Media Lies Once Again to Declare Bush the Winner
"If you count every vote, Gore wins." So says Doug Hattaway, a former Gore campaign spokesman.
So where did Hattaway get his facts? Amazingly, they came from the Miami Herald/USA Today recount. Read carefully from the Herald's lead story:
"Had all canvassing boards in all counties examined all undervotes, thousands of votes would have been salvaged in Broward County, Palm Beach County and elsewhere long before the election dispute landed in court -- and the outcome might have been different, The Herald found.
"In that scenario, under the most inclusive standard, Gore might have won Florida's election -- and the White House -- by 393 votes, The Herald found. If dimples were counted as votes only when other races were dimpled, Gore would have won by 299 votes.
"But if ballots were counted as votes only when a chad was detached by at least two corners (the standard most commonly used nationally), Bush would have won by 352 votes."
Under two out of three scenarious - depending on exactly how you count hanging chads - Gore wins. So why did the Miami Herald's headline read:
"Florida Results: Ballot Review Shows Bush Retaining Lead"
And why did USA Today declare:
"Newspapers' Recount Shows Bush Prevailed In Fla. Vote"
And why did the New York Times report:
"An Analysis of Florida Balloting Favors Bush"
Why? Because after they counted ALL of the dimpled and hanging chads, the Herald and USA Today decided to highlight only SOME of the results.
Which results did they highlight? The ones that favored Bush. Which did they bury? The ones that favored Gore.
In journalism, there's a four-letter word for that kind of reporting: BIAS. On the street, it's a three-letter word: LIE.
Once again, the media has rushed to declare Bush the winner - regardless of the will of the American people, as expressed through their votes.
The section quoted above, which describes how Gore wins by counting every vote, was buried deep within the Herald's long article.
But compared to USA Today and the New York Times, the Miami Herald is a paragon of journalistic virtue. That's because USA Today didn't even MENTION Gore's count-every-vote victory. And the New York Times? Sorry, the truth about Florida is "not fit to print."
Here is the article that EVERY citizen of America should read. It's not the lead story in the Herald. In fact, you really have to go out of your way to find it. But it's the one that counts:
The headlines could hardly be more obscure:
The link to the article reads: "Voter's intent at issue"
The headline itself reads: "Law: Check 'defective' ballots"
So what does the article say? Let me rewrite the headline:
ACCORDING TO FLORIDA LAW, BALLOTS REJECTED BY COUNTING MACHINES MUST BE COUNTED MANUALLY - AND IF FLORIDA OFFICIALS HAD FOLLOWED THE LAW, GORE WOULD HAVE WON
Say what? Read this carefully:
"A revision of Florida's election code in the 1970s calls for county officials to inspect any 'damaged or defective' ballot that cannot be tabulated by machine. In 1998, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that 'defective' includes a ballot 'marked in a manner such that it cannot be read by a scanner.'"
This requirement does not apply to recounts following legal challenges filed by one candidate or the other. It applies to the procedure election officials must follow ON ELECTION DAY as they count the votes. In plain English: if a counting machine spits out a ballot, election officials are required to examine it to determine the intent of the voter.
As legal questions go, this one isn't ambiguous. A "scanner" is the optical reader used to tally the SAT-style optical ballots. According to the Herald, Gore gained 319 votes from optical ballots - more than enough to overcome Bush's 154 vote lead as determined by the Florida Supreme Court. If the "scanner" principle is extended to punch-card counters - which is perfectly obvious as a matter of legal analysis - then Gore gains another 1,004 votes.
So why didn't county officials manually count these machine-unreadable ballots on election day, as the law requires?
Because they simply ignored the law, with the blessing of Republican election officials.
"Canvassing boards in most of Florida routinely ignore that provision of state law because they maintain they are only required to examine unreadable ballots if there is machine error, not voter error. On Nov. 7, they considered thousands of ballots that did not register a vote for any candidate the fault of voters who incorrectly marked them. But Clay Roberts, a Republican who heads the Florida Division of Elections and sides with the canvassing boards' policy, acknowledges that past practice may not match state law."
Florida's Republican election officials - Clay Roberts, Katherine Harris, and Jeb Bush - are militant enforcers of the laws that favor Republicans. For example, while the nation was watching, Harris refused to accept the full Palm Beach recount because it arrived two hours late after a Thanksgiving break.
But when laws favor Democrats, Harris and Roberts suddenly flip. For example, Harris and Roberts refused to obey laws and court orders requiring them to allow ex-felons to vote, if they served their prison time in states where released felons regain their voting rights automatically. This contempt of the law prevented 3,000 Floridians from voting, most of whom would have voted for Gore according to studies of similar voters.
Harris and Roberts also refused to obey laws requiring them to accurately identify felons before removing voters from the rolls. Instead, they instructed their vendor to do a deliberately sloppy job, which resulted in "felon" lists that were as much as 95% inaccurate. As many as 22,000 voters may have been disqualified by this illegal purge.
In Seminole and Martin Counties, Republican officials refused to obey laws requiring voters to submit complete absentee ballot applications. Instead, they allowed Republican operatives to illegally complete thousands of applications that were incomplete.
On and on it goes, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In order to declare Bush the winner, the Republican majority had to completely ignore its core principles on states' rights and equal protection - and to willfully misinterpret the December 18 deadline as a December 12 deadline, thereby blocking a state-wide recount as ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.
In 1999, the nation endured the impeachment of the President of the United States on the basis of a simple principle articulated by Henry Hyde: "The law is the law."
It is now clearer than ever that Republicans believe "the law is the law" only when it favors Republicans. When it favors Democrats, Republicans simply ignore the law - or break it.
And the media simply reports whatever Republicans tell them.
The more we learn about Florida, the worse it gets.
As of today, Al Gore won Florida. But you won't read that story anywhere but here.
Eventually, the truth will come out: George W. Bush stole the election, and the corporate media covered up the crime.