CNN, MSNBC Wrongly Claim GOP Redistricting Stomped on Texas Minorities


In the past couple of weeks, CNN and MSNBC have shown multiple double standards by peddling misinformation about Texas’s congressional redistricting plan to accuse Republicans of cutting minority representation in the state while ignoring aggressive gerrymandering by Illinois Democrats. It was even wrongly suggested that Republicans would prevent any black members of Congress from being elected in Texas.

Additionally, the liberal networks — each of which only has one Hispanic host anchoring on weekdays (and until recently had zero) — pushed for racial quotas to guarantee more representation for Latinos, and even understated the number of minority majority districts.

Contrary to reports that Texas Republicans hoarded both of the state’s new congressional districts, the GOP legislature handed one new seat to Democrats by drawing the 37th district in the Austin area where Joe Biden received 75.2 percent (according to data recently released by the Texas Tribune).

CNN’s Ed Lavandera, jumping to the conclusion that white voters equal Republicans, claimed both districts would likely elect Republicans while coverage did not acknowledge Democrats would get a new seat, sometimes emphasizing the total number of white majority districts.

And without informing viewers that the GOP increased the  number of minority majority districts (based on eligible voters) from 14 to 15, both networks seized on the solidly Democratic 35th district having its Hispanic percentage trimmed from 53 to 48 percent to claim that a Hispanic district had been eliminated. 

In total, in 10 districts (or 26 percent) Hispanics would be the most numerous group, although only a majority in seven. In five other districts, a majority would be nonwhite without any particular group holding a majority.

It is noteworthy that, while CNN cited U.S. Census reports that 39.3 percent of Texas residents are Hispanic, CNN’s exit polling found that, on Election Day 2020, only 23 percent of voters in the state were Hispanic.

Additionally, it was hinted at that the number of black members of Congress was being cut from one to zero because the 30th district’s black percentage is being trimmed a mere three points from 52 to 49 percent. It was not mentioned that there are currently five black members of Congress from Texas, three of whom represent districts in which blacks make up the largest demographic group (of eligible voters), and all five will still be in safe districts where they will likely be reelected.

MSNBC hosts Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow even claimed that the district was being “eliminated,” and, earlier this week, Nicolle Wallace was using the issue to promote an effort by NAACP president Derrick Johnson to get black athletes to boycott the state.

In contrast with their hyperventilating over Texas redistricting, after news broke on Friday that Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger would retire — as he reacted to the release of Democratic-drawn maps that put him into a difficult district — the issue of Illinois Democrats gerrymandering was mostly downplayed as anchors kept trying to focus their attention on the antagonism between Kinzinger and former President Donald Trump.

Anchors showed no interest in talking about Illinois Democrats trying to cut Republicans down to just three out of 17 districts, or the fact that Illinois would have only one Hispanic majority district while 18 percent of Illinois residents are Hispanic.

On MSNBC, this smear of Republicans was paid for in part by Progressive, and on CNN, by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

October 19, 2021

5:41 p.m. Eastern

NICOLLE WALLACE: It’s desperate, it’s dirty politics, it’s morally reprehensible, it’s anti-democratic, and yet it might also be a sign of great political weakness and fear for Republican lawmakers in Texas who evidently feel they need to use every trick — and I mean trick — in the book just to maintain political power in a state that is trending blue.

We have already discussed the GOP’s malignant crusade on voting rights but further proof today that their effort to put a big fat thumb on the scales of democracy goes much further than that. Last night, lawmakers in Texas approved new U.S. House maps that, according to the Associated Press, quote, “favor incumbents and,” surprise, “decreased political representation from growing minority communities.”

(…)

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Reports

October 20, 2021

9:25 a.m.

STEPHANIE RUHLE; The Texas legislature just passed new congressional district maps — they did it on Monday night. These maps would shore up the GOP’s dominance in Texas. And I want to share what Mother Jone‘s Ari Berman points out. White people make up 40 percent of the population, and they control 60 percent of the state’s districts — 39 percent are Latino, but Latinos only control 18 percent of districts. Blacks make up 12 percent and Asians five percent — they control zero districts — zero.

