After an amazingly encouraging week or two, we head into the July 4th weekend with a whole bunch of stuff we've been trying to clear off our desk. Plus: Lots of breaking news and an encouraging ending for the weekend...
Buffalo's alternative weekly, The Beast, today runs a pretty candid (okay, very candid) Q&A they did with me about a week or so ago, when I was rather angry. Kinda like today, or any other day within the past week (or month, or 4 years).
It's a pretty good interview, if I say so myself. And I'll be sure to keep it in my pocket next time some idiot (either Republican or Democratic) accuses me of being a "partisan."
And while I hate tooting my own horn, when has that ever stopped me before? So here's Al Uthman's intro to the Q&A:
Brad Friedman is perhaps the most diligent and unassailable election integrity advocate in America. His work at Bradblog.com is required reading for anyone who gives a damn about maintaining democracy in America, and he's also the guy we call whenever we start freaking out about the insanity of allowing hackable, untested voting machines to tabulate an election between two morally bankrupt parties, or the bitter injustice of trumped up voter fraud charges taking precedence in the media over real, actual voter fraud.
Last week I ran the video of an interview that Russia Today (an extremely popular English language state-sponsored Russian satellite/cable channel) flew into town to conduct with me. That posting included some thoughts on the interview, which also included some of my thoughts on problems in the U.S. corporate media.
Now, the RT reporter Anastasia Churkina files a broader report on concerns about the e-voting systems to be used in our upcoming election, including more from my interview with her, and another with my friend Thom Hartmann. Here's that new report (appx 4 mins)...
Well, that was fun. My first time on Fox. And I don't feel dirty at all! Hopefully, it'll not be my last. Hey, I was even honored to offer them a big scoop on air, in the form my very own "Fox News Alert", after which, I'm told, they ran the headline during top of the hour news and on the crawl. So we did some good, if only for that. You're welcome, Fox!
Host Julie Banderas asked me, kindly, near the end of the segment (video below), if I'd felt they'd been "fair and balanced" with me during the segment. I believe they were, which was much appreciated. Though I wish I had answered "Yes, you were, thanks. In this segment. And I hope you'll have me back to discuss the GOP's ACORN 'voter fraud' hoax, about which you guys have been anything but fair and balanced over the last week or two, and, in fact, dangerouslyunfair and unbalanced."
But, hey, ya can only fit so much into seven minutes. And I think I was able to get some good info in. You'll let me know. Here's the segment...
For those who've asked, yes, when I was booked I was told we'd most likely be discussing "voter fraud" issues, not housing crisis issues...
I can't even begin to remember how many different media appearances, of different sorts, I've had this week. I guess that's a good thing. Though I'd have been much happier with none, and no good reason to do 'em! I hope to try to catch up, and post a few of those appearances this week, from the Randi Rhodes Show, Stephanie Miller Show, several public radio shows, and a bunch of others, over the weekend.
More "being the media" today (Friday) as I host KPFK/Pacifica's "Special Election Year Coverage" at 12noon PT. My guests will be Kate Fomar of CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen's office, and Austin King of ACORN. You can listen live on 90.7FM L.A., 98.7FM in Santa Barbara, or online here. I'll also be on the Peter B. Collins Show tonight for my regular Friday appearance from 5p-6p PT.
But the morning starts out today with a "Live to Tape" appearance on Brave New Media's Meet the Bloggers, hosted by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. I was in the studio with Cenk earlier this week to tape, and the entire show, featuring myself and guests James Rucker of ColorOfChange.org and Jon Pincus, creator of the Election Protection Wiki will stream live at 10am PT (1pm ET).
It'll then be airing continuously over there for the next week, so check it out now!
I'll be answering questions during and after the "live" show. Go to MeetTheBloggers.org to leave a question on the live blog, or you can even send in a video question, if you like. The show is also carried on a number of cable and satellite stations around the country at various times over the coming week.
