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(Though I do believe none was intended.)
By Brad Friedman on 11/24/2004 11:35pm PT  

"We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse."
-- U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, 11/24/04. In regards to Ukraine's recent election and the announced U.S. rejection of the results. From The Washington Post.

Welcome to CrazyWorld.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2004 1:37pm PT  

Predictably, the promised "Did E-Voting Work?" coverage from CNN's Judy Woodruff didn't add much to what we've already covered here. The only notable issue is that she discussed the GAO investigation reported in the previous item here and other concerns about E-Voting, as well as giving a mention to the up-coming Ohio Recount and the quarrels about thereof. Reporting on those items at all on CNN is a step up at least! So we'll take that as a luke-warmish good sign. (CNN's report on the GAO Investigation is now online. Woodruff's report on video is here.)

In the meantime, real reporter Erica Solvig of the Cincinnati Enquirer slightly advances the Mysterious Goings-On in Warren County where you'll recall, unlike any other county in all of Ohio, all media were locked out from witnessing the vote tallying on Election Night. Warren County was amongst the last to report their results and one of the top Bush counties in Ohio. The reason given by Election Officials for the lockout was due to "terror warnings" they were said to have received from FBI/Homeland Security officials. It turns out the FBI has denied giving any such warnings to anybody in Ohio.

In today's Enquirer Solvig reports that the lockout was planned in advance:

County Commissioner Pat South has said the decision to lock the doors election night was made during an Oct. 28 closed-door meeting (the Thursday before Election Day). But in e-mailed memos dated Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 - released Monday after an Enquirer public records request - other county officials were already detailing the security measures, down to the wording of signs that would be posted on the locked doors.

Not sure what we learn from that, other than the plan to lock-out reports was made in advance and Election Officials have been inaccurate about even that. Still no word on why it was all done at all, but hopefully Solvang will keep digging!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 10:52pm PT  

As if to say "Fuck off, Americans! We're busy with more important things!", The New York Times is running a smarmy little piece in tomorrow's Week in Review under the headline: "Still Unhappy About the Election? Here's a Place You Can Vent."

It's a piece about some of the email that's been sent to the "National Association of State Election Directors" --- whoever the hell they are --- complaining about the way the election was run and the way votes were counted, mistabulated, or whatever.

The New York Times has been bravely leading the way in ignoring the story of America's failure to hold an honest, clean and transparent election. Even though they've had time to dismiss the whole affair as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers."

Their criticism and sniffing dismissal of those of us who give a damn about getting this story right and told to the American people accurately is ironic coming from the "newspaper of record" which spent a year helping us get into a war by becoming the unquestioning lapdog of the Bush Adminstration's rhetoric and inaccurate propaganda. They had to issue an apology for their crappy reporting. And they've got the gall to criticize "bloggers" for covering this story?!

Still Unhappy About the NYTimes Disgraceful Coverage of This Story? Here's a Place You Can Vent!

UPDATE: I've decided to help The NY Times do their job. Please see these 15 Unanswered Questions about the Election Results that they may wish to investigate. Apparently they need a cheat sheet to get started!

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POST-SHOW UPDATE
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 1:50pm PT  

Well, that was fun. Just finished up the interview on the Pacifica Network's LA/Santa Barbara affilliate KPFK with host Jerry Quickley about blogging the whole story of the Election 2004/Voting Irregularity, Fraud, Mistabulation mess.

A fairly wide ranging conversation about how the blogs have played a key part in the story, the nap the mainstream media is largely taking, and how important it is that bloggers (aka CITIZENS!) are willing to examine what the corporate media, by and large, is apparently afraid to touch until the actual smoking gun shows up in their lap for them.

Quickley, by the way, is a madman. He also rocks. I look forward to doing it again soon.

I was able to nab the live stream from KPFK's site, so listen if ya like. About 17 minutes in your choice of 3 deliciously flavored formats:

God save Public Radio.

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Apparently, it's up to us to find the answers.
(Sshhh...Don't wake media.)
By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2004 9:25pm PT  

Excellent and cogent analysis and action items concerning Florida and the Exit Polls from Ian Welsch over at BOP. Please give it a look and see if you can help.

