Tom Sullivan is the latest reputable talk show host to legitimize a right wing hoax. On his syndicated Fox Radio talk show Monday he presented as fact the suspicious story of a La Mesa man who allegedly received a voter registration form pre-marked with an “X” for the Democratic Party after enrolling in Covered California.
The voter registration forms were mailed to 3.8 million people by the California Secretary of State’s office as part of a settlement with the ACLU and other groups to register more voters. Curiously, out of this large group who received the forms, the pre-marked ballot was sent to only one man in La Mesa who refused to identify himself.
Sullivan turned the alleged conspiracy into a talk show topic this week, stating a lot of news sites had reported on the story. The only problem was, no legitimate news site had reported on this pseudo scandal, and there was no credible evidence to back it up. Just because a bunch of right wing bloggers parrot the same rumor does not make it a fact.
For me, the real story is that a once respectable radio talk show host has gone to the dark side and is now presenting specious nonsense as legitimate news.
When Tom Sullivan sat behind the microphone at Sacramento’s KFBK, he was widely respected as a common sense financial guy who got his facts right. I’ve lived in Sacramento since the early 80s and could always count on Tom to talk straight. I was proud when our local guy hit it big and moved to the Big Apple.
But something sad happened to Sullivan after he left Sacramento. The former highway patrolman, accountant and stock broker became Foxified.
Hopeful that I could be wrong, I gave Sullivan a chance to redeem himself by posting the following on his official Facebook page:
“One anonymous man from La Mesa claims he received a pre-marked voter registration ballot and a bunch of conservative websites run with the story. Does that make it true? I expect this sort of nonsense-masquerading-as-news from Hannity and Limbaugh, but not you, Tom. I was embarrassed for you yesterday.
“P.S. If you can present objective evidence this a) really happened and b) pertains to more than a few random people, I will be happy to eat my words and sincerely apologize. So far I can’t find even one news source that bothered to vet this suspicious sounding story.”
I did not receive a reply from Sullivan, but one of his listeners replied to my post: “Do you honestly expect the MSM to report on this?”
Um, yes, I did — if there were facts to back up the story. California has a fair share of conservative leaning daily newspapers like the San Diego Union-Tribune and Orange County Register, neither of which devoted even a column inch to this potentially juicy scandal.
Since Sullivan is a busy guy, I gave him another chance to respond later in the week.
“So I’m guessing, Tom Sullivan, you and your staff could not find any evidence that the story about the anonymous La Mesa man whose voter registration form was allegedly pre-marked Democrat had any validity. Interesting that no other person has come forward to say they had also received a pre-marked VR form, and the only reports on this faux news story are right wing blogs and a local TV station that just parroted what the couple told them. If I claim that a UFO containing unicorns landed in my backyard and get some loony bloggers to report on it, will you make that a topic on your show, too?”
I received another response, but again it was not from Sullivan: “Interesting that Ocrapcare is a piece of sh*t law passed by a corrupt bunch of legislators who are running from it as fast as they can….that is the real story here. BTW…do you have a wonderful Ocrapcare medical plan?”
Lesson learned. By entering the land of the ditto heads, I deserved what I got — paranoid and angry non-responsive rants devoid of the factual evidence I had requested.
Though I’m still waiting for Sullivan or his staff to reply on his Facebook page, I’m not holding my breath. I’ll just have to pass the time hanging out with my new unicorn pals in the backyard.
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