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Friday, November 12, 2004

Random vote notes

The whole world is watching. The Consortium offers a good overview of foreign reactions to our miserable election. This passage has particular impact:

On Oct. 21, the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the OSCE issued a harsh statement about the U.S. electoral system, asserting that it "does not meet present-day requirements, is archaic, unwieldy, frequently complicated and bureaucratic in nature and, in the final analysis, does not guarantee the holding of genuinely democratic elections."

The Belarus representative noted that the United States itself has criticized early voting and electronic voting in other countries because the lack of security could lead to "manipulating voters' votes."
Getting dissed -- justifiably -- by a former Soviet republic! Only a Bush could bring us to such a pretty pass...

Another look at Coyote. Previously, we took a look at Peter Coyote's list of oddball circumstances that brought us to this strange electoral place. Now let us note something he says in his preamble:

On Friday I received a phone call from a good friend who works at CBS--I've known her for years and she is a Producer for some of the news programs, one well known one in particular. She tipped me off that the news media is in a "lock-down" and that there is to be no TV coverage of the real problems with voting on Nov. 2nd. She said similar "lock-down orders" had come down last year after the invasion of Iraq, but this is far worse--far scarier. She said the majority of their journalists at CBS and elsewhere in NYC are pretty horrified--every one is worried about their jobs and retribution Dan Rather style or worse. My source said they've also been forbidden to talk about it even on their own time...
Bev Harris said much the same thing!

Olbermann. He has a great new video report, which you can see here. In it, we learn that the Green/Libertarian recount effort will wisely seek to have Blackwell recused, given his partisanship.

We also learn that the optical scanner results in New Hampshire (which Kerry narrowly won) may show some of the same anomalies (Dem counties switching parties) the Dopp report allegedly demonstrated in Florida. Boy, those "Dixiecrats" turn up in the damnedest places, don't they?

Professor John Cleese on the elections: Academics and experts such as Dr. Freeman have lent their names to the proposition that something funny happened on election night. You knew that the other side would have to find an academic or two to shore up their part in the debate. (Recall how big tobacco could always find a doctor willing to tout its party line?) This study from a Cal Tech/M.I.T. project attempts to demonstrate that the exit polls fell within the margin of error.

They're doing it again, people -- just as I predicted. The routine never stops.

They say: "Exit polls can have errors."

And we say: "The errors should skew in both directions."

And they reply: "Exit polls aren't accurate."

And we say: "Look, bub, you didn't hear me. No matter how tiny or large the margin of error is, the error should skew in both directions."

And they reply: "Well, we've prepared this chart showing that the poll results were within the margin of error..."

And our side ultimately has no choice but to scream:


And they reply, "Well, you see, exit polls aren't always accurate..."

And we suddenly realize that we are trapped in a Monty Python routine. No matter what we say, they will repeat the same line over and over. Exit polls aren't accurate. And that parrot isn't dead. It's just pining for the fjords.
An observation about the comments attributed to Peter Coyote and Bev Harris concerning a "media lockdown" on stories about possible election fraud. The wording of each statement is so similar that it leads me to wonder if the quotes are both true and original (that is arising from separate instances). Is it possible Bev Harris somehow heard what Peter Coyote had to say and repeated it as if she had heard it directly from someone in the media? Or vice versa? Frankly, while I distrust the mainstream media it is hard to believe that it is so corrupt that something amounting to a gag order on the press would not get published. People go into journalism because they love to tell stories and vie to be the first one out with the "exclusive." If this story is accurate why hasn't it come out elsewhere?

An Oregon Fan
I'm not sure we can completely understand what it's like to be a member of the press and be intimidated by the White House. Let's put it this way, if there is a "lockdown", it means that any stories journalists write about illegalities in the Bush White House will not be printed. And they will not be aired on TV. This has nothing to do with daring to write an "exclusive". This means that any exclusive you write won't be printed and you'll be fired.

Woodward and Bernstein had the blessing of the Washington Post owner and the Washington Post editor when they did their Watergate investigation. No large newspapers are blessing investigations of the Bush White House.

Writers can't get their stories published in the mainstream media no matter how well-researched they are

It is pretty hard to wrap our minds around the kind of power and intimidation the Bush White House wields.

And to hear ex-Congresswoman (NY-R) Susan Molinari on tonight's Hardball, she would like for bloggers to be under some rules that would shut us up. Or, in her words, we should be "held accountable".

Ratfuck Diary (
An interesting side-note that goes back to the Bulge-gate story.

When the Bulge was a hot topic, the media refused to cover the story because the Bulge was a "loaded issue"... (meaning that the issue itself brought out deep feelings of mistrust in the government). Therefore the issue should not be covered before the election. Several polls showed that this assertion may have been true, though it was still lousy journalism and a lame excuse not to follow a story.

I have seen some new polls on people's reaction to the election fraud issue ( I'll try to dig up the links and post 'em). Oddly, these polls showed the exact opposite... that Americans didn't want to believe that election fraud could exist, regardless of facts. Further, most Americans wanted to accept the current election results.

Perhaps this will be the latest excuse for the media not to cover an important story in-depth.

By the way, there is a new, concise HISTORY of the Bulge story posted at: The Bulge is still alive, barely, but its important to note that the story is somewhat linked to the election fraud issue, and may have simply been the tip of a much larger iceburg.

Cannon... Keep up the good work!

If you've ever lived in a small town and done any muckracking, or just been involved in, or just affected by a proposed landfill, incinerator, nuclear plant, huge Fed-Ex airfield, new reservoir or highway seizing people's farms for a pittance (etc. ad infinitum) you will have had the experience of local newspapers who can't go against big advertisers, and which sometimes just won't cover something out of fear (or attitude of owner).

The same thing happened with our state newspaper, involving a big advertiser, the local power company.

But something different started to happen from the late 90s.

For instance, the Raleigh News and Observer, which covers about a a third of the state at least, including capital, which was gradually turning into an ad wrapper, cut down on news content in favor of section features designed about ad revenue (lifestyle, auto, real estate etc.) and had an internal etc. ad campaign, "your manual for daily living."

Seemingly out of nowhere came a mass letter campaign to the newspaper from people claiming that the Bible was the only "manual for daily living" and threatening to cancel subscriptions etc. Now we have a once a week "Religion" section.

So called conservatives have been bombarding the paper ever since about their op-ed and news coverage, and the Op Ed sections now routinely include dotty RW editorials.

But the hands off approach of the major networks seems to have been both the results of pressure from RW organized viewers and the relentless Rove machine, but was otherwise cowardly and self-defeating.

Their failure to properly inform the public about the Bush agenda and GOP methods and disinformation allowed Bush to be "re-elected" and now the screws are tightening.

I think that the network news producers probably are really running scared. However, I thought it interesting that when ABC's Peter Jennings introduced a debunking segment it was like hearing someone report from inside the cage.

It sounded like "There are rumors on the internet...nothing to it..." (so log on if you haven't and find out!!!!

So now we know. If we just keep making fuss about something and there is credible evidence of a problem, they will have to acknowledge the fuss, even if they say it's no big deal, not true.

So the internet will become the samizdat (the mimeo underground press of the old USSR).
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