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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, March 5, 2015
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Whether Those Who Hate America and Democracy Like it Or Not.
PLUS: A Song to Fight for Democracy By...
By Brad Friedman on 10/8/2005 11:05am PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

The fight for democracy in America --- even as we still scratch our head with continued wonder that a "pro-democracy" movement is actually necessary in the United States of America in 2005 --- continues to be a difficult one. But the fight is well worth it. Even as our victories tend to come in small, but continually accruing pieces.

We're not supposed to be talking about this issue at all, 11 months after November 2nd, 2004...and yet more and more are doing so every day. The Mainstream Corporate Media may not get it yet. But the ranks of great patriots who give a damn about their country continues to burgeon as the noise in favor of an accountable democracy increases every day due to the folks like the good readers of The BRAD BLOG who take their civic duty to heart.

Here are just a few of the latest positive signs in the continuing fight for a free, fair, verifiable and transparent democracy that many would prefer we simply didn't even discuss. We will continue to do so nonetheless. The burden is well worth carrying. The rewards for doing so are well worth the effort.

Debra LoGuercio, editor of Winters Express and columnist in Daily Republic and elsewhere, makes it a hat trick with her third column in as many weeks on our tenuous Electoral System. She was haunted by the siren sounded by our first article on the Diebold insider we dubbed DIEB-THROAT, who alerted us to the Dept. of Homeland Security website where a Cyber Alert was issued last year prior to the election about the vulnerability to hackers in Diebold's central tabulator software. That vulnerability has, by Diebold's own admission, never been addressed.

In her latest column titled "E-voting fraud is an American issue" LoGuercio joins the ranks of those of us who continue to be stunned at the remarkable indifference by the Mainstream Corporate Media to what DIEB-THROAT refered to as "one of the greatest threats democracy has ever known":

So many topics, so little column space. And yet soooooo much e-mail. In the media, we talk of a story having �legs,� meaning that it just keeps running. It seems the topic of electronic voting fraud is a centipede.

I've accumulated a mountain of studies and reports on Diebold's electronic voting machines since I wrote the Dieb-Throat columns, all pointing to the same conclusion: The software can be hacked - undetected - relatively easily by someone with the technology skills.
...
Why isn't the national media all over this topic like stink on a monkey? Why are we hearing about Brad and Angelina rather than a story that may shatter the foundation of American democracy if it's true? Maybe it's just not sexy enough. Maybe it won't move enough Viagra. Or maybe the grotesquely wealthy owners of the national media don't want this issue to come to light.
...
Maybe that's why people are frantically encouraging me to keep pushing the issue, as if they're pinning their hopes on me. If that's the case, we're in big trouble. In the media world, I'm not even a small fish in a small pond. I'll keep on splashing, but it's hard for a guppy in a mud puddle to make waves.

However, it brings to mind a children's story about Swimmy, a little fish that encouraged all the other little fish to swim together in the formation of one large fish. Working together, they survived the perilous waters among the sharks. That's what all us little fish must do - swim together.

Again, read her full column to find out about her response from AP and NBC affiliates when she contacted them about all of this, and see if you can find a way to help swim together with her efforts. It's well worth it, and the support means the world to folks like us who go out on a limb on these matters...even when doing so may be neither popular nor the easiest thing to do.

In the meantime, there are signs that more and more folks are taking notice of what is going on and walking out on that limb as well. C-NET's News.com ran an article yesterday by Declan McCullah headlined "E-voting hobbled by security concerns".

The first couple of grafs:

It's been nearly five years since Americans received a painful education on the perils of traditional voting machines in Florida and almost one year since the 2004 election revealed perplexing irregularities in Ohio's vote tabulation methods.

Yet no uniform security standards exist for electronic voting machines. Even though they were used to tabulate a third of the votes in last year's presidential run, nearly all electronic voting machines in use today remain black boxes without external methods of verifying that the results have not been altered or sabotaged.

The article covers both the ongoing concerns, and the internal debates --- even amongst election reformers --- about how and when to produce and count paper ballots...or "receipts" as they are regrettably becoming known in many circles.

On the point of the difference between reformers on these issues, I hope to produce a one-page "Declaration of Democracy" in the next couple of weeks, a page on which we worked diligently at the Portland Election Reform summit. I believe we can bridge the differences between reformers on these matters to get everyone on the same page. I've been working hard on that effort personally behind the scenes, and hope to have something to show for it in the next couple of weeks. Just by way of a heads-up...So that perhaps we may be able to "swim together" on these issues.

A second article from News.com published yesterday over at ZDNet covers a similar discussion on the problems with E-Voting vulnerability and the need to open the software for inspection:

Overlooked bugs and malicious code pose a plausible threat to software on electronic voting machines, a panel of election experts said Friday.

And finally, there it was yesterday...smack dab in the middle of The New York Times: a full-page ad that asks the the too-obvious questions, "Would you trust a bank that refused to issue ATM receipts? Will you trust your democracy to voting machines without them?"

The ad calls for support of Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) H.R. 550 "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005" which we generally support as a good first step towards accountability. (You can send your words of support as well to your folks in congress quickly by using Velvet Revolution's easy Email generator here.)

Here's the very welcome ad, signed by many election reformers. Amongst them, our friend the heroic Robert Koehler (listen to our interview with Koehler at the Portland Summit as broadcast on The BRAD SHOW by clicking here and selecting HOUR 3.)

To read the full text of the ad in PDF format, click it, or click here.

Let's all keep swimming...together...

If you need some added inspiration to keep up the fight for democracy, we'll strongly recommend this great song [mp3], courtesy of Victoria Parks. "It's well worth fighting for..."

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By Winter Patriot on 9/22/2005 11:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Project Censored has presented its annual compilation of the most important stories ignored by the mainstream media over the past year... and the rigged presidential election of 2004 came in at number three!

In normal times, the theft of a presidential election, and the virtual media blackout that followed it, would be an easy choice for the top spot. But then again these times are far from normal.

Here, according to Project Censored, are the top ten censored stories of the year:

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Encourage C-SPAN to Cover it NOW!
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 1:07pm PT  

It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!

Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!

...CONTACT...
Suggest Events: Submit a public event that you think C-SPAN should cover
events@c-span.org
Main Number: (202) 737-3220
FROM THE NEWSWEEK CONTROVERSY TO THE DOWNING STREET MEMO, CONYERS HOSTS FORUM: "MEDIA BIAS AND THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.

There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.

For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.

Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.

WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"

PANEL:

  • Al Franken, the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
  • David Brock, founder of Media Matters
  • Randi Rhodes, the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio
  • Joe Madison, The Black Eagle Radio Show
  • Justin Webb, Senior Washington Correspondent of BBC News
  • Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Steve Rendall, media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • John Aravosis, America Blog
  • Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.

    WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

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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!

    ReddIt this story!



    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.

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    '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!



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