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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, September 1, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring the GOP's Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin? Let us catch you up quickly with the latest...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Serious New Allegations! Affidavits from Multiple Witnesses!
Recount volunteers give details on very strange story
By Winter Patriot on 1/26/2005 7:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Check this out: I have a great new idea for scamming an election. What do you think of this?

Suppose you took a filled-in ballot, used a blank sticker to cover the oval filled in by the voter, colored in a different oval, and then fed the ballot into an optical scanner. How do you think the machine would count that ballot? Pretty slick, no? I am so clever! Nobody else would ever think of doing something like this, would they?

On second thought, maybe somebody else would think of it. And according to this article from RAW STORY, it's already been done. Quite recently, in fact. And you'll never guess where!

Tough question, no? OK, here's a hint: What's round on both ends and high in the middle? Did you say "Ohio"? Well, maybe you will guess after all. But you'll never guess which ovals had stickers on them...

Serious new election tampering allegations have emerged from an Ohio county, where witnesses allege that stickers were placed on presidential election ballots, RAW STORY has learned.

Several volunteer workers in the Ohio recount in Clermont County, Ohio have prepared affidavits alleging serious tampering, violations of state and federal law, and possible fraud. They name the Republican chief of Clermont's Board of Elections and the head of the Clermont Democratic Party Priscilla O'Donnell as complicit in these acts.

These volunteers, observing the recount on behalf of the Greens, Libertarians and Democrats, assert that during the Dec. 14, 2004 hand recount they noticed stickers covering the Kerry/Edwards oval, whereas the Bush/Cheney oval seemed to be “colored in.”

Some witnesses state that beneath the stickers, the Kerry/Edwards oval was selected. The opti-scan ballots were then fed into the machines after the hand recount.

Well, what do you think about that? I thought I had a good original idea here. Apparently it is a pretty good idea, but it's not exactly original. Oh well...

Read the entire story here. Then come back and scream and yell all you like. This really does call for a good rant.

But don't just rant here. Spread the pressure around.

Or as Brad would say: Go Make Some Noise!!

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Tortured POWs Win Judgement Against Iraq; Justice Department Seeks To Overturn It!
By Winter Patriot on 1/25/2005 9:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

If you needed any further proof that the American government doesn't give a damn about its soldiers, here's a story to make you cry ... again! It looks like our Justice Department has fallen so deeply in love with torture, that in their view, it's not only OK for our guys to torture their guys, but it's also OK for their guys to torture our guys!

I quote the following passages from an article written by John Norton Moore, published by Slate, and headlined: Abuse of Trust: The POW scandal you haven't yet heard about.

Moore writes:

This nation has a special responsibility to prevent the torture of Americans held as prisoners of war. Our POWs have been brutally tortured at command direction in war after war, including the Korean, Vietnam, and most recently, the Gulf War; and it's clear that we need to do whatever we can to break this pattern. Yet when 17 of our tortured Gulf War POWs and 37 of their family members said "enough" and joined together to bring a historic civil action to hold their Iraqi torturers liable, they were shocked — having won their case in federal court — to find the Department of Justice seeking to erase their judgment and "absolve" their torturers.

Moore details the horrific treatment suffered by Americans who were held prisoner in Iraq during George Herbert Walker Bush's 'excellent Iraqi adventure', and describes their efforts to hold the Iraqi government accountable. These efforts culminated in a lawsuit against the Iraqi government, which the POWs won. But then something very strange happened...

Historically the United States has been a world leader in seeking to prevent torture. Today, along with most nations, it is bound by the Third Geneva Convention for the Protection of POWs. That convention bans all torture and inhumane treatment of POWs and, as a core enforcement mechanism, provides in Article 131 that no state may "absolve" a torturing state of "any liability" for their torture. This provision is particularly aimed at holding the state itself liable and banning any removal of that liability at the conclusion of a war.

Sadly, along came the Abu Ghraib scandal, setting aside this historic tradition and the professional judgment of our military JAG officers and State Department experts. As is now well known, one effect of the abuse scandal was to undermine deterrence against the torture of American POWs in future wars (this, along with its catastrophic political cost to the Iraq war effort and, more broadly, to our nation's reputation). But, in a perfect storm of bad news for future American POWs, while the now infamous abuse decisions were still policy, the Justice Department went into court to erase the POWs' judgment and its message of liability for torture.

This incredible situation may be reversed on appeal, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, and if it rules in favor of the POWs. But what is the likelihood of the Supreme Court ruling against the Justice Department? And...

