This column by ACRU Policy Board member J. Christian Adams was published September 10, 2017 by PJ Media.
Once upon a time, Newsweek was a credible publication. Today, it is a spoof.
In a sloppy attack on President Trump’s election integrity commission, Newsweek’s Linley Sanders forgets it is 2017, not 2007.
“Donald Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission Collides With the 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act of 1957,” the headline screams.
Where to begin?
Of course we could be kind, and just leave the embarrassing miscalculation to fester away, and await the inevitable edit. But we won’t. It’s more than a headline, the mistake is throughout the piece. Bad math is the hook of the entire piece. Tying Trump’s efforts to make our elections cleaner is being lazily re-framed by the left as an attack on civil rights. In other words, Linley Sanders wrote an article based both on bad math and also a lie.
Let’s start with a calculator.
The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was 2007. President Trump had only been on the Apprentice for three years. I was a lawyer at the Justice Department bringing cases to enforce the Voting Rights Act. The Commission did not exist.
Maybe Newsweek laid off all their editors.
It would be one thing if the mistake was confined to a headline. It wasn’t. Sanders made the math mistake the foundation of her story. It was a story designed to inflame people over racial anger, so it needed a hook to the civil rights movement.
Enter the fantasy 50th anniversary of the civil rights act.
The Election Integrity trip corresponds with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which created a very different type of commission in American history. On September 9, 1957, the bipartisan group was established to investigate allegations that citizens were being deprived of their right to vote, paving the way for the Voting Rights Act.
And didn’t anyone tell Sanders she was screwing it up, like Derrick Johnson of the NAACP? Maybe he didn’t have a calculator.
“That was one of the milestones to open the door,” said Derrick Johnson, the interim president of the NAACP. “It wasn’t until 1964 and 1965 that you saw a real acceleration in African Americans’ right to vote, but it was one of the early acts that opened the conversation for federal protection.”
Then Vanita Gupta embarrasses herself:
The former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta, said its anniversary is hard to commemorate given the current political climate.
“It’s a sobering time to be celebrating the act when there is such a regressive agenda,” Gupta told Newsweek. “It’s coming at a moment of deep challenge.”
Someone get these folks a calculator or a calendar.