I would add one further question/action item to Ian's list. It would be useful to learn what type of counting machine was in use in Broward County when it began subtracting votes from the tally, due to a bug in the software, and what other counties in Florida and/or the rest of the country used the same machine and software. 70,000 votes were "found" in that incident, and a local initiative overturned with the discovery of them.

The code used in these machines is not written separately for each individual machine that I know of. If the error occurred once in Broward (and was reportedly noticed), where else did it also occur and not get noticed?

Ditto for the UniElect machine in North Carolina that entirely lost at least 7,000 votes in a single county because it's memory chip only held 3005 votes instead of the 10,000 that manufacturer UniLect had promised. Where else was the same type of computer in use? I know Ohio used UniLect machines, and they reported unfixable problems with them on Election Day, but I haven't been able to tell if they were the same type as those in North Carolina.

(It must be up to us to figure this crap out, because the MSM is enjoying their well-deserved nap.)

ReddIt this story!



All Media Locked out of Counting due to
Warren County Bush Vote Nearly Highest in State!
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2004 9:36pm PT  

Citing "homeland security concerns", Warren County, OH was alone in locking out media from their counting of ballots on Election Night. They were amongst the last to report their tallies that night, and according to Ohio's Election Night website Warren County ended up having the highest percentage of Bush votes amongst all of Ohio counties that had a total vote turnout greater than 22,500.

  • Warren 92,251 votes - Bush: 72.1% Kerry: 27.53%
  • There were only four counties with a higher percentage vote for Bush, and they all had 22,279 voters or less:

  • Mercer 20,058 votes - Bush: 74.89% Kerry: 24.55%
  • Putnam 18,631 votes - Bush: 76.20% Kerry: 23.34%
  • Holmes 10,976 votes - Bush: 75.61% Kerry: 23.89%
  • Auglaize 22,279 votes - Bush: 73.78% Kerry: 25.71%
  • So what happened that night in Warren County when all of America was waiting for the counting to finish in Ohio to decide the election? Why was it the only county in all of Ohio where media was not allowed to witness the counting?

    The Cincinnati Enquirer explained it this way:

    Citing concerns about potential terrorism, Warren County officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count as the nation awaited Ohio's returns.

    County officials say they took the action Tuesday night for homeland security, although state elections officials said they didn't know of any other Ohio county that closed off its elections board. Media organizations protested, saying it violated the law and the public's rights. The Warren results, delayed for hours because of long lines that extended voting past the scheduled close of polls, were part of the last tallies that helped clinch President Bush's re-election.

    "The media should have been permitted into the area where there was counting," Enquirer attorney Jack Greiner said. "This is a process that should be done in complete transparency and it wasn't."

    Warren County Emergency Services Director Frank Young said he had recommended increased security based on information received from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in recent weeks.

    Commissioners made the security decisions in a closed-door meeting last week, but didn't publicize the restrictions that were made until after polls closed.
    ...
    Typically, the Warren County commissioners' room is set up as a gathering place for people to watch the votes come in. But that wasn't done this year.
    ...
    A representative of The Associated Press, which had stringers at every Ohio board of elections site, said no such election-night access problems were reported outside of Warren County.

    It's ashame both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are apparently now dead, isn't it?

    UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting that "the federal government" was involved in the lock-down!:

    the decision got more dubious still when County Commissioners confirmed that they were acting on the advice of their Emergency Services Director, Frank Young. Mr. Young had explained that he had been advised by the federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland Security.

    Connect. The. Dots. People.

    UPDATE: 11/10/04 5:5pm PT Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown --- virtually the only major media organization giving this story the coverage it deserves --- has just reported that both the FBI and the Homeland Security Dept. have denied giving warnings in Ohio to anybody about anything. That would be contrary to the claims made in this report which quotes a letter from the President of the Elections Board in Warren explaining that the lockdown was due to warnings they'd recieved from the FBI. The letter says in part:

    In a face to face meeting between the FBI and our director of Emergency Services, we were informed that on a scale from 1 to 10, the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio was ranked at a high 8 to a low 9 in terms of security risk. Warren County in particular, was rated at 10 (with 10 being the highest risk).

