Arizona Audit and the Selective Attention of the Press

Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas

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.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

7 thoughts on “Arizona Audit and the Selective Attention of the Press

  1. FYI – Maricopa County is NOT the most liberal part of the state; that might be Pinal or Coconino county. Maricopa County tends to very red; while the rest of the state is purple (meaning that while there are blue areas and red areas, to be sure, it’s relatively even).

    However, Maricopa is very red and it has approximately 60% of both the state’s voters and the state’s population so it tends to dominate the state’s politics.

    Which may have been why Rs were so surprised when Biden won the county.

    • Thanks for the info! Occasional writer for the site Elizabeth publicly excoriated for this already so I just updated the article.

      • FWIW, I know Elizabeth, and have been called out by her, too. :)

        Also, we all make mistakes – for example, when I listed Pinal County as one of the more liberal parts of the state, I made a typo. I meant to type Pima County.

  2. I’ve lived in Phoenix most of my life. There was a NYT (I think) thingy a few months ago that told you your political split by zip code. Of the three I have lived in in the past 20 years, two were evenly split and one was heavily Democratic. You get red zip codes around Luke Air Force base, the retirement community of Sun City, and the wealthy districts of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Also, Mesa, because of the Mor-Mons. Tucson and Flagstaff, the two secondary cities, are blue. Arizona has been making progress because of the organizing work of Hispanic Democrats. The main party has written us of for a long time. I am used to seeing Republicans running unopposed for state offices. Getting better. And the crazyfication of the Republican party doesn’t play well with college educated suburbanites. Plus, while we have our racists, everybody here is totally used to having Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, and even African Americans around. It’s not Iowa.

    • Having diversity definitely helps. It’s hard to demonize people who may look different but are just the same as everyone else. Although I have noticed more racism in my location in the Bay Area over since Trump. It’s really disturbing.

      Phoenix, huh? Everytime I’m struggling with a 100F day here, I check Phoenix and see things like 115F. I seriously don’t know how you all deal with it!

  3. Also, vicious dogs owned by white trash is totally a thing. Though it also was in New York where I got attacked by one as a kid.

    • I remember the old song lyrics, “Meaner than a junkyard dog.” Although maybe I’m wrong about the dog. It was more that there were these 4 dogs who were clearly neglected and bored. It did get a good bite. But it also seemed surprised!

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