WSJ says Franken is "manipulating" system, Salon says prove it or shut up

It's the battle of opinions these days in the race for the Minnesota U.S. Senate seat. While a majority of Minnesotans believe the recount was fair and a majority of the mainstream media has accepted that fact, there are some out there still holding true to Norm Coleman's vital talking points. 

In the latest Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Kimberley Strassel suggests that Franken is "manipulating" his way through the Minnesota election system to pull out the win. Please, prove it. 

And in a hilarious, and very honest piece over at Salon, Joe Conason tells everyone to prove he stole the election or shut your trap. The bickering continues. 

More from the WSJ piece:

Mr. Franken was also created out of scandal -- though, fortunately for him, the type that is today considered politics-as-usual. Mr. Franken has been manipulating the socks off the Minnesota system, turning what had been a 700-plus vote lead for Mr. Coleman into a 225-vote lead for himself. This was primarily accomplished by litigating back to life absentee votes that had been rejected on Election Day. 

It was not so much a recount as a one-sided do-over. But since it took place behind the scenes, and since the comedian loosed the standard Democratic cry of "let every vote count," nobody got upset.

Ah yes, our favorite type of opinion pieces. Those that have no evidence to support their claim. 

Unfortunately Strassel didn't do her research because the recount was amazingly transparent. It was conducted by a bipartisan state Canvassing Board that voted unanimously 95 percent of the time even on the most important issues. Coleman's campaign even trusted the Canvassing Board from the onset. All of the proceedings were streaming live on The UpTake for anyone interested in watching. And any interested resident could visit the county recount centers to watch the campaigns challenge ballots. 

Oh, and "litigating back to life" those absentee ballots? She must not have realized that any rejected absentee ballot that was counted in the race was approved by both campaigns based on a Minnesota Supreme Court decision.

Salon comes to the rescue with a spot-on piece telling all these conspiracy theorists to shut up.

If Al Franken were not a longtime public figure -- and thus severely handicapped by American jurisprudence -- he could file a powerful complaint for libel or slander against several of the most prominent wingnuts in the United States. From Rush Limbaugh to Bill O'Reilly to Richard Mellon Scaife, a chorus of familiar voices is loudly defaming the Democrat whose razor-thin win in the Minnesota Senate race will now be tested in that state's courts. Ever since Election Day, on radio and television, on the Internet and in print, they've screamed that Franken is stealing, rigging, pilfering, scamming, thieving and cheating his way to victory. 

These media figures, some of whom occasionally pretend to be journalists, have spewed such accusations repeatedly, without offering any proof whatsoever -- in plain contradiction of the available facts. Not only is there no evidence that Franken or his campaign "cheated" in any way during the election or the recount, but there is ample reason to believe that the entire process was fair, balanced and free from partisan taint.

(State Canvassing Board) decisions against Coleman, which led to Franken's provisional victory by 255 votes, were unanimous. It is this group, composed of distinguished judges with spotless reputations, whose hard work has been described in odious terms by the likes of Morris, Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

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