    Okay. So now who's telling the truth? And why did they lock down Warren County and, unlike every other county in Ohio, disallow reporters from witnessing the vote tallying?

    UPDATE: 11/23/04 Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper which broke the Warren County Lockdown story originally, reports that the county had been planning the action for at least a week prior to the election. Details...

    ReddIt this story!



    Democracy Requires Vigilance
    By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2004 5:43pm PT  

    One more note or two on some Ohio anomalies previously reported, but which may have gotten lost in last night's crush.

    The final vote, apparently, was cast in Knox County, Ohio last night (this morning) at 3:55am after loads of student voters (who broke heavily for Kerry) at Kenyon College had stood in line to vote for as many as ten hours due to a shortage of electronic voting machines. Do you suppose there were many who chose not to wait that long to cast their vote and simply left?

    The still-open polls, of course, did not keep Fox from making their call for Bush in Ohio at 11:41pm last night, a full four hours before the polls in Ohio had closed.

    Apparently their protestations of "media bias!" back in 2000, when some of the nets called Florida for Gore in 2000 before voting had ended in conservative Tallahassee, was just another piece of bullshit at the time meant to go down the Memory Hole once that battle-cry became no longer operative. (UPDATE: Murdoch's NY Post also called Bush the winner in it's 2am issue, before polls had closed, according to Drudge. Surprised? Didn't think so.)

    As well, if you missed it last night, see AMERICAblog's photo and story of Ohio ballots being carted away yesterday in a "Bush-Cheney '04" truck. The photo and incident was confirmed with multiple witnesses and they are reporting today that some in the media are investigating. I hope so. Though, again, I'll not be holding my breath.

    ReddIt this story!



    'Hannity & Colmes' Much Closer to Fair and Balanced Tonight!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 7:47pm PT  

    Well, your email paid off! As much, perhaps, as we could hope given that we're dealing with the Republican behemoth that is the Fox "News" Channel. So all in all, a job well done, guys! It pays to make noise and fight for your Democracy.

    As originally reported here, the Hannity & Colmes show had announced on Friday that tonight's guests would be:

    ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld
    ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

    By the time tonight's show aired, Morris and Weld on the Right were dumped, and Terry McAuliffe added on the Left. Unfortunately, Jeb Bush (obviously on the Right) was added as well. Yet, on it's face, it appeared to be more "Fair and Balanced" as such:

    ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Jeb Bush
    ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson, Terry McAuliffe

    Well, that looks more "Fair & Balanced", doesn't it? But here was the actual show breakdown (Right leaning segments bold)

    SEGMENT 1: Jeb Bush
    SEGMENT 2: Jeb Bush
    SEGMENT 3: Bill Richardson
    SEGMENT 4: Karl Rove
    (Seg 4 Rove interview by Hannity only! Colmes not allowed!)

    SEGMENT 5: Terry McAuliffe

    Final tally was 3 segments with the Right (one that Hannity had all to himself) and only 2 segments with the Left.

    As I've mentioned in the past, my source inside H&C tells me that they have a very difficult time getting the DNC and Kerry campaign to cooperate and give them guests for the show. The theory --- a mostly plausible one --- is that Fox is so far to the Right, the Dems feel they won't get a fair shake when they go on.

    I share my sources belief, however, that it's foolish for the Dems to simply write off Fox "News" in the bargain.

    Yes, of course they won't get a fair shake on Fox, but it's better to show up and represent as best they can than to allow Fox to overweight with Republicans, or worse, stick someone like Pat Cadell on there and call him a "Democratic Consultant" when he hasn't worked or supported any Democrats since, I believe, Jimmy Carter! Or have Susan Estrich on there --- who worked for Arnold Schwarzenegger! --- and call her a "Democratic Consultant".

