Claims of voter fraud are common. It’s the fraud that’s rare.

first_img– Advertisement – Famously, there was the story that Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, told in 2000 about a 13-year-old springer spaniel that was registered to vote in St. Louis. Mr. Bond was making a case that more anti-fraud protections, like requiring identification, were needed after his colleague, Senator John Ashcroft, lost his seat when more Missourians voted for a dead man: Gov. Mel Carnahan, who had been killed in a plane crash several weeks before the election but remained on the ballot. Mr. Ashcroft did not challenge the results.The fantasy of a stolen election has elements that Mr. Trump has long incorporated into his narrative about himself. There are clear perpetrators (undocumented immigrants, big-city Democratic political machines) and a victim (him) — and usually enough ambiguity so he can float outlandish but unsubstantiated rumors.He has been laying the groundwork for refusing to concede for some time. Speaking in September to Mark Levin, the talk radio and Fox News host, Mr. Trump suggested that some voters were receiving multiple ballots in the mail. He said: “People are saying, ‘Hey, what’s going on? I just got a whole batch of ballots.’” In reality, elections officials across the country, representing both parties, said there was no evidence that fraud had played any role in determining the election outcome this year. The most common claims of voter fraud — reports of ballots cast by someone voting twice, or by a dead person or someone who is otherwise ineligible — can almost always be traced back to a misunderstanding like a typo, a clerical error or a false assumption that two people with a common name are actually the same person, according to the Brennan Center.Still, the topic has been a staple of coverage on Fox News going back to the 2000s, when hosts like Bill O’Reilly spread exaggerated stories about immigrants who were voting illegally, campaigns that paid people for their votes and community groups like ACORN whose employees had submitted fraudulent voter registrations. (The ACORN employees, who were also the subject of an attack ad that John McCain’s campaign ran against Barack Obama in 2008, did not appear to be attempting to influence voting, but rather to get paid for voter registration work they hadn’t actually done.)Claims of voter fraud have often involved absurd and far-fetched scenarios — dead people, dogs, busloads of people of color — which is another way they live on in the public imagination. In recent years, conservative activists have pushed unverified reports that buses full of illegal voters showed up at polling places from California to Wisconsin. As a news story, it is sensational and often irresistible. The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law examined its enduring appeal in a 2007 report, observing that ballot fraud has “the feel of a bank heist caper: roundly condemned but technically fascinating, and sufficiently lurid to grab and hold headlines.”The subject’s prevalence in the conservative news media, where it is treated as a more widespread problem than the facts show, may help explain how Mr. Trump, a ravenous consumer of cable news, came to be so fixated.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Voter fraud is one of the oldest charges a politician can level in American elections — though no president in modern times has done so with such frequency, and so little evidence, as President Trump. In the 1941 Orson Welles epic “Citizen Kane,” newspapermen huddle near the printing press on election night as it becomes clear that the results won’t be good news for their boss, the publishing mogul Charles Foster Kane.One of them holds up a front page with the headline they had hoped for: “Kane Elected.” He then lowers his head and nods toward the version they have to go with instead. “Fraud at Polls!” it declares. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Progress pension fund attributes half of annual return to risk hedge

first_imgProgress, the €5.8bn Dutch pension fund of food and cosmetics giant Unilever, has attributed its 15.4% return for 2014 chiefly to its interest and inflation hedges. Commenting on its preliminary figures, it said its combined hedges returned 7.6% over the period, while its return on investments came to 7.8%. Progress employed a dynamic interest and inflation cover, which increased or decreased in line with the pension fund’s coverage ratio. In 2013, the hedge, through interest and inflation swaps, was 69%. Progress said almost all investment classes performed well, particularly private equity and real estate, which returned 28.2% and 18.9%, respectively.The scheme’s fixed income and equity holdings also produced double-digit returns, of 11.7% and 15.4%, respectively.The only exception was the 6% commodities allocation, which produced a loss of 34.8%.The pension fund noted that it outperformed its benchmark by 1.3 percentage points for the second consecutive year.Progress, which used to provide defined benefit arrangements, was closed on 1 April this year.Since this date, Unilever’s Dutch workers have accrued pension rights in a new collective defined contribution scheme called Forward.Both pension funds have outsourced their asset management to Univest Company, Unilever’s global asset manager and provider for the company’s pension funds in the UK and the US.last_img read more

