Yesterday, Matt Drudge attempted to fabricate a scandal out of thin air. And bless his little black heart, he tried his darnedest, but it doesn’t seem like its sticking.
So, here’s the story.
Yesterday at around 4 pm Eastern time, the Drudge Report did something he rarely does – actually file a report rather than simply repurposing another news agency’s reporting with a sensational partisan title.
Anyway, the entry he filed was titled. “Michelle Campaigned Inside a Polling Place?” The implication is that the First Lady violated election laws. The evidence provided by Drudge? This line from a pool report of the First Lady’s trip to cast her ballot. After she voted, she paused to take a photo with a fellow voter and supporter who then relayed what she told him: “She was telling me how important it was to vote to keep her husband’s agenda going,”
You can almost hear the arm twisting, right?
Well, Drudge must have popped a boner thinking that he had uncovered a scoop, so his website led with the blaring red headline convicting her of a crime. To support his evidence, he sited Illinois election law and provided a quote from an unnamed Ilinois State Board of Elections official who allegedly proposed ignoring the law for the popular First Lady – a subtle swipe by Drudge at what he loves to term ‘Chicaoland’ politics.
The problem is that even with the strictest interpretation of the law; this is hardly a precedent setting occurrence. The image of a politician or their spouse casting their ballot and making a statement is a very common one. They all do it.
For example, here is a report on George W. Bush casting his 2004 ballot at a firehouse in Texas. Bush said this after voting; “The issue is, who do you trust? Who do you trust to secure this country? Who do you trust to lead with firmness and steadfast resolution to protect the American people? Who do you trust to adhere to the values, the values that most people agree with? Who do you trust to keep this economy growing? I’ve got a clear view about how to lead … We’ll see what the people say. Now’s the time for the people to express their will. I am confident in the judgment of the people.”
THAT sounds like electioneering to me.
So why wasn’t this ever mentioned by Drudge as a violation of election laws? In fact, why didn’t the ‘liberal’ mainstream media may hay about this? That because, it’s a bunch of nonsense. Only in the right wing world of ‘Let’s freak out over everything the Obamas do,’ does this constitute a ‘scandal’. Perhaps they didn’t notice this ‘scandal’ because they were too up in arms about Mrs. Obama urging supporters to ‘pray’ for the President. After all prayer is the exclusive domain of the religious extremists of the GOP, right?
Drudge closed his brief entry with the teaser “Developing….” clearly hoping that he could encourage others to pick up the subject, but so far no one has seemed to take the bait. FauxNews and the lesser satellites of the Murdoch Neo-Con press have so far ignored the non-story, as have most of the down the middle political press. A Google search of ‘Michelle Obama Violates Election Law’ returns hits from only the most extremist wingnut blogs and bulletin boards. So, more than 20 hours later this ‘BREAKING’ scandal has failed to gain any legs. It remains to be seen if hate-radio beats this drum during drive time today, but thus far, no word from Wingnutistan.
You win some, you lose some Mr. Drudge. It seems this one, you lost.