    Like it or not, more Americans watch Fox these days for political news than anybody else --- and it's not all hard right wingnuts. There are a lot of reasonable, normal, Left-leaning Americans that watch FNC as well! I'm certainly one of them! Frankly because it's not quite as dull as it's competition (who are only slightly less slanted to the Right these days). So it's imperative that Dems show up and at least fight on that turf to try anyway to partially balance Fox's constant imbalance.

    If I hear from my source any plausible explanation as to why H&C still managed to skew things to the Right tonight, on Election Eve of all nights --- even though they had a seemingly even number of Democrats to interview --- I'll update this item.

    Other than that, I'm without ammunition to defend it. So instead, I'll just leave you with this exchange from the end of the segment tonight with McAuliffe:

    MCAULIFFE: Fair and balanced, baby!
    HANNITY: Well, we let you on...that's about as fair and balanced as we can get.

    I guess it is.

    ReddIt this story!



    Show is tonight! Election Eve!
    Send Email NOW!!!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 11:31am PT  

    Hannity & Colmes now announcing that Jeb Bush is added to tonight's show!!!

    See this article if you haven't already on the stacked deck they're getting ready to present tonight! (So far, 4 from the Right --- now including Rove, Morris and Jeb Bush --- and 1 from the Left!)

    colmes@foxnews.com, Comments@foxnews.com, mm-tips@mediamatters.org, mm-actions@mediamatters.org, Write">TheBradBlog@cville.com\">Write those letters!!! Just a few hours left before airtime! Get the word out!

    GOOD NEWS UPDATE: Just heard from my source: Terry McAullife now added to show for balance! Your letters are working! Keep it up! You are making a difference!!!

    FINAL UPDATE: Victory (mostly)! Final lineup: 2 guests from the Right, 2 from the Left. But H&C managed incredibly to skew it to the right anyway. Click here to read how.

    ReddIt this story!



    MEDIA EMERGENCY!!!
    Please Read and Take Action!
    By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2004 2:12pm PT  

    SUNDAY UPDATE: My highly placed source inside H&C tells me your Emails are making a difference! Keep speaking up! Your voice matters! If you Democrat/Liberal/Progressives think it makes sense to simply write Fox off entirely, please see this.

    It was announced at the end of Friday's Hannity & Colmes on Fox that their Monday (Election Eve) guests would be:

    ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!!
    ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

    Obviously, this is anything but "Fair and Balanced" and on the eve of a national Election it's simply outrageous!

    I have a highly placed source inside the Hannity & Colmes show who I've sent Email to complain about this, and I received back a similar response to the ones I usually receive from them on the lack of balance on H&C. Namely; the Kerry campaign is simply not as willing to help them by supplying guests as the Bush campaign is. (I wonder why!)

    I have tried to explain to my source that it's Fox's and H&C's responsibility to ensure that their show is fair and balanced! Not the responsibility of the Kerry campaign or the DNC to ensure that!

    No matter how much the Democrats wish (or do not wish) to supply top-level guests to H&C it is the responsibility of the news organization, and debate show --- which claims to offer "Fair and Balanced" debate from both sides --- to do everything they can to ensure that the American people whom they serve receive an equal representation from both sides!

    Last week, for example, Hannity had half-hour one-on-one interviews first with George W. Bush and then again with Dick Cheney. After which, both Hannity and Colmes pointed out that they had invited Kerry and/or Edwards to enjoy the same, to which apparently they declined.

    In lieu of Kerry or Edwards then, H&C should have given an equal amount of time to a Democratic representative --- any Democratic representative, if necessary! --- to do at least their best to try and offer balance, even if they were not able to get Kerry or Edwards themselves!

    And now, on their Election Eve show, such sorry excuses are simply intolerable! Having three Republican guests --- two of them, Rove and Morris, who will likely be offered segments where no balancing Democrat representative is there to supply balance --- is beyond the pale on the final show before Americans go to the polls!

    I've contacted MediaMatters.org about this issue in hopes that they can help make some noise about it. I hope you will do the same, as well as helping to spread this word, and contacting the people at Fox News and the Hannity & Colmes show with your opinions about this outrageous example of attempting to effect the Presidential Election on the nation's most-watched channel for Election news coverage on the night before the Election!