CNN Newsroom

October 20, 2021

2:50 p.m.

DIANE GALLAGHER: There are now fewer districts that have a majority Hispanic or black population in them. Instead of the eight majority Hispanic districts, there are now seven, and there are zero districts in Texas at this point with these new maps that will have a black majority of residents who are eligible voters. On the flip side, there are 23 instead of 22 that have a white majority of eligible voters.

(…)

MSNBC’s The ReidOut

October 20, 2021

7:22 p.m.

JOY REID: The Republican legislature there approved new congressional district boundaries this week overwhelmingly favoring Republicans and white voters and decreasing minority representation since the Roberts Supreme Court cut the guts out of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Texas could draw their maps without federal approval, putting in place Jim Crow version 2.0 after today’s failed vote, which would have banned the type of extreme racial gerrymandering that Texas just enacted.

(…)

7:29 p.m.

This is what Texas has done — they have taken white voters who are 40 percent of the population and given them 60 percent of the districts. They’ve taken a rising majority in Texas — which is Hispanic — and they’ve cut their representation, which should be 39 percent, to 18 (percent), and they’ve taken African Americans who apparently no longer exist as a matter of power in the state of Texas, so they’ve given them none. That is the end of Reconstruction…

(…)

JUANITA TOLLIVER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: And they, again, eliminated even a majority minority district that was already there, so now they’re going from eight to seven.

(…)

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront

October 20, 2021

7:36 p.m.

ERIN BURNETT (before commercial break): Plus, Democrats are calling it a “Republican power grab.” Texas Republicans redrawing congressional maps.

(…)

BURNETT (before commercial break): Texas Republicans accused of stacking the deck: Why Democrats say they’re trying to dilute the vote of Latinos, blacks and Asians.

UNIDENTIFIED HISPANIC WOMAN: If we don’t take — pay attention this, we will find ourselves with no representation.

(…)

7:50 p.m.

BURNETT: Tonight, a Texas Republican powerplay. The legislature drew a new congressional map for the state that will be used for the next decade. Who does it benefit most? Well, white Republican incumbents.

(…)

Don Lemon Tonight

October 20, 2021

11:22 p.m.

DON LEMON (speaking to DNC chairman Jaime Harrison): Texas’s new map would give white Republicans disproportionate representation even as minorities are making up a greater share of the state population. .And you can see it really clearly when you look at the numbers here. It’s straight-up voting restrictions for minorities and people of color. What is going on? And why can’t Democrats combat this?

CNN’s New Day

October 21, 2021

6:58 a.m.

JOHN AVLON: It increases the number of Republican-dominated districts from 22 to 25 while reducing the number of districts in which Hispanics make up a majority of the electorate from eight to seven. Again, that’s despite Hispanics now being roughly equal the non-Hispanic white population in Texas. And that’s not all. They actually dropped the number of districts in which African Americans make up a majority from a grand total of one to zero.

(…)

CNN’s At This Hour

October 21, 2021

11:56 a.m.

JESSICA HUSEMAN: VOTEBEAT: All of the growth is due mostly to Latino population growth in the state, but the maps don’t take that into consideration at all. Despite the huge growth, we’re not going to see any Democratic seats gained in the next election, most likely, given these lines, and so I would say that it — it’s really the Republicans’ last attempt to hold on to power here.

KATE BOLDUAN: And, Ben, this is something you and I have debated for for so long — he’s stopped taking my calls, I’m just warning everyone. Here’s a look at what this redistricting looks like in Texas this time around ,And gerrymandering is the source of all evil, I will declare. Yet, it is still happening. Why are these legislators allowed to do this? There is a portion, according to the journal, Ben, in one district in Texas now that is just 28 houses wide.

(Republican-leaning CNN contributor Ben Ginsburg argues that it is better that legislatures redistrict because they are more accountable to voters than appointed commission and also mentions the Illinois gerrymandering by Democrats.)

(…)

CNN’s New Day Weekend

October 23, 2021

8:37 a.m.

