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Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards

by : Robert Parry
Wednesday November 24, 2004 - 18:35
13 comments

The Washington Post and other leading American newspapers are up in arms about the legitimacy of a presidential election where exit polls showed the challenger winning but where the incumbent party came out on top, amid complaints about heavy-handed election-day tactics and possibly rigged vote tallies.

In a lead editorial, the Post cited the divergent exit polls, along with voter claims about ballot irregularities, as prime reasons for overturning the official results. For its part, the New York Times cited reports of “suspiciously, even fantastically, high turnouts in regions that supported” the government candidate. The U.S. news media is making clear that the truth about these electoral anomalies must be told.

Of course, the election in question occurred in the Ukraine.

In the United States - where exit polls showed John Kerry winning on Nov. 2, where Republican tactics discouraged African-American voting in Democratic precincts, and where George W. Bush’s vote totals in many counties were eyebrow-raising - the Post, the Times and other top news outlets mocked anyone who questioned the results.

For instance, when we noted Bush’s surprising performance in Dade, Broward and other Florida counties, a Washington Post article termed us “spreadsheet-wielding conspiracy theorists.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Washington Post’s Sloppy Analysis.”] Meanwhile, the New York Times accepted unsupported explanations for why the U.S. exit polls were so wrong, including the theory that Kerry supporters were chattier than Bush voters. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Evidence of a Second Bush Coup?”]

Hypocrisy? What Hypocrisy?

But why the double standard? Why would Ukrainian exit polls be deemed reliable evidence of fraud while American exit polls would simply be inexplicably wrong nationwide and in six battleground states where Kerry was shown to be leading but Bush ultimately won?

Logically, it would seem that U.S. exit polls would be more reliable because of the far greater experience in refining sampling techniques than in the Ukraine. Also, given the Ukraine’s authoritarian past, one might expect that Ukrainian voters would be more likely to rebuff pollsters or give false answers than American voters.

Instead, the U.S. news media chucked out or “corrected” the U.S. exit polls - CNN made them conform to the official results - while embracing the Ukrainian exit polls as a true measure of the popular will.

To compound the irony, the Washington Post editorial is now calling on George W. Bush to defend democratic principles halfway around the world. In the Nov. 23 editorial entitled “Coup in Kiev,” the Post wrote, “For the Bush administration, the responsibility starts with stating the unvarnished truth about what has happened in an election” - the one in the Ukraine, of course.

Election 2000

“Unvarnished truth” was far less important to the Post, the Times and other U.S. news organizations when they were reporting on the results of Election 2000.

Then, the cherished value was “unity,” as Americans were urged to ignore the fact that Al Gore got more votes and instead rally behind George W. Bush, even though he had dispatched thugs to Florida to disrupt recounts and then enlisted his political allies on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.]

In the months that followed Election 2000, the U.S. news media even put the cause of Bush’s legitimacy ahead of its duty to accurately inform the public. In November 2001, after conducting an unofficial recount of Florida’s ballots, the news outlets discovered that if all legally cast votes had been counted - regardless of the standard used for evaluating chads - Gore won.

That finding meant that Gore was the rightful occupant of the White House and that Bush was a fraudulent president. But in those days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the news organizations again opted for “unity” over “unvarnished truth,” fudging their own results and burying the lead of Gore’s electoral victory.

To falsely tout Bush’s “victory,” the Post, the Times, CNN and other news outlets arbitrarily - and erroneously - ditched so-called “overvotes,” in which voters both checked and wrote in a candidate’s name. Not only were these votes legal under Florida law but they apparently would have been included in the statewide recount if the five Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court had not intervened at Bush’s behest. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “So Bush Did Steal the White House.”]

Weak Democrats

In another case of painful irony, the U.S. Democratic Party is expressing more outrage about electoral fairness in the Ukraine than in the United States. The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, which is sponsored by the Democratic Party, put out a statement declaring that “fundamental flaws in Ukraine’s presidential election process subverted its legitimacy.” [NYT, Nov. 23, 2004]

However, at home, the Democrats have accepted the Nov. 2 outcome passively, despite widespread fury within the Democratic base about what many see as the Bush campaign’s abusive practices. Again, “unity” has trumped “unvarnished truth.”

It has fallen to several third-party candidates to seek limited recounts in several states, including Ohio and New Hampshire, a move at least designed to give assurance to millions of Americans that the Bush campaign didn’t get away with stealing a second election. Meanwhile, the national Democratic Party has chosen to sit on the sidelines, presumably to avoid accusations of irresponsibility from the Washington Post and other parts of the big U.S. news media.

So, as the Ukrainian people take to the streets to defend the principles of democracy, including the concept that a just government derives from the consent of the governed, the United States - once democracy’s beacon to the world - presents its commitment to those ideals more through hypocrisy abroad than action at home.

Robert Parry, who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek, has written a new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/...



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Commentaires de l'article
 

> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Wednesday November 24 - 22:36 - Posted by e83472decc62c175...