    CONTACT...
    Sean Hannity: hannity@foxnews.com
    Alan Colmes: colmes@foxnews.com

    FOX News Channel FOX News Channel:
    1-888-369-4762
    Comments@foxnews.com

    Media Matters:
    www.MediaMatters.org
    Email

    Click here to Email all of the above at once!

    UPDATE: If you have any question where Hannity & Colmes --- the show that claims to offer "Fair and Balanced Debate" stands, see the front page of their website right now. Here's a screenshot. Note all three featured stories offered to readers: Interviews with Peggy Noonan (Conservative, Ronald Reagan's speech writer), George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

    We've come to expect this from H&C by now, of course, but their Election Eve coverage is even more outrageous than on most days! And, certainly more important than just any old day of the week!

    UPDATE 11/1/04: Hannity & Colmes now announcing that Jeb Bush is added to tonight's show!!!

    GOOD NEWS UPDATE 11/1/04: Just heard from my source: Terry McAullife now added to show for balance! Your letters are working! Keep it up! You are making a difference!!!

    FINAL UPDATE: Victory (mostly)! Final lineup: 2 guests from the Right, 2 from the Left! But H&C managed, incredibly, to skew it to the Right anyway. Click here to read how.

    ReddIt this story!



    Admitting Guilt
    By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2004 8:36pm PT  

    If you've been following O'Reilly since his recent fall from pretend grace, you've probably noticed the side-effect as his troubles have smacked him back a few yards closer to reality. His once barely veiled dilligent Pro-Bush spin is now entirely out in the open. I guess he figures since everyone in America now knows what he sticks up his ass, why bother hiding who he supports in this election?

    The only thing left for him to do is come out and say "I am going to vote for George Bush and will do anything I can to help him win". Other than that, a few minutes listening to his "Radio Factor" or suffering through the TV show make it clear that he's not even trying to hide his bias anymore.

    Now that he realizes he will never get the John Kerry interview that only O'Reilly could make himself believe that he was entitled to, he's given up all pretense. Announcing on both radio show and TV today that George W. Bush is now going to win this election. If you listen to O'Reilly, it's now all over but the recounts.

    Sure, he still gives lip service to some mythical "fairness" that he'd love us to believe that he and Fox offer, but you can tell that even he knows he's spinning. Next week, he promises, he's going to make up an interview with Kerry in lieu of getting a real one. That's "the most trusted name in news" for ya.

    Tonight, he went out of his way to remind Juan Williams (who actually did get an interview with John Kerry) that it was "Fox News" who broke the Bush DUI story in the days prior to the 2000 election. That, he claimed, showed all those Liberal Fox Haters how "faaaaair" FNC really is.

    Too bad he's wrong about that too. It was not FNC, but a local Fox Affiliate (who does not work for FNC in NY) who broke the story. He and Brit Hume, however, have been going out of their way to pass off that particular fiction for quite some time.

    In non-fiction related O'Reilly news, his evil nemesis, the much funnier-on-purpose Al Franken, once again beat the "Radio Factor" in the latest NY Arbitron radio ratings, as reported by Drudge. That despite No Spin Boy's repeated assertions on the air over the past year about "Stuart Smalley's failed little radio show". Please stop! I'm dizzy from all that No Spinning!

    But apparently there's some things even O'Reilly can't spin his way out of. That seems to be his, as of yet, uncontested guilt in the Andrea Mackris Sexual Harrasment case. His silly cries of "extortion" in his pre-emptive suit against her didn't bother to deny any of her charges. And yesterday's "Radio Factor" featured this moment that should haunt him for a while, as caught by the always vigilant Media Matters (audio here):

    CALLER: One quick thing. My money's on your side in this unfortunate lawsuit you're going through.

    O'REILLY: Well, thank you. I appreciate that.

    CALLER: You gotta take Sister Mary Peters with you when you're with single women.

    O'REILLY: Listen, I have to say this --- I had to protect my family, this is my fault. I was stupid, and I'm not a victim, but I can't allow certain things to happen. And I appreciate your support, we get thousands of letters, but I'm not --- I am stupid. I am a stupid guy, and every guy listening knows how it is. That we are very stupid at times.

