Fox News recently ran a story headlined “Republicans want to change laws on Electoral College votes, after Presidential loses”. What a great headline to grab a reader. Who are these people who want to change their laws? What are their plans? When will it start? This sounds like a juicy story. (It worked, I clicked).
As I read though, I couldn’t help but come the conclusion that there is no meat in this story at all. It’s a story about ambivalence at best. The following reactions are taken from the body of the story, in the order they appear.
– Rience Priebus said states “ought to look at it” but “emphasized each state must decide for themselves”
– Michigan Governor Rick Snyder told the AP he “could go either way” and doesn’t plan to push the idea.
– Michigan Rep. Peter Lund, who introduced a bill two years ago, thinks some people “might be more receptive now”
– Republican strategist Phil Musser admitted the idea had “potential” but predicted “pressing economic issues would likely take priority”
– Pennsylvania Republican Senator Dominic Pelligi “renewed his call for the legislature to consider it” though the Governor has not seen a proposal and therefor couldn’t comment.
– Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker called it “interesting”, but not one of his priorities.
– The Wisconsin legislature is “lukewarm” to the idea. The story does note that a similar proposal was brought up 2007 but the speaker (who first brought it up 5 years ago) would “have to hear all the arguments“.
The article does also mention the Democratic outrage in the fifth paragraph of the story (a word sentence paragraph at that). It also has some quotes from local Dems later in the story as well. I choose to focus on the Republican quotes in this blog post to highlight the disparity between the headline and the actual story. There may be valid reasons to review the usefulness of the Electoral College, and if there is ever any serious discussion it should be reported. But in this case, there is no serious discussion.
C’mon FoxNews……this article is about creating division and getting people riled up, not about reporting the news. There is no real conflict here, at least not yet. Some would say, however, that your organization is seeking to create one.