If the [...] decision stands [...], the consequences will be catastrophic. Future tyrants will hear the message, like a fire bell in the night, that the United States has little concern for its own POWs. Morale will decline in our armed forces as the reality sinks in that our government has sided with their torturers over them. A core enforcement mechanism of the POW convention, as well as our reliability as a treaty partner, will be undermined by our remarkable decision to "absolve" a torturing state in violation of the convention.

So there you have it. Our Justice Department won't even let the Geneva Convention protect our own troops! But at least they can't be accused of using double-standards! They don't want the Geneva Convention to protect anybody!!

Oh yeah! Freedom and Liberty are definitely On The March ... in the Land of the Formerly Free, and the Home of the Utterly Depraved!

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By Fin on 1/25/2005 8:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

What will be the tipping point of the Bush Presidency? Iraq? The Economy? Another terrorist attack in the U.S.? Another pretzel?

Enlighten me.

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Always read the stories these people write
By Winter Patriot on 1/25/2005 7:58am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Looking for something to read? Here's a great place to start: John Kaminski's newest piece at Serendipity, "The Ten Best Writers On The Internet".

Kaminski is a bit of a wild man, and I mean that in the best possible way. He digs deep, and writes passionate prose. He is beholden to nobody, and he always says exactly what he thinks. [Does that remind you of anyone? Somebody who's on his way to Utah, perhaps?]

As you will see when you read the article, Kaminski intended to list just ten writers, but he couldn't stick to that arbitrary limit. Instead, he's provided short introductions (and links) to twenty-five of his favorites.

You may find some familiar names here. You will probably find some new names as well. Some of my favorite writers didn't even make the list. Tough list! Greg Palast isn't on it. Neither is Brad. Neither is Freebird. Oh well. What are you gonna do?

Maybe someday I will write a piece about my favorite writers who are not on Kaminski's list. Maybe someday I will start an open thread where I ask you to do the same. But in the meantime, here's a way to get us all started on the same page (as it were)...

Please bookmark this page. Open it whenever you have nothing else to do. Familiarize yourself with the names, and explore the links. Then come back here and let us know what you think.

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By Fin on 1/24/2005 7:40pm PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

I (like you, I'm sure) was thrilled and energized by the President's call to increase Freedom and Liberty across the globe. To that end, in today's L.A. Times comes an article that I'm sure will make our Dear Leader's heart leap. One in which a repressed group of people are finally being given the opportunity to cross over into the promised land of freedom. The money quote:

In the Islamic Republic of Iran... hundreds of people are having their gender changed legally, bolstered by the blessings of members of the ruling Shiite clergy.

Let's take a moment and think about this. How monumental that one of the original members of the Axis of Evil (back before it was trendy) has chosen to give liberty to a discriminated against group. (Now, for the sake of full disclosure, the excised text in the above quote did say "gay male sex still carries the death penalty and lesbians are lashed", but still this is a clear beacon of freedom for thousand of men and women yearning to be free of...well, being lashed and killed.)

What's that, you say, Mr. President? You didn't mean that kind of freedom? Oh, I see. I missed the fine print at the bottom of your speech. Funny, the list of unapproved freedoms listed is a lot longer than that other one. A few samples...

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

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A Live BRAD BLOG / Freedom Cinema Festival Event!
PLUS: I'm outta here! (for a bit) & Happy Anniversary to Us!
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 8:10pm PT  

I will be appearing this Saturday, Jan 29th at the Freedom Cinema Festival with Clint Curtis in a live event co-sponsored by The BRAD BLOG. It'll be my first time meeting him in person, and it should be a fun afternoon/evening. (Don't worry, I'm told security will be very good).

The festival takes place in Park City, UT smack-dab in the middle of the Sundance Festival. So if any of you are in the area, please be sure to come on by and say hello after the event! There is a ton of terrific political films, events and speakers scheduled, including Greg Palast and Danny Shecter, and, of course, me, so come on by! Click the link above --- or better yet --- the advertisement for the festival at left for more info!

As I'll be interviewing Curtis live, I'd love to open up this comment thread for any questions you might like me to ask Curtis directly from The BRAD BLOG denizens during the event! If they're ones I haven't thought of, I'll try and get the goods for ya straight from the whistleblowers mouth.

I'm told the event will be videotaped, so we'll try and link it up next week upon our return if possible.

And finally...After nearly six months of nearly non-stop 24/7 bloggin' to save the world, countless stories broken, and buckets of muck raked, I'm gonna attempt to use this opportunity to take a slow roadtrip to UT and back and try and get a much needed break here for a week (or so).

Tomorrow, by the way, will be the One Year Anniversary for The BRAD BLOG. What a short strange trip it's been. Thank you all for your support every step of the way. I'd say something more poetic, but I gotta get outta here. So that's that until next year!

