After five months, the Arizona Audit released its final report. And it turned out to be exactly what I predicted. They didn’t find any fraud but they used it to push the same talking points that they were pushing before the audit even started.
The audit was always a partisan exercise. Its purpose was to push the idea that we can’t trust the vote. And in that regard, it was remarkably successful!
Months of Coverage and Then: Poof!
There were months of coverage of the audit. True: it was mostly covered in negative news stories in the mainstream press. But you can’t cover this without a lot of people thinking, “They wouldn’t be doing this if there weren’t something nefarious going on!” And, of course, there was: the Republicans are setting the stage to steal the election next time. But that’s not the message that goes out.
After all that, when the report was released, there was relatively little coverage. Part of this could be due to some people in the media saying the report should be given no oxygen. But that strikes me as closing the barn door after the propagandists have gotten all the benefit they can.
And call me cynical, but I feel certain that if Doug Logan and his conspirators had gone all in and announced that Trump actually won the state, the press would have covered it much more. This despite the fact that all of the people involved had been established as untrustworthy.
(Similarly, all the network news shows ignored the John Eastman coup memo. Who did not ignore it at the networks? Jimmy Kimmel (ABC), Stephen Colbert (CBS), and Seth Meyers (NBC). You would think after having been humiliated by The Daily Show in years past, the news industry would do something about this. But no. Just leave it to the late-night comedians. It’s apparently their job to inform the nation.)
Get More Information
If you want to know about what this all came down to, I recommend an excellent article by Jeremy Duda at Arizona Mirror, Arizona “Audit”: A Multitude of Unsubstantiated Claims and No Proof of Fraud. Even better is Maricopa County itself. Their Twitter feed fact-checked the entire audit presentation.
What’s interesting about it is that nothing had to be researched. All the claims are old and have been thoroughly debunked on Just the Facts. What you see again and again is that the people claiming to find problems are really just showing that they don’t know how the system works. And the fact that they continue to make these claims shows that they don’t care about how the system works.
The way the people of Maricopa County have dealt with this shows that contrary to the stereotype, our civil servants really are great.
I’m glad it’s all over. Just the same, I’m sure Cyber Ninjas will get more contracts because they did a smashing job of pushing right-wing propaganda. But I do hope they won’t get the attention they did this time.
Image is detail of Photo by Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror under Fair Use.
Correction: an earlier version of this article said that Maricopa Country was liberal. It is not. I should have known. On my only visit there, I was bitten by a vicious dog owned by a bunch of white trash.