Another manifestation of the election being rigged in favor of Bush is seen in the vote tallies of the provisional ballots. Why was this standby almost exclusively used by Kerry supporters to try to get their vote to count? If the provisional ballot mechanism was truly non-partisan in nature, the provisional ballot votes for Bush should be in approximate proportion as his overall vote tally, but it defintely is NOT. It is almost overwhelmingly for Kerry, apparently, from the information I have received.




> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Wednesday November 24 - 23:41 - Posted by 73dc63666440d4ca...

If you review the information posted to date for the "official" tallies on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website at this link:

http://election.sos.state.oh.us/res...

and compare them to the original totals, Bush is getting a propotion of the provisional ballots equal to the previous total by county. The fact that, for the counties that have posted, the proportion is EXACTLY the same as his previous total is at least a little bit odd, but we may just have to wait for the official recount to see how odd.

Corey



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 18:21 - Posted by 315650eec1391f16...

"There were thousands upon thousands of instances of election fraud committed by Republican operatives and the electronic vote was manipulated to favor Republicans. There is an ocean of evidence to show it."



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 00:30 - Posted by 4234398528640ca9...

If the people in the U.S. don’t use this amazing example of hypocrasy with Colin Powell saying that they have to reverse the Ukraine elections because of fraud, they are crazy. Somehow this has to be connected to what happened in the U.S. elections if there is ever going to be a chance that there will ever be a democratic election anywhere in the world ever again. This is a gift to tie into the fraud in the U.S. elections. Please someone act now!!!




> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 04:17 - Posted by 467a5b2f0866beb0...

You and the sore losing lefties are the only ones who see any hypocrisy.



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 08:17 - Posted by 469940bf1ddde021...

another deep post by a bush supporter.

mr bush lover, would you teach your kids that winning is all that matters, if you have to cheat to win, do it, especially if you can get rich afterwards.

if kerry won but there were thousands of computer glitches that always favored kerry, would you roll over and accept it?

in ohio blackwell is stalling, trying to run out the clock just like in 2000.
mr bush lover, if bush really won, why are they afraid of a recount?

look folks, these bushies have nothing, no logic to support their guy, so they resort to name calling- you sore losers get over it, move to france, etc.

most importantly, take note that this is the same bush freeper at bellaciao- he’s trolling the boards saying the same nonsense over and over. you can tell there are many anti-bush people here, but just one bush lover. WE OUTNUMBER THEM. olbermann’s 37,000 emails are 25:1 to keep investigating.... we outnumber them, bigtime.



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 15:14 - Posted by 467a5b2f0866beb0...

You guys are so friggin brainless that it’s a wonder that they allow you guys to vote. YOU LOST! YOU LOST! YOU LOST! YOU LOST! Get it in your friggin small heads, YOU LOST! I’m so sick and tired of you people making false claims and accusations that you can’t back up. You are deliberately trying to delegitimize this election because you guys can’t friggin handle the fact that you friggin lost. SHUT UP ALREADY! YOU LOST! YOU LOST! YOU LOST! Thousands of computer glitches that favor on Bush doesn’t make sense, you had just as many election monitors as the republicans did but you still lost because more people voted for the Republicans. It’s that simple. Move on already, the horse is dead, it’s not even twitching, YOU LOST! YOU LOST! YOU LOST!

Sheesh!



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 15:54 - Posted by 1ebd73fbe1f545ca...

Umm, no the democrats WON, the ’election’ was rigged. All the evidence suggests so. The Republicans cheated, and then query the Ukrainian result??? just because the loser is married to an American ?? The evidence is piling up that your party is a bunch of fraudulent crooks and murderers. The tables are turning just as soon as the mainstream media decides to tell the truth. If they don’t it’s another civil War. You better believe it



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 18:19 - Posted by 315650eec1391f16...

"There were thousands upon thousands of instances of election fraud committed by Republican operatives and the electronic vote was manipulated to favor Republicans. There is an ocean of evidence to show it."



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 18:21 - Posted by 315650eec1391f16...

"There were thousands upon thousands of instances of election fraud committed by Republican operatives and the electronic vote was manipulated to favor Republicans. There is an ocean of evidence to show it."



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 18:20 - Posted by 315650eec1391f16...

"There were thousands upon thousands of instances of election fraud committed by Republican operatives and the electronic vote was manipulated to favor Republicans. There is an ocean of evidence to show it."



> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Thursday November 25 - 12:26 - Posted by 88040278ed787399...

why doesn’t Bush send an election expert to settle this dispute? Antonin Scalia would be happy to go to Kiev.




> Big Media’s Democracy Double Standards
Saturday November 27 - 02:58 - Posted by 1122a42601ceb4e3...

What could highlight more starkly the mainstream media’s republican slant than the election fraud in this country being ignored by them like a large elephant in the room and no one wanting to talk about it and yet they are non stop on about the same thing going on in the Ukraine?






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