    But there comes a time in life where you gotta stand and fight. And I knew these people were gonna do this, I knew they were gonna do everything they could to try to destroy me and the channel. And I just made the decision that I'm just gonna ride it out. And I'm gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right.

    Trademark false machismo and bloviation aside...Since he's now all but come out and admitted guilt in the matter, what exactly are the "certain things" he "can't allow" to happen? "What's right is right?" - What the hell is he talking about? He's a married man, with "kids", admitting to making obscene phone calls, while servicing himself with a vibrator, to an underling employee of his. Is he implying that if she'd asked for a few million less, that would have made it all "right"? But since she didn't, he's "gonna fight 'em, because what's right is right?" Apparently so. Just as he forced Fox to file their embarrasing law suit against Franken which was quickly laughed out of court, again he has allowed his over-inflated ego to back him into a No Spin Corner from hell.

    But hey, sex scandals with prostitutes didn't seem to hurt tonight's O'Reilly's Fair and Balanced guest Dick Morris, much! Neither did millions in secret gambling losses cause too terribly much shame for Hannity & Colmes' featured weekly guest, William Bennet, just a few minutes later. So perhaps O'Reilly will survive this as well. After all, in the fairy tale Land of Fake Conservatism, "Values" is just a word cynically pulled out every few years to help win elections. Don't make the Red State mistake of thinking these people actually have any.

    Perhaps you can fool about 48.9% of the people (MoE 3-4%) all of the time.

    ReddIt this story!



    Calls out CNN for what it is...
    By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2004 12:34pm PT  

    Wow. I told you this thing was gonna get ugly. John O'Neill implodes on live TV on Thursday, and on Friday, live on CNN, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart blows up Tucker Carlson, CNN and Crossfire. Finally!

    Watch it, or read the highlights below. It's funny, sad, true and incredible LIVE television!:


    I don't usually like to quote this much text, but if you missed the show, you've got to read some of this that I pulled from the full transcript...

    STEWART: I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad. (LAUGHTER)

    BEGALA: We have noticed.

    STEWART: And I wanted to --- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't --- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America. (LAUGHTER)

    CARLSON: But in its defense...

    STEWART: So I wanted to come here today and say...Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.

    CARLSON: Yes.

    STEWART: Stop. (LAUGHTER) Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.

    ...

    STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.

    BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.

    STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks. (LAUGHTER)

    ...

    CARLSON: And I'll tell you. When politicians come on...

    STEWART: Yes.

    CARLSON: It's nice to get them to try and answer the question. And in order to do that, we try and ask them pointed questions. I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently.

    STEWART: If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to. (LAUGHTER)

    CARLSON: No, no, no, here's the point.

    STEWART: If that's your goal.

    CARLSON: It's not.

    STEWART: I wouldn't aim for us. I'd aim for "Seinfeld." That's a very good show.

    ...

    STEWART: You know, it's interesting to hear you talk about my responsibility. I didn't realize that --- and maybe this explains quite a bit...that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity. (LAUGHTER) So what I would suggest is, when you talk about you're holding politicians' feet to fire, I think that's disingenuous.

    ...

    STEWART: But my point is this. If your idea of confronting me is that I don't ask hard-hitting enough news questions, we're in bad shape, fellows. (LAUGHTER)

    CARLSON: We're here to love you, not confront you...We're here to be nice.

    STEWART: No, no, no, but what I'm saying is this. I'm not. I'm here to confront you, because we need help from the media and they're hurting us. And it's --- the idea is... (APPLAUSE)

    BEGALA: Let me get this straight. If the indictment is --- if the indictment is --- and I have seen you say this --- that...

    STEWART: Yes.

    BEGALA: ... that CROSSFIRE reduces everything, as I said in the intro, to left, right, black, white.

    STEWART: Yes.

    BEGALA: Well, it's because, see, we're a debate show.

    STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great.

    BEGALA: It's like saying The Weather Channel reduces everything to a storm front.

