It’s amazing who right-wing pundits and politicians decide to take at their word.
As Donald Trump continues to lose more and more lawsuits intended to overturn his election loss, his supporters in the media and beyond have put an increased emphasis on personal accounts from alleged whistleblowers.
“Many [sworn affidavits] have been thrown out and many debunked, but many still have not. These Americans, these whistleblowers, deserve to be taken seriously and at least heard without threat of reprisal, but that’s not happening,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said recently.
Fine, let’s take a look at some of these whistleblowers.
There was the woman at Rudy Giuliani’s circus-like hearing in Michigan on Wednesday, December 2, who argued for stringent voter ID laws because “all Chinese people look alike.”
There’s the star witness at that same hearing, Dominion Voting Systems contractor Melissa Carone, an irate rambler who came across as an SNL character rejected for being too broad, and who has already become the subject of parody.
a drunk woman is trump team’s star witness in michigan pic.twitter.com/qGxEI3hp2G
— marisa kabas (@MarisaKabas) December 3, 2020
Then there’s the trio of whistleblowers who appeared on Sean Hannity’s extremely popular Fox News show on Tuesday, December 1, to share their stories of an alleged conspiracy to commit mass voter fraud.
First up are USPS subcontractors Ethan Pease and Jesse Morgan. Pease claims that USPS workers were ordered to illegally backdate ballots so that they’d meet the November 3 deadline, while Morgan claims he picked up several pallets worth of ballots in New York and was ordered to bring them across state lines. The stories are only marginally more believable than Roger Stone’s recent claim of North Korean boats dropping off ballots in Maine Harbor. Whether they are true or not is for the judges to decide, but Hannity found them credible enough to put on air for an audience of millions, and the usual suspects tended to agree.
Even just on the surface, though, these witnesses don’t seem terribly credible.
All we know about them is that they appeared on Hannity fresh from a mostly maskless, indoor press conference, and that despite the host’s repeated insistence that these two are both “non-partisan,” Pease states that his reason for speaking up is that this is the “most important election of our lifetime.” (Hannity does not pursue this inquiry any further.)
The third guest on the show manages to be even less credible.
Kristina Karamo, an election observer from Michigan, claims that she observed multiple ballots called for Biden that may have been mistakenly filled out for both Biden and Trump or Biden and a third-party candidate. She then zooms out to rant about all the general supposed election fraud evidence that the lamestream media is ignoring. Unlike Pease and Morgan, Karamo admits on the show that she is a proud Republican, and a cursory search of her Twitter account reveals she’s also a staunch evangelical Christian. (Her bio reads: “The Bible has the perfect solution for every issue, that impacts us. I plan to help prove that! Christian Apologetics!”)
“I would assume this is kinda not your average day, to be a public figure,” Hannity says to Karamo on air, ostensibly to prove she has no dog in this fight and is merely appearing out of principle. However, she is at least in part an aspiring public figure, whose YouTube page is filled with videos like “Sexual Sin Sends People to Hell!!”, right alongside the ones alleging voting fraud.
What makes Hannity’s credulity toward these whistleblowers so galling is that he and his peers are often rabidly suspicious whenever any woman comes forward with sexual misconduct allegations against a public figure. Indeed, when Hannity’s own accuser came forward in 2017, he dismissed her as “desperately seek[ing] attention by any means necessary,” while his response when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford spoke out about her experience with then-SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh was to claim the allegations were part of the “ugliest smear campaign in history.”
Hannity’s suspicions toward Dr. Ford were echoed by other pundits, like Michael Savage, who wrote in a since-deleted tweet that Ford was part of a CIA plot, and current Trump lawyer, Joe di Genova, who called Ford “a deeply troubled person” and “a very sad woman.” (Interestingly, di Genova recently suggested cybersecurity official Chris Krebs should be “drawn and quartered” for contradicting Trump by calling the 2020 election the most secure in history.)
While Hannity seems to think the election whistleblowers have only the purest motivations, he has previously railed against the “so-called” Ukraine whistleblower, who was a part of the “Deep State” and had a “political bias.” It’s a brazen double-standard.
Laura Ingraham wants to know why the Democrats who ordinarily “love whistleblowers” aren’t interested in those declaring foul play in this election. (It probably has something to do with all the judges dismissing them out of court.) But the reverse question should be asked of Ingraham and her ilk: Why do they ordinarily, to use the obverse of her term, hate whistleblowers unless the whistle is pointed at their ideological foes?
In their eyes, everyone apparently who comes forward with allegations is an attention-seeking liar, except for anyone who comes forward in support of Mr. Trump. Why, those selfless individuals, on the other hand, clearly only want to see justice done. They couldn’t possibly have been moved to play a part in “the most important election of our lifetime,” or parlay any attendant notoriety into a platform and a GoFundMe campaign, all with the knowledge that Trump might pardon them if they are convicted of perjury.
In Trumpworld, only those on the other side are ever worthy of suspicion.