The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great election integrity documentary films in return. Details on that right here...
The Russians flew into town to talk to me last week. The result, from Russia Today, their huge worldwide English-language satellite/news outlet, follows (appx 3.5 mins)...
For the record, I take little joy or comfort in detailing, to folks from Russia, just how bad the current state of democracy is in the U.S.. Describing the failures of our corporate media to them was not much fun either. But I call 'em as I see 'em.
Describing our elections these days as "Russian Roulette," however, did seem to make some kind of perverse sense on Russian television, even if it's not the first time I've used that turn of phrase that way. But I looked Anastasia Churkina in the eye, found her to be very straight-forward and trustworthy, and we had a very good dialogue. In fact, I was able to get a sense of her soul, so I knew I could trust her.
POST-SCRIPT: Anastasia headed up to Portland to speak to the good Thom Hartmann, on many of the same topics, the day after she was here to interview me. The RT interview with Thom is here.
There were a few more technical/geek-ish items that I didn't include in the version that ran over there, thinking they were more appropriate for the real tech and election integrity geeks (like me) out there. Those issues are now published in a much shorter Q&A running today at ComputerWorld.
In these previously unpublished exchanges, posted to CW this morning, Brunner offers some insider detail about her recent lawsuit against Diebold/Premier, concerning the revelation that their tabulators simply drop thousands of votes without notice; the depth of her surprise at the results of her landmark "EVEREST" security tests of Ohio's e-voting machines; and what may lie beyond e-voting, such as the possibility of hand-counting in Ohio.
The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system, fiercely and independently, as no other media outlet in the nation does. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great election integrity documentary films in return. Details on that right here...
Late last week I had the "pleasure" of appearing on Tavis Smiley's public radio show, along with GOP "voter fraud" zealot and propagandist Hans von Spakovsky, about whom we've written quite a bit here over the years. The show was pre-taped last Thursday, ran over the weekend, and will continue to be available at Smiley's website throughout the week.
The audio discussion, which became rather heated at times, is posted at the end of this article.
In his introduction, Smiley credits von Spakovsky as being "from the Heritage Foundation." But in addition to being funded by those unapologetic Republicanists, it goes unnoted that vS, a former chair of the FEC, recess-appointed by Bush, then blocked by the Democrats in the Senate when his appointment came up again, was formerly embedded in the Bush DoJ's wholly-politicized Civil Rights Division voting section.
At the DoJ, he helped to deconstruct the beloved Voting Rights Act of 1965 by, among other things, pushing through polling place Photo ID restrictions in places such as Georgia, against the advice of just about every career employee in the division. (The law was later found to be an "unconstitutional day poll tax" by the courts, but ultimately allowed by a higher court, and still under challenge by Democrats in the state.) He was also instrumental in bringing phony "voter fraud" charges, such as those against ACORN workers in Missouri, filed just days before the razor-thin 2006 Senate election, in violation of the DoJ's own written rules against bringing such indictments just prior to elections where they are likely to affect the race.
Perhaps even more noteworthy, but unmentioned by Smiley, is that even with all of that, the disgraced von Spakovsky has been secretly hired, at tax-payer expense, as a consultant for Bush's similarly compromised, and now ironically-named, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, to help monitor the job that the DoJ will (or won't) be doing to monitor the 2008 general election.
In any case, vS remains an unapologetic democracy hater, hell-bent on keeping Democratic-leaning voters away from the polls and, as you'll note during the interview, a liar.
Normally, however, he's not faced with anybody who can actually call him on his bullshit. That wasn't the case this time, as I was there, and was able to do exactly that...
I finally got the chance to watch the final cut (or so he says) of John Wellington Ennis' ingenious and inspiring Free For All! over the weekend. Taglined "One Dude's Quest for Democracy", the latest in the burgeoning election integrity documentary cannon offers yet another fresh look at our democracy on the precipice.
