech, Stacey Abrams insisted this was no normal concession, decrying what she called “deliberate and intentional” voter suppression by Brian Kemp that she believes led to this result in Georgia’s governor race.”

Abrams has not provided any evidence to support her claims of voter suppression. In fact, voter participation had doubled in Georgia since the state’s 2014 gubernatorial election. Yet Abrams is not called out on her constant claims to the contrary.

Bevin has said there were “a number of significant irregularities” in the Kentucky gubernatorial election last week. He said his team was working on getting “affidavits — and other information that will help us to get a better understanding of what did or did not happen.”

The “no evidence” claim from NPR comes just after Politico employed a similar tactic to criticize Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. On Friday, Politico reported that “No evidence has emerged to support” Giuliani’s claims that Ukrainian officials worked with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee to undermine Trump. In January 2017, however, Politico had reported on just such evidence.

The “no evidence” qualifier has been used repeatedly by left-wing media outlets during the Trump administration. Outlets such as CNN include it in news chyrons to mislead viewers about what Trump officials have said. Other media outlets use it while ignoring context and important information that backs up the claims in order to give the false impression that the Trump administration is somehow more dishonest than any other previous administration. Had Fox News used this tactic under the Obama administration, these outlets would have gone apoplectic.