No review needed for Fox Sports 1 ratings home run

first_imgSometimes internal memos get leaked. Or they get posted for everyone to share.Nothing clandestine about how Fox Sports made sure an in-house missive from FS1 chief Jamie Horowitz and right-hand man John Entz got up on its “Press Pass” website Tuesday, based on how the “team” was lauded for having Oct. 10-16 rank as the highest-rated and most-watched week in the history of the channel that was launched three years ago.It was also the first time FS1 had eclipsed ESPN in weekly primetime and total-day audience.There was, of course, all the hopes and dreams of Chicago Cubs fans behind it. The “memo” came a day after a Monday press release touting the Dodgers’ 1-0 win over the Cubs in NLCS Game 2 from Wrigley Field as attracting 7.3 million viewers, according to overnight figures, which set an undisputed audience record for the channel still trying to promote the heck out of the Bayless-Sharpe “Undisputed” show. That game had a 10.8 rating in L.A., and 23.9 in Chicago.Without a release issued since then, we can report the FS1 coverage of Game 3 on Tuesday from Dodger Stadium — the Dodgers’ 6-0 win — had a 4.7 rating and averaged 6.5 million viewers (or 6.85 million when factoring in online streaming and Fox Deportes) to make it the second-most watched telecast in FS1 history. The L.A. market was even better than Game 2 — an 11.7 mark, best for FS1 in its home city.However, with the third presidental debate going up against NLCS Game 4 on Wednesday, the Cubs’ 10-2 win attracted 5.813 million viewers and had a 4.1 rating and seven share. L.A. posted just a 7.8 rating/13 share while Chicago pulled a 21.2/32, which doesn’t even take into account those thousands watching in a local bar.The Thursday night Game 5 will be a test as well for the Chicago market, as it goes up against the Bears-Packers NFL game on the NFL Network and the CBS affiliates.• So why did the Fox Sports 1 pre- and postgame show go on the road to Wrigley Field for Games 1 and 2 last week, but was a no-show at Dodger Stadium for Games 3, 4 and 5? The crew featuring Pete Rose, Alex Rodriguez and Frank Thomas stayed in the friendly confines of the L.A. studio on Pico because it made more sense logistically and financially, according to a Fox source, even if it would have made for a better visual having the guys planted in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and challenging Cubs and Dodgers fans to commingle peacefully.NFL• How Week 7 of the NFL shakes out for the L.A. market — and why Channel 2 will have three games Sunday because of it. Dan Fouts chimes in as well on the Rams’ London excursion.College football• Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Shannon Spake have UCLA’s 1 p.m. Rose Bowl contest against Utah on Fox (KTTV-Channel 11). More on the rest of Week 8 in the L.A. TV market (with USC taking a bye week) at this link.WNBA• Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe will be the ESPN2 crew calling the deciding Game 5 of the WNBA Finals between the Sparks and Lynx from Minneapolis at 5 p.m. Thursday.• Thanks again to Rowe for giving us more insight into her recent cancer battle and how working WNBA games has contributed to her recovery process. Rowe goes from this game to covering Arkansas at Auburn on Saturday.Soccer• The Galaxy’s regular-season finale against FC Dallas at the StubHub Center (Sunday, 1 p.m., FS1, with John Strong, Brad Friedel and Julie Stewart-Binks) is an exercise in getting ready for the start of next week’s playoffs — and the postseason is hardly new for the franchise that has qualified in 18 of their 21 seasons, for an 86 percent rate. Dallas, meanwhile, is trying to secure the No. 1 spot in the West as well as capture the Supporters Shield.Most interesting to Galaxy fans, who already know the team is locked into the third spot in the Western Conference and will have a home single-elimination game, is who they will play either Wednesday or Thursday next week.That feeds into how ESPN will cover “Decision Day” as they’re calling it. All 10 league matches are played at the same time Sunday, and ESPN has Seattle-Real Salt Lake (Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman), while ESPN2 will do a “whiparound” coverage of all games in progress with Max Bretos, Alejandro Moreno and Brian Dunseth also starting at 1 p.m.Also• Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon hit the 15-year mark for ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption” on Monday. Their reward: More years of doing this. Said Kornheiser: “The fact that ESPN would give me yet another extension at my age indicates one of two things: One, they have never actually seen me on television. Two, they feel they are saving money on health insurance because they think I will have all my expenses covered by Medicare. Either way I am thrilled to be doing PTI with Wilbon and scaring the children.”• Bottoms up to FS1’s Katie Nolan for her performance on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History,” trying to explain how President Teddy Roosevelt helped progress the sport of football. This lesson might have been punctuated by interesting the fact that Roosevelt’s actions led to the creation of the NCAA governing board (which did not mandate helmets until 1939), but, hey, why ruin a sloppy story?At least Nolan ended her rather rudimentary lecture while under the influence to host Derek Waters and all the young male viewers who have fantasized what it would be like to be in a room where she might be tipsy and loose-lipped: “There was a national standard for what football was … and it was great … and it was all great because of Teddy Roosevelt … and like, nobody knows that. They just think, ‘Teddy Roosevelt, oh, President’ or ‘Teddy Roosevelt, oh, you mean Franklin?’ because we’re young and dumb and nobody reads a goddamn book anymore.”Or, they just get learned from “Drunk History.”More media notes going into the weekend at www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth. The fulcrum of the Cubs-Giants NLDS Game 4 — combined with the centrifugal force of the Dodgers-Cubs NLCS Games 1 and 2 contests that could have easily been on Fox’s over-the-air channel but were instead relegated to an outlet trying to up its saturation from just seven of every 10 TV homes (still behind ESPN and ESPN2, pretty even with ESPNEWS and ESPNU and a bit more than NFL Network, MLB Network and WGN) — made this a simple physics equation.Mass appeal is the byproduct of energy and force-fed programming.Valuable live games like MLB playoffs have a buzz factor that permeates other parts of the day and night programming. Or, in realistic terms, there are examples for those who, once they find FS1 on the menu for a Dodgers game, they just keep it there all day and let it keep running for the fear they’ll miss the next contest.(Also, for what it’s worth, the memo cites having “our L.A. neighbors at USC” on the channel in helping the cause. But the last Trojans’ game on FS1 was Sept. 23. Games subsequently against ASU, Colorado and Arizona were on national Fox, Pac-12 Network and again national Fox. If the reference was to UCLA, well, the Bruins have yet to be on FS1).After weaving in more data that had to do with other chat shows on the channel surrounding the MLB games, Horowitz urged the staff to join them at the Fox Lot 101 multipurpose room to celebrate with “bagels, donuts and coffee!” Those bastards know how to party. Pass the lox, for cryin’ out loud.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more