It's also damned funny --- which is a very nice change of pace --- and brings both the soul and spirit of your favorite Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock to the serious concerns of America's mindblowing electoral dysfunction.
While previous films in the genre have often focused more narrowly on the filmmaker's particularly favorite bête noire, such as voting machines, voter suppression, whistleblowers or the examination of specific aberrations of democracy (such as Florida 2000 or Ohio 2004), Free For All! uses Ohio's 2006 election --- featuring '04 villain, OH Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's quest for the Governorship --- to examine "all of the above", as Ennis himself serves as the Michael Moore-ian "Dude" trying to figure out just what the hell has gone wrong with the system. Answer: Just about damned near everything.
(Watch the FFA! preview at right.)
Ennis even manages to close a bit of a loop on 2004 by bringing in the "Don't Tase Me, Bro" FSU student who, in fact, was attempting to get a real answer from John Kerry on why he rolled over on the '04 election when he received a few thousand volts of thanks for his efforts. Real ones. As opposed to the imaginery ones that ABCNBCCBSCNNMSNBCFOX used on themselves to shut down reportage on one several of the greatest crimes of modern times.
Ennis also succeeds in offering a solution to many of the discovered woes...
Rady Ananda at OpEdNews opens her review of Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story by declaring it "the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration."
More details, pull-quotes from other reviews, and video preview here.
Haven't seen it yet? If you've got LinkTV, you can still check it out there. Otherwise, DVDs are available for prchase at the MSVL website, or better still, for a few dollars more, you can get one signed by both myself and the filmmaker Patty Sharaf with a $50 donation right here!
What more could you ask for? Collectors versions of great documentaries for you to watch and share, and all the while supporting the work we do here, so we can keep on doing it! And maybe by the time we're done, democracy gets saved somewhere in the bargain and everyone's a winner!
(Snail-mail works for all of the above as well. Send to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
Tonight's the last of my Guest Host stints, for now, on this week's Mike Malloy Show. We'll air live tonight from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) and we should have another good one for you this evening.
Scrambling now to get over to the studio, because from 8p-9p ET (5p-6p PT), during my usual weekly Friday guest appearance on The Peter B. Collins Show, just prior to subbing on Malloy's show tonight, we'll have a very special guest appearing with us at the same time, for the first half hour, and you may want to tune in for that as well! It should be a very lively hour!
While I'll not give you the name of that special PBC guest, I can give you the names of a couple of my guests tonight on the Malloy Show. You may have heard of them...
RALPH NADER, independent candidate for President of the United States on the Wall St. bailout and more.
"Agent 99" will once again host tonight's Open Thread in the comments below...See ya tonight!
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Wow. Big show! All four hours of 'em, if you count the first one on Peter B. Collins with cowardly, lying guest John Fund (who hung up during the first commercial break, guess he's not used to anybody being able to answer to his bullshit).
Each "hour" is actually about 37 mins. with the commercials removed, thanks to Ben Burch of White Rose Society. Here they are. Enjoy...
I'll be Guest Hosting a special "VP Debate" edition of the The Mike Malloy Show tonight. We'll carry the debate LIVE at 6pm PT (9pm ET), followed by an in-studio "Bloggers Roundtable" until 9pm PT (Midnight ET), featuring world class bloggers:
As always, "Agent 99" will be your rascible hostess here in our live Open Thread during the show. Hit comments below and give us your two-cents tonight! Maybe we'll read it on air!
POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a very lively roundtable, with a lot of disagreements (the Rightwinger, Patrick Frey thought Palin dropped the ball, while the Progressives tended to think Palin did well, except for Danziger, and lord only knows what he is. My thanks to all of them, as well as the callers, including my father who offered an "Edward R. Murrow-esque" field report, live from St. Louis! Unfortunately, Pamela Leavy was not able to join us at the last second.
We ended the spirited discussion --- audio archive below --- with my request for a quick McClaughlin-style response to the following question: "Between now and the next debate on Tuesday, after tonight's debate, do the polls go up, down, or no change for Obama and McCain?" The answers from the bloggers...
