Sunday, November 14, 2004

The Times Sees Through The Tin Foil

The New York Times ran an editorial today entitled "About Those Election Results," (Times Opinion...sorry, folks, but the grey lady makes you register before you can view her undergarments) which almost makes up for the garbage they ran on the front page a few days ago. After listing some of the questions that have resonated throughout the "blogosphere," the Times notes that [d]efenders of the system have been quick to dismiss questions like these as the work of "conspiracy theorists," but that misses the point.

I'm glad to see that they get it. Electronic voting proved to be, as critics warned, a problem. There is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale. But this country should have elections in which the public has no reason to worry whether every vote was counted properly, and we're still not there. But it won't be long if we stay the course.

The Times understands that the strongest defense against conspiracy theorists is election officials who act with openness and integrity...we need umpires who don't take sides. It might be close to impossible to find enough of these sorts of umps, but at least let's make the effort to remove all traces of transparent partisanship.

We also need coverage of this urgent issue by reporters better than, say, Tom Zeller Jr, who seemed to forget his own prior work on electronic voting before the election. On September 19th ( Global Exchange) Mr. Zeller wrote, "Still, the scrutiny and criticism that have dogged electronic voting machines over the last year all but guarantee that a pall of suspicion and distrust will hang over a technology that awaits approximately 45 million registered voters if they go to the polls." That's a little different than what he wrote this past Friday. But, to be fair, maybe it's not his fault. Perhaps his editors accidentally deleted the tin foil references from his earlier work.

Over the last ten-or-so days, I've mostly hit upon the overt acts of voter suppression and the uncounted spoilage votes (undervotes, overvotes, indiscernible votes) because I don't believe it will be easy to prove fraud in electronic voting, especially since there is no paper evidence or receipts. But the mainstream media should be talking about this problem. Because while there isn't any strong evidence, yet, that the black boxes stole or changed votes in a widespread manner, there isn't any proof that this didn't happen. And there will never be without paper evidence or receipts.

Lastly, it disturbs me that The Times still hasn't mentioned the fact that THE FUCKING ELECTION WAS AWARDED TO BUSH BEFORE ALL THE FUCKING VOTES WERE COUNTED!!!

As Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley of the Law School at George Washington University mentioned on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (Olbermann), "And so when you look at provisionals, then absentees and then those pockets of votes, yes, there probably is enough of a margin if things broke for Kerry that he could turn the state. Is it likely? No. But it is not impossible." The probability might be low that Kerry can catch up on the 130 something thousand deficit but it is not impossible. It's too bad the mainstream Media (and certain bloggers) can't recognize this mathematical fact. The argument that reporting is all about ratings and selling newspapers can now be regarded as a myth. Here's a story that would guarantee boffo box-office figures (like Election 2000, the time when Fox News really began to grow), but it's mostly been ignored or belittled.

Speaking of Olbermann (who is an indispensable ally in this's just too bad that in that same broadcast he also touted Gerald Posner as "the most respected authority" on the events of 9/11...sorry, Keith, he's a right-wing hack...and his brother's a right-wing judge with no regard for the's also too bad that Keith's now on vacation but at least he still plans to continue blogging), he wrote these much-needed words today (Bloggerman): "Oh and by the way: how come the Kerry's winning part of the election night exit polling is presumed to have been wrong, or tampered with, but the Moral Values part of the same polling is graded flawless, and marks the dawn of a new American century?" No shit. It's too bad that Bill Clinton couldn't figure that out before he blamed the gay marriage debate for Kerry's "loss."


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