ED LAVANDERA: Civil rights groups say the two newly created congressional districts in Texas are drawn to give white and likely Republican candidates an advantage. The white voting age population tops over 50 percent in 23 of the 38 congressional districts in Texas. The Latino voting age population is the majority in seven districts. Black and Asian voters do not make up the majority of the population in any congressional districts.

MSNBC’s Velshi

October 23, 2021

9:47 a.m.

ALI VELSHI: Texas redistricting tests whether minority population gains will translate into political clout. Everybody I hear talk about Texas tells me there’s more Democrats moving in, the population change with the growth of the Latino community, the growing power of blacks in Texas, but under these rules it doesn’t matter. It will not change — at least for the time being — the ability for Republicans who are working very hard to disenfranchise voters of color in Texas from continuing to do so.

ROLAND MARTIN: HOST OF ROLAND MARTIN UNFILTERED: Look, 95 percent of the growth — the population growth in Texas — has been a result of nonwhites. The Republican party is a white.

(…)

CNN Newsroom

October 26, 2021

1:48 p.m.

ANA CABRERA: We’re back with a Republican power grab in Texas…

(…)

TOM FOREMAN: Under this formula, the white majority districts, 23. Hispanic majority districts, 7. So there is a massive advantage being given to the white majority districts which will tend to vote more Republican compared to all the other districts. The Hispanic majority — the Hispanics in the state, the people of color in the state are the reason they got more congressional seats, but their reward for this is their influence politically is being diminished in the state by the Republicans…

(…)

MSNBC”s The Rachel Maddow Show

October 26, 2021

9:56 p.m.

RACHEL MADDOW: Texas gained 11 new residents who are Hispanic or Latino for every one new white resident over the past 10 years, but that doesn’t mean they get represented in Congress. Texas’s new congressional map gives both of its new districts to white majority voting populations. The new map reduces the number of Hispanic majority districts from eight to seven despite the huge growth in the Latino population. The new maps eliminate entirely Texas’s only congressional district where black voters were the majority.

(…)

MSNBC’s Ayman

October 30, 2021

8:24 p.m.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN: The state added those two new districts because the state’s population grew. And 95 percent of that growth was actually driven by people of color. So logically the districts would reflect that vote. Instead, Republicans opted to give white voters both control of those districts.

(…)

So Hispanic people make up 39 percent of Texas’s population. The numbers speak for themselves. Under this new map, they only have the majority in seven out of 38 congressional districts, 30 out of 150 state house districts, and 7 out of 31 state senate districts. That’s about 20 percent of those allotted seats. 

This is the first year in nearly 50 years that Texas hasn’t had to get its maps preapproved by the federal government. Before the burden was on Texas to show why their maps actually didn’t discriminate against people of color. Now, that burden falls on those who challenge that map like yourself and others to try and prove why it is discriminating against people of color.

(…)

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House

November 1, 2021

5:45 p.m.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Just last week, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law the state’s new redistricting bill that heavily favors the Republicans and reduces the voting strength of minority voters who happened to fuel Texas’s population growth over the last few years. In response, the NAACP has released an open letter condemning the governor’s action by targeting some very high-profile residents of the state, professional athletes.

In the letter, addressed to athletes in the NBA, NFL, WNBA, MLB, NHL, the NAACP president, Derrick Johnson, appeals to free agents of all those leagues with one simple message: “If you are a free agent and are considering employment in Texas, look elsewhere.” Joining us now, the author of that letter, the president and CEO of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson.

(…)

DERRICK JOHNSON, NAACP PRESIDENT AND CEO: What Texas has done is suffocate their ability to be full citizens through their redistricting process which suffocates African Americans and Latino voices.

(…)

 

CNN Newsroom

October 29, 2021

1:12 p.m.

GLORIA BORGER: And, by the way, he would have faced a very tough primary because of redistricting against a conservative, pro-Trump candidate.

(…)

CNN Newsroom

October 29, 2021

2:10 p.m.

JESSICA DEAN: It’s also worth noting that redistricting in his home state was playing a large role in this. A  new map came out of redistricting in Illinois earlier today, and he was going to overlap with another GOP member of Congress, so that certainly probably played a role in this as well.

