MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Friday lashed out at TheBlaze for running a story about a man captured on camera stuffing a box with loads of ballots and being confronted by a GOP election monitor.
Maddow's issue? TheBlaze didn't include a response from Maricopa County, Arizona, Elections Department spokeswoman Yvonne Reed.
There's just one problem: We made multiple attempts to get such a comment, and once we did, we included it in the story.
"[Reed] eventually gets a call from the Glenn Beck folks after they've posted their damning story and unfortunately she tells them, 'People can bring in someone else’s ballot if those people are willing to trust that individual … there’s no law against bringing in ballots and placing them in the receptacle for early ballots,'" Maddow said.
TheBlaze first published the story, "Surveillance Video Apparently Catches Guy Doing Something at the Ballot Box That Left Republican Monitor Stunned" on Oct. 20 in regard to the Arizona Daily Independent's report about a YouTube video that the Maricopa County GOP chairman said showed a man stuffing the ballot box with "hundreds" of ballots during the August 2014 primary election cycle.
Initial calls from TheBlaze to the Maricopa County Elections Department were repeatedly transferred and placed on hold the same day the story ran. It was during that time that TheBlaze indicated we had tried to reach a representative for the Maricopa County Elections Department but was unable to do so:
TheBlaze has attempted to contact Maricopa County officials to find out whether any investigation is ongoing. Such attempts have been unsuccessful as of the time this story was last updated.
When Reed later provided a comment, TheBlaze added her comment in an updated version of the original story:
Yvonne Reed, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Elections Department, said the event occurred at an “operations center,” and “there’s no investigation. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“People can bring in someone else’s ballot if those people are willing to trust that individual,” Reed said. “There’s no law against bringing in ballots and placing them in the receptacle for early ballots.”
Further, TheBlaze posted a separate article Oct. 24 (the same day Maddow's 14-minute monologue aired) that included part of Reed's comments in the headline. The entirety of Reed's comments were published again in the body of that second story.
Maddow failed to acknowledge these multiple and well-intentioned efforts in her own reporting as she falsely accused TheBlaze of participating in the "alternate universe of America's right-wing media."
"But still leave the story up. Surveillance camera captures guy doing something. The crime of legally participating in the normal voting process while appearing to be Hispanic has blown up on the rght this week like a dirty freaking bomb," Maddow said.
Watch the 14-minute segment from Maddow's show including a minute and a half of the MSNBC host specifically criticizing TheBlaze:
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