Admits: 'Originally Dismissed as Exaggerations, Criticisms Now Viewed With Increased Gravity'
Otherwise, Article Creates a False 'Balanced Debate' Where There is None...
Again, we're always happy to see coverage of the mess concerning Diebold's proven and severe security vulnerabilities as well as the hackable electronic voting machines made by their compatriot (competitor) companies. All of that, as our electoral democracy crumbles out from under us while very few are paying attention or giving a damn even if they are.
So, we're happy to see the issue brought up again in today's Washington Post "A section" in a "special to WaPo" by Zachary A. Goldfarb who has done some decent coverage on these issues in the past.
Not as happy, however, to see this report as yet another indication that the Fox "News"-ization of WaPo seems to be complete.
In the name of phony "balance" (the word Fox "News" has perpetrated on a gullible public and a terrified mainstream media in order to level decidedly unlevel playing fields to the advantage of the bad guys), today's report, headlined "Debating the Bugs of High-Tech Voting," creates a completely false sense of "balance" in an otherwise unbalanced "debate."
Aside from the article appearing in WaPo at all, the biggest upside to it is this admission in the following graf:
Many of the criticisms of voting technology were originally dismissed as exaggerations promulgated by partisans displeased with election results. But the criticisms have been viewed with increasing gravity as prominent computer scientists have rallied behind them.
Beyond that, however, the article sets up a phony "level playing field" between Computer Scientists, all of whom now criticize the Diebold electronic voting machines --- even folks like Prof. Michael Shamos of Carnegie Mellon who had previously been a major defender of e-voting --- Goldbarb then goes on to frame things as if the points of the defenders of E-Voting (those who have a financial stake it in) are somehow equal to those who have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that that the defenders were lying and/or wrong about E-voting.
With E-Voting vendors and Elections Officials on one side and Computer Scientists and Election Integrity activists on the other, the appearance of a Fox "News" style one side versus the other side debate is created.
Goldfarb even manages to define Elections Officials as "strik[ing] a middle ground" between the vendors and the Election Integrity advocates when he then goes on to quote a spokesperson from CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson's office repeating precisely what Diebold has said publicly about the latest huge security vulnerability discovered in Diebold systems [emphasis ours]:
"There certainly are potential security vulnerabilities that have arisen," said Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for California's secretary of state. "But you have to be realistic about it: When you're administrating elections, there's a very low risk of any" tampering.
That ain't a "middle ground", that's Diebold propoganda.
Here's a quote from a letter sent by Diebold to states after they could no longer conceal the vulnerability problems from the public. Note the similarities to Kerns quote above:
The probability for exploiting this vulnerability to install un-authorized software that could affect an election is considered low.
You can see the full Diebold letter, and the nearly identical (word-for-word!) "Directive" from Pennsylvania officials, who struck that same "middle ground" when they had to deal with the problem just days before their recent primary elections right here.
Beyond that, the article goes on to quote Diebold spokesman/known-liar, David Bear, repeating his same old "there are no evil election officials" canard, while otherwise doing a nice job, at least, of pointing out Shamos' apparent about-face concerning the security on these machines, after he had once been an ardent supporter/defender of e-voting.
Bottom-line, however: This is not an even debate. Nor even a "debate" at all!
The Computer Scientists and Election Integrity Advocates have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Diebold voting machines, both optical scan and touch-screen, are hackable and unsecure. They have also been federally certified despite violating federally created standards for certification. They should be decertified immediately at the federal level on that basis alone.
The other side is not debating. They are spinning in an attempt to downplay the issue as "not all that important."
That's not a debate. That is FACT versus SPIN and coverage of these issues ought to be clear on that. Especially from Washington Post where we'd expect them to be a bit more honest than Fox "News". But perhaps it's time to simply do away that expectation once and for all.
UPDATE: While WaPo misses the point (or chooses to), the smaller papers, such as the Lakeland Florida Ledger get it right anyway...