I hope you'll forgive my absense (I know Tom Feeney will) for a bit, as I will be attempting to stay away from all things net for as long as possible. We'll see how well I do. I may just jump in from the road as events warrant. But I hope they won't warrant. And I hope there's no net.

Until then, BRAD BLOG stalwart and official typo-corrector, Winter Patriot (of the fine eponymously- named blog and friend Fin (of the superb and silly What We Know blog) may jump in and do some guest-blogging and/or open thread-posting.

Please be nice to them, and keep a good eye on democracy while I'm gone! I would like it to be in much better shape than when I left it! So keep making noise in favor of Truth, Justice and the American Way over at Velvet Revolution while I'm gone as well! And stand by for some trouble-making over there when I return which I believe you will enjoy as well!

(To all the Emailers, forgive my inability to reply while I'm gone, much as you forgive my inability to reply when I'm here!)

Peace.

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Same Models as Those Which Lost 4,400 Votes in NC!
Unusually High Rate of 'Undervotes' in both States on Same Machines.
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 7:11am PT  

After November 2nd, 2004, there were increasing reports from elections officials, small local papers, and, yes, bloggers who had bothered to studiously examine official election results, The New York Times published several articles labelling such concerns by Americans as "conspiracy theories".

So we sent them a list of "15 Unanswered Questions" --- all of them based on hard evidence --- that we'd hope they'd investigate and report on to the American people. That was on November 21st, 2004.

One of those questions concerned a single county in North Carolina which had used the UniLect voting machine and, as we reported on November 4th, 2004, had completely lost a full 4,438 votes. Those lost votes later spawned a Special Election in Cartaret County, NC to re-vote some of the local issues because of it.

We had asked suggested to The Times that such hard facts were hardly "conspiracy theories" and we had hoped they'd be able to investigate and report on which other states and counties had been using the identical UniLect machines which --- company officials admitted --- had contained memory chips that stored fewer votes than they had told state officials.

Since UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio, we thought it was a particularly germane point. But apparently The Times didn't agree. They neither investigated, nor reported on the matter to our knowledge.

And now, months after the election, and days after the inaugural, The Charlotte Observer reports this morning that the same model of UniLect machines used in North Carolina were also in use in Pennsylvania and seem to have lost votes there as well [emphasis added]:

Local and state officials in Pennsylvania are examining malfunctions and questions with voting machines in three counties --- the same model machine that lost more than 4,400 votes in North Carolina.

"We continue to be uncertain about these machines," said Michael Coulter, who heads an independent committee examining voting machine mishaps in Mercer County, Pa., where he said machines in 13 precincts erased some voters' choices.

Mercer County, as well as Beaver and Greene counties, along the Ohio border, use the Unilect Patriot voting machine, an electronic mechanism that does not produce a paper ballot and is the same model that lost 4,438 votes in Carteret County, along the N.C. coast.

As well as lost and erased votes, there was also an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on the Presidential ballot where those machines were in use [emphasis again added] ...

All three of the western Pennsylvania counties recorded a high percentage of "undervotes" for president, which is when a voter doesn't vote in that race. Mercer County's undervote was 7.8 percent, four times higher than in 2000, when they used old, lever machines.

In North Carolina, state lawmakers are scrutinizing why more than 10 percent of Burke County voters were recorded as not making a choice in the presidential race, an "undervote" rate that is four to five times as high as nearly all the other counties in the state. Burke and Carteret are the only N.C. counties that use Unilect machines.
...
[M]achines in 13 of Mercer's 100 precincts would let a voter select candidates in the races on several pages of the ballot and highlight the choice, but when the voter reached the sixth page the highlighting disappeared and all the candidates were unselected. The voter's choices had vanished.

"The voter's choices had vanished."

And we remind you again, The New York Times didn't find it necessary to look into which counties in Ohio used these same machines, if there were any lost votes or an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on them, presumably because such notions were simply the "conspiracy theories" of "leftist bloggers" as they had described them at the time.

That despite just 60,000 or so of 5.5 million in a single state (Ohio) which would have completely flipped a United States Presidential Election.

Repeating: Election officials and the voting machine manufacturer admit that 4,438 votes were entirely lost in just one North Carolina county where UniLect machines were used.

Repeating: UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio.

We will continue to press both the Mainstream Media, the States and the Voting Machine Companies to better serve the American Public whom they are failing to adequately serve at this time. But just in case you wonder why --- on January 23rd, 2005 --- this information is finally being reported by The Observer at all, it is because of inquiries in Pennsylvania that were demanded by the voters who spoke up, made noise, and created a petition to force their elected officials into taking action:

Their inquiry was prompted not by Election Day glitches, but by a petition sent by voters in Beaver County who suggested the machines were susceptible to fraud and tampering.

Your voice does matter. When you speak up.

