New York Times warned readers about vote by mail concerns in 2012, now claims that’s a false narrative

“We all knew the media simply chose the facts that suited its own narrative,” WSJ editor Gerald Baker wrote

President Trump and many of his Republican allies have said mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud, while Democrats condemn the suggestion – but it turns out the liberal New York Times used to feel the same way.

Wall Street Journal editor-at-large Gerald Baker pointed out the Gray Lady’s hypocrisy in a recent column that was published in Tuesday’s print edition.

“‘Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner,” Baker wrote before urging readers to guess who made the remarks.

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“Another presidential tweet? Some right-wing pundit promoting a debunked theory about mail-in ballots in an effort to delegitimize the election? Try the New York Times,” Baker wrote.

President Trump and many of his Republican allies have said mail voting is vulnerable to fraud, as Democrats condemn the suggestion. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

President Trump and many of his Republican allies have said mail voting is vulnerable to fraud, as Democrats condemn the suggestion. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Baker unearthed a front-page story published by the Times prior to the 2012 presidential election that “cast grave doubt on the reliability of widespread mail-in voting” and indicated it was “more vulnerable to fraud than conventional voting.”

The 2012 Times story headlined, “Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises,” featured reporter Adam Liptak detailing the dangers of voting by mail.

Mail-in voting fraud is “vastly more prevalent than the in-person voting fraud that has attracted far more attention,” Liptak wrote.

As Baker illustrated, the Times has changed its tune now that Trump is against voting by mail.

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On Aug. 31, the Times ran a story headlined, “Trump Is Pushing a False Argument on Vote-by-Mail Fraud. Here Are the Facts,” that claimed  experts say voting by mail can be conducted safely, “despite Republican claims of corruption.”

“With concerns mounting over how the country can conduct elections during a pandemic and Democrats pressing for alternatives to in-person voting, President Trump has begun pushing a false argument that has circulated among conservatives for years — that voting by mail is a recipe for fraud,” Times reporters Stephanie Saul and Reid J. Epstein wrote.

In her column, Baker wrote that it could be feasible that “that all that fraud the paper worried about has just disappeared in eight years,” but he has his doubts.

“The real clue as to why the Times -- along with virtually the entire media -- now says claims about mail-in fraud are false comes further down in that October 2012 news item,” Baker wrote before spotlighting a statistic in the Obama-era Times story that indicated Republicans are in fact more likely than Democrats to vote absentee.

“There you have it. When voting by mail seemed to be a Republican thing it was: Fraud! Manipulation! Now that Democrats are expected to vote this way in much greater numbers, it’s all: Nothing to see here,” Baker wrote.

“Liberals in the media and the political establishment used to poke fun at conservatives who supposedly ignored evidence, data and facts on things like climate change. But we all knew the media simply chose the facts that suited its own narrative and picked another set when they were no longer convenient,” Baker added. “Now it’s transparent.”

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Meanwhile, Democrats have pushed back against the Trump campaign and the RNC's claims that mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud – citing a litany of studies that show mail-voting fraud is rare in the United States. Some states have successfully run elections with universal mail-in voting in the past.  Emphasizing the danger of the pandemic, Democrats have repeatedly said mail-in voting is a safe and secure alternative to sending millions of voters to the polls on Nov. 3.

It appears The New York Times agrees nowadays, even if it didn’t back in 2012.

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.