I'll be Guest Hosting the The Mike Malloy Show tonight through Friday, from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) each night. Hope you'll tune in!
Tomorrow, we'll be running the Veep Debate live for the first 90 minutes (or until Palin breaks down in tears), followed by a Blogger Roundtable with some world class bloggers (Marcy Wheeler from Empty Wheel, David "dday" Dayen from Digby's Hullabalo and Calitics, Marc "Armed Liberal" Danziger from Winds Of Change, Pamela Leavey from The Democratic Daily, and maybe a few more --- even some Righties --- if we can get 'em!)
But tonight is looking pretty good as well, and is currently scheduled to include the following:
Congrats to David Earnhardt and company on winning "Best Documentary" at last weekend's San Diego Film Festival, for Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections! I'm quite sure the win was due to my appearance at the Q&A following the Saturday night screening down there.
And finally...if you'd like a copy of both great documentaries (I'm in both, but they're really good anyway!), a donation of $75 or more will get 'em both shipped straight to ya! (Snail mail also works for all of the above: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
Congrats and thanks all around! People are getting the message because you are making noise!
Kansas City Star is among the first out of the box to review the film, calling it a "Must See!" and declaring that it "plays like a high-tension political thriller."
The terrifying feature-length documentary, shot in high-definition video, details, for the first time, the complete Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises vote-rigging scandal, in all of its, yes, sometimes very gory detail. It also tells a tale of the media, as it details my attempts to tell the story over the last four years, to a corrupt, detached, and too-often frightened corporate media. The BRAD BLOG broke the Curtis story originally in late 2004, and we've been investigating and reporting on it ever since.
The DVD of MSVL is finally available for purchase at VotingLies.com and will also be premiering beginning this weekend on LinkTV, for those of you lucky enough to get the satellite TV channel. See LinkTV's main Murder, Spies page for air dates and times, as well as an extended five-minute preview of the film. Sharaf has been kind enough to offer the DVD --- signed by herself and myself --- available as our newest, and perhaps most appropriate, BRAD BLOG premium ever! An online donation of $50 or more gets you your own copy! (And just in time for Halloween!) Snail mail works as well, if you prefer to send a check to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028. The support is greatly appreciated and very much needed.
LinkTV narrates their own 60-second preview of MSVL below...
For those who aren't familiar with the remarkable Curtis/Feeney story of the Florida software programmer who says he was asked by a powerful Republican to create vote-rigging software, where have you been? See this summary version for the quick details.
For those who are familiar with the story, you will learn details in MSVL you never knew, along with new interviews on the case from Gore Vidal, reporter Bob Fitrakis, computer security expert Harri Hursti, whistleblower Steve Heller, Curtis co-worker Mavis Georgalis, and many more!
While the Curtis story has been told, often beautifully, in a number of other documentaries, such as Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections and Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote, this is the first to go all the way into all of the frightening details underscoring this case, including the mysterious death of Florida's Inspector General Raymond Lemme while investigating the allegations, and the bizarre case of the convicted Chinese spy, Hai Lin "Henry" Nee, who worked at the firm with Curtis.
A few quotes from some of the early reviews:
"Must see!...Plays like a high-tension political thriller...Amazingly elaborate and detailed...Want to get hoppin' mad? This'll do it...Let's hear it for paper ballots." - Bob Butler, Kansas City Star
The film is also screening at a number of upcoming film-festivals around the country, including the New Jersey Film Festival this weekend. See the MSVL website for dates & times.
Four years later, I'm happy to still be here to see the release of the film, quite frankly. There were some pretty scary days back there. It's regrettable that nobody's yet gone to jail, but maybe we're getting closer. For many of you who found this blog because of the Curtis story back in 2004, thank you for all of the support throughout the years! I hope you'll get the film, enjoy it, and continue to spread the word.