ANATOMY OF A HIT PIECE: HOW TRUE THE VOTE SKEWS THE
By William Boardman Email address removed
The headline was a grabber -- "BREAKING: NAACP Takes Over Houston Polling Station, Advocates for President Obama"
The report that followed was certainly alarming: on November 2, it said, people in NAACP shirts brought bottled water to voters at a polling place, then they moved some voters to the front of the line, spoke out for President Obama, and "basically ran" a Houston, Texas, polling place while poll workers did nothing -- according to Katie Pavlich in Townhall.com on November 3.
The bias, inaccuracy, and speed with which this story spread on the internet is a case study of dishonest journalism.
Pavlich had not observed the reported event or interviewed any of the participants. She based her story on the written "incident report" of an interested party, Eve Rockford, reportedly a poll watcher for the judicial campaign of attorney Don Self. Rockford was trained by True The Vote, a self-proclaimed voter fraud watchdog based in Houston. Pavlich provided no other confirmation of the story and did not respond to a request to do so two days later.
By that time Pavlich's story had been picked up and repeated, often verbatim, by the Drudge Report and dozens of partisan Republican internet sites, including GOPUSA on November 5, with the headline: "NAACP Takes Over Polling Location." GOPUSA is a private company whose mission is to spread the conservative message throughout America, according to its website.
Houston Chronicle Makes Stab At Getting Story Right