Radio Show Host Responsible for Fake News Release

WVNN morning host Dale Jackson was responsible for the fake news release that instructed voters in Senate District 7 who supported Democrat Laura Hall to come to the polls on Wednesday instead of today, according to this post from the Huntsville Times on al.com. He had it on his website and read it on the air. According to the story, listeners who believed it and called in to the station were told the story was a joke.

Republicans who have been in touch with the Parlor have been quite unhappy about the fake release, saying that no one connected to Republican Paul Sanford’s campaign or the party had any knowledge of the release’s creation or distribution – and unhappy that anyone might think so. (No one I know that knows Sanford believes he would be capable of participating in anything like this.)

According to the Huntsville Times, “Jackson said Tuesday that if people were dumb enough to fall for his stunt and didn’t turn out to vote today, it was their own fault,” a statement remarkable in its unapologetic self-absolution.

A Huntsville Times article earlier this morning reported that the radio host had written on his blog, “Laura Hall is the pathetic cowardly candidate who is banking on the stupidity of the people in her district to vote for who they are told to, like lemmings.” As harsh as that was towards Hall, I heard Republicans calling Jackson worse today.

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44 comments to Radio Show Host Responsible for Fake News Release

  • Isn’t this illegal?

  • JJ

    He should be kicked off the air and be fined!

  • gobama

    He might be the most stupid on air personality EVER and that is saying a bunch. This is truly the worst decision – he calls laura hall’s supporters stupid on his website, then claims that if people were stupid enough to not get his humor then they shouldn’t have the right to vote…hello – stupid people are just as protected as the genius, his honor Dale Jackson. A fan I was – now thinking that he needs to check his brain in for stooping to a level like this. I’ll be shocked if he isn’t put on radio probation, fired or charged by the DOJ.

  • anonymous lucy

    Where are the results of the race?

  • anonymous

    Douchebag Dale.

  • JD

    Hall 5,014 Sanford 9,109 with 34 of 57

    Looks good for the Rep

  • JD

    Hall 6,485 Sanford 11,031 with 48 of 57

    Cue the Fat Lady

  • anonymous

    I’m calling it for Sanford.

  • Department of Justice

    54 of 57 Precincts reporting
    Laura Hall (D) – 8,174- 41%
    Paul Sanford (R) – 11,779 – 59%

  • JD

    I think I’m going to like these split voting days.

  • Paul Sanford won big. Congratulation Paul.

  • JD Hogg

    Did Dale Jackson’s stunt suppress 3600 voters? If not, wow, I mean, wow! I don’t think anyone saw a blowout like this coming.

  • waydownhere

    There is no way that flyer surpressed 200 votes nevermind 3600. The Alabama Democratic party should be embarrassed. Luckily (so far) Griffith does not have a real challenger.

    I really think that flyer needs to be investigated more. There is no way that it orginated with Jackson. It started somewhere else and he agreed to post it as a prank.

  • Mark

    Going after Hall’s double dipping and the pay raise paid dividends.

    It’s crazy that Sanford won by such a landslide when he launched ads just two weeks ago after being down in the polls by double-digits.

  • JD

    Were there ANY actual fliers other than the one that Hall’s campaign copied off idiots web page?

  • del

    I’m not surprised by this result. Hall has little crosssover appeal to white voters and she did not appear to generate a lot of enthusiasm among white voters. But this will likely not help Artur Davis’ efforts to convince Dem insiders that a black can win in a majority white environment.

  • To tell the truth, I found it funny. Have we EVER, in your entire lifetime, had an election as described in the joke? No, of course not. As to his comment, please think on this…

    If someone is dumb and gullible enough to believe something so outrageous is real and doesn’t even bother to verify it, which would be easy to do, do you really want this person casting a vote in an election? Personally, I think folks like that should stay home anyway.

  • Matthew,

    We outlawed poll tests a long time ago (ok, not that long ago.) But YOU don’t get to decide who deserves to cast a vote and neither does Dale Jackson. The fact that you would even suggest it makes me doubt your commitment to small “d” democracy, one of the things that makes this country so magnificent.

    The fact that people were calling the station asking about this indicates that a number of people believed it.

  • This is without a doubt a stupid stunt.

    Dale Jackson and the management of WVNN should get their lawyers prepared for a lawsuit.

    While the election will be certified I am sure the Alabama Democratic party will not sit by without having the station and him drug through the ringer.

  • Mark

    If David Letterman can survive after advocating for the sexual assualt of Sarah Palin’s 14-year old girl, Jackson should keep his job.

  • While I think this was a dumb prank and probably not criminal, I do think some action should be taken against Dale Jackson

    http://www.progressiveelectorate.com/diary/1186/voter-supression-or-voter-spoof-in-alabama-special-election-for-sd07

  • 2010

    I agree with post 11. You other guys need to stop whining and put on your big girl panties. The voters need to get a freakin’ clue and educate themselves or we are all done for in this state………

  • JD

    We’ve had Jeep raffles in front of Black polling places (Illegal), the “Klan gona git you” if you don’t vote door hangers, candidates with indentical names, K. Africa’s famous Commission smear sheets. Just off the top of my head Democrat antics.