    STEWART: I would love to see a debate show.

    BEGALA: We're 30 minutes in a 24-hour day where we have each side on, as best we can get them, and have them fight it out.

    STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that's like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition. (LAUGHTER)

    CARLSON: Jon, Jon, Jon, I'm sorry. I think you're a good comedian. I think your lectures are boring.

    STEWART: Yes.

    CARLSON: Let me ask you a question on the news.

    STEWART: Now, this is theater. It's obvious. How old are you?

    CARLSON: Thirty-five.

    STEWART: And you wear a bow tie. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)

    CARLSON: Yes, I do. I do.

    STEWART: So this is...

    CARLSON: I know. I know. I know. You're a...

    STEWART: So this is theater.

    CARLSON: Now, let me just...

    STEWART: Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that you're not a smart guy, because those are not easy to tie...But the thing is that this --- you're doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great.

    BEGALA: We do, do...

    STEWART: It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.

    CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?

    STEWART: Absolutely.

    CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...

    STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. (LAUGHTER) What is wrong with you? (APPLAUSE)

    CARLSON: Well, I'm just saying, there's no reason for you --- when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy's butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It's embarrassing.

    STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

    CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

    STEWART: You need to go to one.

    ...

    STEWART: The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

    CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

    STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey. (LAUGHTER)

    BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.

    STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.

    CARLSON: I can tell you love it.

    STEWART: It's so --- oh, it's so painful to watch. (LAUGHTER)

    STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.

    CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?

    STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore. (LAUGHTER) I just can't.

    CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities?

    STEWART: If I think they are. (LAUGHTER)

    CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible.

    STEWART: I know. And you won't.

    ...

    STEWART: But let me ask you guys, again, a question, because we talked a little bit about, you're actually doing honest debate and all that. But, after the debates, where do you guys head to right afterwards?

    CARLSON: The men's room.

    STEWART: Right after that?

    BEGALA: Home.

    STEWART: Spin alley.

    BEGALA: Home.

    STEWART: No, spin alley.

    BEGALA: What are you talking about? You mean at these debates?

    STEWART: Yes. You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don't you think that, for people watching at home, that's kind of a drag, that you're literally walking to a place called deception lane? (LAUGHTER) Like, it's spin alley. It's --- don't you see, that's the issue I'm trying to talk to you guys...

    ...

    CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

    STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show. (LAUGHTER)

    Wow. And bravo, Mr. Stewart.

    ReddIt this story!



    A Fair and Balanced Look at Sexual Harassment charges against Bill O'Reilly
    By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2004 2:17pm PT  

    Hubris is a funny, yet often predictable, thing. Last February on this blog, I asked:

    Any idea what the coming Fall of O'Reilly will be? Live boy? Dead girl? Married to his own mother?

    Well, it looks like I was wrong. His downfall is a Live Girl. Looks like there may be several of them at that. I was close anyway.

    Though I know that these charges have not yet had their day in court, that never stopped Fox News from covering similarly unsubstantiated charges against their political enemies like Bill Clinton or CBS or others (Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson etc.) so I see no reason why turnabout isn't fairplay.

    To that end, I've been reviewing O'Reilly's pre-emptive complaint filed this morning, and his accusers complaint also filed today. I will be updating you shortly after I've finished reviewing the materials, but for the moment, I'd say things don't look too good for Mr. No Spin. I'll explain why in an follow-up shortly after I've finished my review.

    For the moment though, O'Reilly has the upper hand with three hours of national TV and Radio per day on which to make he's case, and he already began to do so at the beginning of his radio show this morning. As well, he has the enormous resources of the Fox News and Newscorp legal team and their friends in the powerful body politic that will undoubtedly use every resource to defend him as long as possible.

    To that end, consider this passage from the Plaintiff's complaint which quotes O'Reilly at a dinner meeting:

    "If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it's not just me, it's [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."