(…)

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House

October 29, 2021

4:05 p.m.

CARLOS CURBELO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: By the way, Adam Kinzinger is not running away. He’s going to remain active. He’s also a victim of redistricting in Illinois, which is happening all over the country. So I don’t want people to think that he’s walking away. He’s not. He pretty much doesn’t have a choice, given the way the maps are going to work out in Illinois.

(…)

NICOLLE WALLACE: Was this a surprise to his colleagues or his staff? Or was this, for some of the reasons the congressman cited, expected?

JACKIE ALEMANY, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think regardless of the reality here and the message that former Congressman Curbelo is putting forth here, this is a surprise to some people on Capitol Hill. And it’s also being looked at as a victory for people in Trump’s orbit. Former Trump staffers have very publicly and privately been taking a victory lap. This is undoubtedly a scalp for President Trump.

(…)

ALEMANY: The slow disintegration of the group of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump, they’ve gotten quieter and quieter, smaller and smaller, and now one of the biggest leaders of that group is calling it quits and throwing in the towel.

(…)

CNN’s The Situation Room

October 29, 2021

6:17 p.m.

BRIAN TODD: One possible reason for Kinzinger’s decision, his Illinois district is being redrawn, which would have pitted him against a Trump ally in his primary. But there are other factors at play. Kinzinger is one of 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump during his second impeachment earlier this year. Trump has turned on all of them.

Kinzinger and Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez are declining to seek reelection  The other eight face primary challenges. Trump today issued a statement saying “2 down, eight to go.”

(…)

WOLF BLITZER: What does Kinzinger’s decision to step down say about the Republican party today?

BORGER: Well, it says that the Republican party today belongs to Trump. He was facing a tough primary, as Brian (Todd) pointed out, because of redistricting against a pro-Trump person.

(…)

BLITZER: Gloria, Congressman Kinzinger is one of only two Republicans on the January 6 Select Committee. Is the Republican being purged of members willing to hold Donald Trump accountable?

BORGER: Well, they certainly don’t like them. I mean, look at who the leader of the Republican party in the House is — Kevin McCarthy.

(…)

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360

October 29, 2021

8:18 p.m.

JOHN BERMAN: What does it say that someone like Adam Kinzinger, a military veteran, a lifelong conservative, has concluded he has no place in the House Republican caucus?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he has obviously been one of the most visible anti-Trump voices, and obviously had fallen under the gaze of Donald Trump. And it would have made it difficult for him to win a primary. What made it it even more difficult of course is what the Democrats did to him in Illinois. 

They gerrymandered the state of Illinois to the point where — they did it to him once before and he survived a primary a few years ago — and this time they threw him in with another member of Congress. So it was a case where Donald Trump hating Adam Kinzinger and Democrats gerrymandering the map converged to run Kinzinger out.

(…)

BERMAN: Adam Kinzinger is often referred to by the likes of President Trump as a RINO, a Republican in Name Only, or a moderate, shorthand there. But, you know, he’s conservative, his voting record. He rarely broke the ranks here. So, on policy matters, you know, he’s as Republican as you can get. His only crime in the mind of Trump is crossing Trump.

(…)

CNN’s Don Lemon Tonight

October 29, 2021

11:07 p.m.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What’s happening is, again, mainstream reasonable voices are being pushed out while the most extreme voices are being embraced and uplifted. That’s what’s so troubling about this — that people like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger who speak truth, are thoughtful, principled people, and find that they’re really not welcome in the party. And it’s all about creating a new movement so that people, you know, who are, you know, I would say center-right and principled can feel comfortable within the GOP, and many cannot right now.

DON LEMON: Redistricting didn’t help, though, right?

DENT: Correct. Oh, yeah, he was dumped into the seat with Darrin LaHood, and we kind of expected that, too.

(…)

NBC’s Meet the Press

CHUCK TODD: We got another impeachment retirement this week, Anna Palmer, is Adam Kinzinger. And, look, I was skeptical he was ever going to run. I think he was waiting to be able to use redistricting as the reason.

(…)



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