    And of course the Don (the felon) Seigelman, “I carried Baldwin County by 60% fable”

  • Reactionary

    Danny – when did you know it was Dale Jackson’s radio stunt that was the focus of your earlier posts?

    Knowing it was a radio stunt and not associated with either campaign is a critical piece of information that IMO should have been noted.

  • Reactionary

    BTW #9, the Republicans will run a ‘real challenger’ against Parker Griffith.

  • Reactionary, I did note that Dale Jackson was responsible… in this post.

    I found out that Dale Jackson was responsible some time after a commenter left a link to the al.com story saying as much. Before that I had heard conflicting accounts.

    I guess you are making a point of some kind. Are you suggesting that I would have known that Dale Jackson was responsible and left that out of earlier posts??

    Thanks,

    Danny

  • Reactionary

    Danny – I guess the earlier “conflicting accounts” are what I was curious about.

    Your first post was very alarming (“sleaze”, “blood” “shed”, “deny” “right to vote”). Between that and SoS Chapman’s equally alarming Press Release (“emails and flyers”, “false information”) it sounded like a for real voter suppression story instead of a stupid joke gone awry.

    As far as I know, Jackson made an inappropriate comment (in the context of electoral history) on the radio and posted an inappropriate letter on his website (which he labeled “joke”): the comment he explained (“unapologetic self-absolution” describes Jackson well) and the letter he removed (on the advice of an attorney – perhaps he should have left it up for all to see).

    I’m sorry to have inferred that you left out information and I apologize. I should have chosen my words more carefully and used more of them to ask the question so as not to offend.

  • Dale Jackson is the Rush Limbaugh of Huntsville.

  • Mooncat, I never said I got to decide who can and can’t vote. What, am I not allowed to voice an opinion, either? As to our country being a democracy, it isn’t. We’re a representative republic, not a democracy.

    And some people should just NOT vote. We don’t need everyone casting a vote, we need as many INFORMED voters as possible. Anybody who would be fooled by such a trasparent stunt doesn’t have the intellectual capacity that we need in voters. I’m sorry you disagree, but the one thing we DON’T need is uninformed voters casting their votes as somebody else told them to, or voting for the name they recognize, or even blindly pulling the “party line” lever.

    Had I heard such a rumor prior to an election, even on the day of, I would have probably ignored it and just gone to my polling place. Had I been sufficiently concerned, I would have called and checked on it… but under NO circumstances would I have just decided not to vote. The story doesn’t even sound remotely real, as I am not aware of such a thing EVER happening. To believe it unquestioningly is… not reasonable.

  • Reactionary

    Dale Jackson is not going out – he is on this morning and explaining the situation every thirty minutes. The only mistake he admits to is using the State seal on his satirical letter. Otherwise – satire.

  • Baudrillard

    I am shocked and dismiayed at how quickly Dale Jackson’s “stunt” has been written off as “satire” or “a studid joke gone awry.” These type of shenanigans are akin to the jokes that used to be played at the polls years ago when certain voters had to know the number of bubbles in a bar of soap. Maybe I just need to lighten up, but I don’t find either joke very funny. They are not intented to be funny. They are intended to manipulate the outcome at the ballot box.

    And, if you are right, Matthew, that our government is not a democracy, but a representative republic, what is the consequence for people in the majority (such as Dale Jackson) who continue to oppress the minority? A representative republic protects the liberties of the minority, and the right to vote certainly falls under those protected liberties. An effort to take away the right to vote, whether you personally believe that minority should have that right or not, is contrary to a true representative republic. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Matthew.

    By the way, has anyone seen a statement from Sanford conddemning Jackson’s actions?

  • I agree with Baudrillard (#31). The only people writing this off as a ‘joke’ are some of the people who wanted Sanford to win. It’s only ‘funny’ to them.

  • Old Prosecutor

    Does anyone know what the turnout was overall (% wise) and what the turnout was in those boxes (% wise) where Hall was expected to do well?

  • 2010

    Post 31, let me know when you are elected as the local board chair for ACORN. It certainly sounds like you are qualified for it…

  • I personally did not support Sanford… or Hall. I have no dog in the fight, so to speak, as I don’t live in that district AND I’m neither Republican nor Democrat.

    And do people honestly believe this was an attempt to “take away the vote” from Democrats? If so, it was the most high-profile, inept attempt I’ve ever seen. It was a joke, people, intended to amuse. It obviously didn’t amuse many people, but I’ve heard a lot of jokes and comedy routines that I didn’t think were funny. That doesn’t mean they weren’t funny, they just weren’t funny TO ME.

    So take a deep breath, calm down, and see if you can’t find something better to complain about.

    Oh, and as to your statement:

    “And, if you are right, Matthew, that our government is not a democracy, but a representative republic…”

    What do you mean, IF I am right? Don’t you know? You should. Let me give you two examples…

    “And to the Republic for which it stands…” – Pledge of Allegiance

    “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” – US Constitution, Article IV, Section 4.