    During the course of this conversation, Defendant BILL O'REILLY bizarrely rambled further about Al Franken: "Ailes knows very powerful people and this goes all the way to the top." Plaintiff queried: "To the top of what?" Defendant responded: "Top of the country. Just look at who's on the cover of his book [Bush and Cheney], they're watching him and will be for years. [Al Franken's] finished, and he's going to be sorry he ever took FOX NEWS CHANNEL on."

    For those just jumping in, further info on Roger Ailes is here. There is reason to believe the quotes above may have been tape recorded, and thus, available soon. More on that later.

    In the meantime, as you see above, O'Reilly, Fox and Friends will have a huge PR and Power advantage in this case. I, however, will be looking out for you. Stay tuned as we help you decipher from the facts from the spin.

    DEVELOPING...

    Related BRAD BLOG Updates on this story:
    10/13/04: "Bad Vibrations for Bill O'Reilly"
    10/14/04: "O'Reilly - In Our Unresolved Problem Segment..."
    10/19/04: "O'Reilly - In the Personal Story Segment Tonight..."
    10/20/04: "O'Reilly's Case Gets Weaker: Mackris files additional charges."

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2004 2:57pm PT  

    While I look forward to his interview with Bush tonight (and for the next three!), I've had a few "No Spin" items spinning on my brain for a few days that I'd like to toss out.

    ITEM #1: Last week, on The Factor, O'Reilly attempted to marginalize Air America Radio two days in a row by claiming that they were meaningless and failed because they are currently only carried on "20 affiliates". Never mind that when O'Reilly launched his radio show, he had enough money to actually pay stations to carry his show! But more notably, O'Reilly has a long term grudge with Al Franken, one of the AAR hosts, and can't even manage to say his name on his "no-spin" program, spinning him as "Stuart Smalley" instead of using his real name. So O'Reilly continues to spin his own opinions about Franken and AAR by simply lying about them.

    A quick check of the Air America Radio website, would have told O'Reilly that they are on "32 Stations Nationwide" according to the banner headline on the front page of their site. After his statement the first day we could have been generous and called it a mistake. Repeating it verbatim the next day, however, was no mistake. It was just spin.

    ITEM #2: For the last several weeks O'Reilly has been going on about James Carville and Paul Begala working with the Kerry Campaign in an unpaid advisory capacity while continuing their role as co-hosts on CNN's Crossfire. While, unlike O'Reilly, neither Carville nor Begala refer to themselves as journalists, but rather as admitted partisans who host the liberal side of a political debate show. At the end of last week O'Reilly huffed at one of his guests who challenged "the bloviator's" claim as disingenous because Fox does virtually nothing but support the Bush campaign. O'Reilly then launched into a challenge asking him to "Name names!" about who does that at Fox, promising he would call them out if they did!

    The answer (that the guest didn't have at hand) is Sean Hannity who lent his imprimatur to the Republican National Party by narrating videos for the GOP Convention website. I wrote O'Reilly to name the name, but so far, I haven't noticed any on-air corrections or condemnations for it. You can still hear Hannity at the GOPConvention website right here.

    ITEM #3: As you may know, O'Reilly still has his silly on-going "Boycott" of France. Here's a quick snippet on that from O'Reilly's interview with Jon Stewart last week:

    STEWART: Do you really believe France is, in any way, worthy of a boycott?

    O'REILLY: I do. I think France has really hurt the USA, to be...

    STEWART: Really?

    O'REILLY: Yes, I do.

    STEWART: More than like Saudi Arabia? You would advocate a boycott...

    O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to say more than Saudi Arabia. But I'm saying we do a lot...

    STEWART: So why not boycott them?

    O'REILLY: France is supposed to be our friend.

    ...And he didn't have anymore to say on the matter as the subject was then changed. But Stewart makes an excellent point there. Why aren't all those ridiculous French Bashers out there calling for a boycott of products from Saudi Arabia --- who is also "supposed to be our friend" --- instead? $1.97 a gallon says you know the answer. Hypocrites.

    The spin goes on...

    ReddIt this story!



    RNC Day 3
    By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 8:32pm PT  

    FOX News Primetime Convention Speech Coverage

    Courtesy of Media Matters

    ReddIt this story!



    Total Pages (62):
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