Media and Mental Illness: CNN’s Coverage of VIP

(Raleigh, NC)–June 14, 2014–CNN took their first-ever shot at the Voter Integrity Project about a week ago in an article (linked below) called, “Vigilante or vindicator?” I gave the interview in early May at the advice of a trusted intermediary who later told me she felt betrayed by the reporter’s handling of VIP. While the story could have been a lot worse, some of her word choices deeply annoyed our supporters and two aspects (see below) disturbed me personally.

LeighAnnCaldwellThe writer, Leigh Ann Caldwell, seemed genuinely shocked when I gave her my final assessment that her work “did me ugly.” To which, she replied, “really? I don’t agree. My editors didn’t think so either.”

After pondering her words and reviewing her website, I believe she was sincere in her self-assessment. The problem is, she is caught up in the maddening media game so much so, that she blew past the two most dangerous of her word choices, and those nuances are the substance of today’s post.

First, she breezily used the term, “mentally ill,” when I said, “mentally incompetent.” This may seem like hair splitting but it’s important. “Mental incompetence” is a legal status for adults with a court-ordered guardian. Don Carrington broke the original story, but we too heard numerous eyewitness accounts of severely disabled people being wheeled into the polls–some led on leashes–for the shameful purpose of vote harvesting. I even helped the family earn media coverage in in a Roanoke Rapids case.

For the record, we support “mentally ill” persons who want to vote. It should scare us all if the elite get to judge the mental health of rest of us in such an Huxlian world? That said, we also believe people who are declared “mentally incompetent” in a court of law should be protected from political manipulation. As is the case in South Carolina, they can only vote by court approval.

We’ve explained our battle over this issue with the Legislature in a prior posting, but the main reason that anybody is adjudicated as “mentally incompetent” is because a court of law has been conviced that the person needs to be protected from exploitation.

We suspect that quite a few “care providers,” from North Carolina’s various nursing homes, group homes, and mental institutions used this election law loophole to force thousands of their wards to vote during November 2012’s early voting. Tragically, most such “mentally incompetent”  voters had no idea about issues that may one day affect them, such as euthanasia for the handicapped.

In another slant, Leigh Ann’s passing reference likening election observers to “voter vigilantes” is a dangerous branding that could lead to violence against innocent people observing at the polls.

For the record (part 2), we’re not vigilantes and we steadfastly oppose breaking the law. Quite the contrary, our entire strategy involves making election laws work as originally intended; but only in America’s toxic media culture, does a law-abiding mindset get redefined as “vigilantes.” Sorry. . .but “the glove don’t fit.”

Tying these two concepts together, we should never forget the danger of clinically “mentally ill” people who decide to settle political scores with violence. Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords was one such victim and a similar shooting last year (largely ignored by media) involved someone ranting about “homophobia” as he shot a guard at the Family Research Council.

It concerns me that a mentally ill person might receive the propaganda about us that passes for “news” as justification for a little vigilantism of his own. My fear is that a genuinely “mentally ill” person could decide to shoot at our offices (or even at me) while muttering about our trying to take away his right to vote: a misconception that stems solely from the CNN coverage.


Please click here to read the CNN Article being discussed above .

Bonus Room:

Please recognize that Leigh Ann’s reporting revealed her heart to be in the right place. As contrast, see what truly slanted reporting looked like in MSNBC’s attack against VIP on September 20, 2012. I’ve never bothered to write a point-by-point rebuttal of Rachel Maddow’s lies and innuendos, but she gets credit for giving me (personally) the worst flogging I’ve ever endured, and having earned some pretty severe “wire brushings” during my 32-year military career, that’s saying a lot.


Until that night, my cell phone number was actually on our website, but it blew up at exactly 9:20 PM, the moment Rachel rant was finished. (You’ll have to turn the volume up, but here was the–no kidding–most polite of the obscene phone messages I received from Rachael’s Rabid Response Team.) After 15-20 such nasty calls and several hundred vitriolic emails, our site was shut down by a hostile attack. We finally got it back up later that night, but the drill showed us how some “Progressives” can be easily worked up by skilled propagandists (such as Ms. Maddow) into mob-like behavior. More importantly, that night ‘s events cemented our resolve to find out what the Proggies are so desperately (and viciously) trying to hide.