    And here are some sites that may, or may not, help you. I pulled them from a search engine, so take them for what they are.

    http://www.thisnation.com/question/011.html

    http://www.tax-freedom.com/ta19007.htm

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1710/is-the-u-s-a-democracy-or-a-republic-whats-the-difference

  • Baudrillard

    Matthew, I am not arguing with you that our government is not a representative republic. I am suggesting, however, that sometimes, our government does not protect the liberties of the minority as a representative republic does by definition. You indicate as much when you state that some citizens should not be allowed to vote if they cannot deduce that a forged document from the SOS telling them not vote is merely a “joke.”

    I think it disingenuous to say that simply because some did not find the “joke” funny does not mean it was any less of a joke. Folks are kidding themselves if they insist that this was a “joke.” Calling it a joke is pretextual. And, parroting the line about it being a joke only excuses DJ’s conduct. Excusing the action amounts to complicity in my book, which again begs the question: if no one from Sanford’s camp or the ALGOP was even tagentially involved in this, why are they all defending it as a “joke”? When will they denounce this shameful conduct?

  • #23 – JD – Those are all bad also. Please send me a copy of K. Afrika’s smear sheets via email or provide me with more information. would like to get my hand on those

  • Reactionary

    old prosecutor – we’ll get the precinct numbers in a day or so.

    BTW, I defend Jackson’s joke as a joke because his post at his website labeled it as a ‘joke’. To be clear – the ‘flyer’ was posted on his website described as a ‘joke’. That’s pretty easy to defend.

    Jackson’s on air comments are less defensible, but he tried to undo whatever harm he caused by explaining on air that it wasn’t true.

    Jackson admits that his use of the State Seal was a mistake – he called the SoS office and they asked him to stop using it – which he says he was told was the usual remedy for his mistake – so he stopped by taking it down.

    At this point, the issue seems more like an attempt by the Dems to take a talk show host’s scalp – but Jackson shaves his head so that won’t be easy.

  • Reactionary

    op – I expect that Hall turned out her voters. I heard anecdotes that poll workers described her turnout as more than normal.

    But I think we’ll find that South Huntsville turned out in much greater numbers – Sanford beat Givhan in the primary because of the Housing Authority issue. The issue hasn’t gone away and the area has recently been ‘politicized’.

    Hall didn’t make her views known on the issue and the press refused to cover it.

  • Almost right, Baud, with one important exception. I do not think that those people “should not be allowed to vote”, I think that they should not vote.

    Do you see the difference?

    As to ALGOP leaders etc defending the prank, where do you get THAT from?

    Breaking news on ALGOP last night around 5:15 PM yields this quote:

    “State Republican Party spokesman Phillip Bryan decried the said the radio show stunt, which he said could send the election results to court if Sanford wins. ‘We take this kind of stuff very seriously,’ Bryan said. ‘This is no laughing matter for anybody’.”

    http://blog.al.com/breaking/2009/06/secretary_of_state_weighs_in_o.html

    The word “decried”, in case you didn’t know, is the past tense of decry, and means: “To condemn openly.”

    And one story from this morning even starts: “WVNN host’s phonynews release even upsets Republicans.”
    http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/local.ssf?/base/news/124462531383850.xml&coll=1

    “I don’t condone that kind of practical joke,” Sanford said during his victory celebration Tuesday night at the Heritage Club. “It’s pretty serious when you’re talking about the public trust and getting people elected.”

    If I cared to look, I could probably find more such examples… but then, you could have searched for them, as well. And found them. You might want to keep that in mind before wondering “when will somebody…” in the future.

    You want to know when they will “denounce this shameful conduct?” The answer to your question is… about 18 hours before you asked your question in post #36.

  • Baudrillard

    Thanks, Matthew. That was very helpful. I guess I didn’t consider that posters on this blog would prefer the talking points of some right-wing talk show host to the talking points of the ALGOP. But, then again, that appears to be the trend these days.

    I will be sure to check back with you next time I have any questions about definitions of multi-syllabic words in newspaper articles.

  • Reactionary in 27,

    If my first post was as “equally alarming” as Beth Chapman’s Press Release, it was because all I knew at the time of the post was the info from the Secretary of State’s office.

    Although, actually, I thought my posts were a bit understated. I didn’t speculate or lay blame as to who was responsible. I asked readers for more info from their own experiences about how the info was being circulated that Chapman said was being circulated. I asked for a copy of what was being circulated. I simply passed along the info that I knew as I knew it.

    BTW, and while you say that Jackson labeled the release on his website as a joke, multiple people tell me that he did not label it as a joke initially but added that later.

  • That’s true, Danny. When I saw it (~9 AM) there was no such label.

  • [...] Wednesday … unless there’s an election going on. According to the Huntsville Times, “Jackson said Tuesday that if people were dumb enough to fall for his stunt and didn’t turn out to …,” a statement remarkable in its unapologetic [...]

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