Media slammed for ‘insane’ framing of HR1: ‘might as well have come straight from a Dem press release’


Following the thunderous defeat of HR1, better known as the For the People Act, in the Senate on Tuesday, the media was slammed for parroting Democratic talking points. They reframed the intent of the voting legislation and dishonestly portrayed Republicans as being against “voting rights.”

The election reform bill failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Republicans celebrated the defeat of the legislation they called a “partisan power grab,” while Democrats were quick to accuse them of suppressing voter rights. In the wake of the pinning of the blame on conservatives, the media proceeded to pick up and run with Democrat messaging. They skewed, twisted, and slanted their headlines to contend that Republicans stood against the right of Americans to vote.

One example of the bias in the media over the bill came from Axios who ran a headline proclaiming: “Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Sweeping Voting Rights Bill.” However, when Democrats blocked Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill in 2020, they were far less accusatory, claiming that Republicans failed to gain the support of the Democrats for the bill.

The Associated Press brazenly blamed Senate Republicans on Twitter making points that sounded like they had come directly from a Democrat press release: “BREAKING: The Democrats’ signature voting bill fails in a Senate test vote, blocked by unified Republican opposition that leaves the future of the measure in doubt.” Then continued with: “The bill failed 50-50 vote as Republicans denied Democrats the 60 votes needed to begin debate. The bill would strike down hurdles to voting, curb the influence of money in politics and limit partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts.”

But in 2020, in reporting on Scott’s bill, it was an entirely different take: “Top Democratic leaders in the Senate say the Republican policing bill in response to the protests over killing of Black Americans is ‘threadbare and lacking.’ Democrats intend to block the GOP measure and demand negotiations on a new, more bipartisan plan.”

Similarly, The New York Times referenced the filibuster after HR1 was defeated: “Republicans Use Filibuster to Block Voting Rights Bill.” In 2020, the framing of the message was quite different from the Old Gray Lady: “Senate Democrats Block G.O.P. Police Bill, Calling It Inadequate.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted after the historic defeat of the For the People Act that Republicans voted against the bill so that Democrats can’t “rig” elections in various states in their favor. He declared that HR1 was “rotten” to its core and unconstitutional.

Republicans have contended since the inception of the bill that it takes the control of elections away from the states and federalizes it. They also posit that the law would weaken voter ID requirements that 80 percent of Americans now reportedly support. The bill would have also created a financing system for congressional elections and would have allegedly politicized the Federal Elections Commission.

The legislation was so unpalatable to Republicans that even moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska stated that she couldn’t throw her support behind the “partisan federal takeover of the election system.”

The mainstream media has from the beginning framed the bill as a last-ditch, life-or-death priority to protect voters’ rights and democracy while branding the Republicans as obstructionists that are determined to pass “voter suppression laws.”

Twitter was set on fire over the blatant bias of the media and their coverage of the bill’s defeat in the Senate:


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