We've set up VelvetRevolution.us to help you do that. Please visit and sign-up (it's free!), so you can speak up, make noise and take part in some upcoming actions that will be announced there in the coming weeks.

Count on no one but yourselves to make a difference.

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BRAD BLOG: Thanks for the Three Month Old News...
Where Were You BEFORE the Election When This News Mattered?
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 10:45pm PT  

Just out from Reuters, three months after it happened...

The White House has scrapped its list of Iraq allies known as the coalition of the willing, which Washington used to back its argument that the 2003 invasion was a multilateral action.

A senior US administration official, wishing to remain anonymous, says the White House replaced the 45-member coalition list with a smaller roster of 28 countries with troops in Iraq sometime after the June transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government.

The official could not say when or why the administration did away with the list of the coalition of the willing.

We, however, can tell you both when and why.

We, however, cannot tell you when the MSM became such miserable failures at their jobs, or why it is that some jerk with a blog who works for no salary in a smoky little office in Los Angeles seems to be able to report --- when it still actually matters --- on issues that effect both America and the entire world.

(If you feel sorry for us due to that snarky "no salary" comment above, feel free to make a donation here in order to immediately ease your pangs of guilt ;-)

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WaPo Veep: 'All We Want is Tickets to the Balls'
BRAD BLOG: 'They're Yours'
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 7:53pm PT  

The Washington Post, which recently donated $100,000 to President Bush's inaugural, was granted rare high-level access yesterday in the form of a coveted presidential interview. A spokesman insisted there was no connection, but one grizzled media observer, who requested anonymity so he could still submit op-eds to the paper, said: "Let's face it, the whole thing reeks."

The above was not actually written by us, but by The Post's Howard Kurtz last week in a WaPo article headlined "Influence Being Peddled!"

His piece, which followed-up a front-page article the previous day headlined "Big-Money Contributors Line Up for Inauguration" postulates how terrible it might look "if some blogger" led one of their items with just such a charge. So, Howard, consider it done.

[ed. Note: We've linked the MSNBC version of the original WaPo article above. It has a slightly different headline than the one in WaPo, but does not require a free sign-up to read. The Kurtz response in WaPo is unfortunately not posted on the MSNBC site.]

In regard to the Post's original page-one condemnation (explanation? apology? justification?) of the corporate glad-handing to the Bush Administration, which they themselves have done as well, Kurtz quotes from the pieces list of "well-heeled, favor-seeking supporters", and then says...

And there was this: "Practically all the major donors have benefited from Bush administration policies."

Oh, and by the way: The Washington Post Co. forked over $100,000.

So what the hell exactly does The Washington Post thinks it's doing by contributing $100,000 to the Bush/Cheney inauguration?!

Kurtz admits "the appearance is awful", but to his credit, he tried to get some answers...

Not to worry, the company has an explanation: "We make clear to one and all that all we want is tickets to the balls for our major corporate advertisers," Post Co. Vice President Patrick Butler, who is quoted in the piece, told me.
...
Courting advertisers may be the motivation, but the appearance is awful. After all, the practice is deemed unsavory enough to warrant a Page 1 piece in The Post Co.'s newspaper.

The company has business interests that are affected by administration policies. It owns a bunch of television stations that have FCC licenses, for example. So are we being asked to believe that the Bush administration will not notice that The Washington Post Co. was neighborly enough to cough up 100K for the inaugural bashes? We --- meaning journalists who work in the newsroom --- don't believe that other corporations and trade associations give such contributions without expecting anything in return. In fact, we write about this sort of thing all the time, including yesterday.

And our corporate parent is now playing the same game.

So we appreciate, in this case, his willingness to call his corporate bosses on the carpet, but it hardly gets WaPo off the hook for this appalling business practice.

If we accept the explanation at face value --- that this is merely to provide major advertisers with "free tickets to the balls" --- then we're led to wonder who these advertisers are for which WaPo is willing to float $100,000 worth of tickets for.

Are they willing to post a list of the companies that benefited from this corporate gift?

Shouldn't we have that knowledge when next we read a story in their paper which may concern or affect one of those advertisers?

Do they believe that explanation should assuage our concerns for their impartiality in the future when reporting on affairs in Bush administration?

Their front-pager from last week fails to touch --- beyond a cursory mention that a donation had been made --- on what it was that WaPo had hoped to gain from the donation.

That question seems particular key since, as the article admits, "Practically all the major donors have benefited from Bush administration policies."

And also, should we now take closer notice that the article was co-written by Jeffrey Birnbaum, whose impartiality is already in grave doubt due to his association with the Republican Fox "News" Channel as an official salaried "Fox News contributor"?

Unfortunately, we came across this item too late today to get comment or answers to the above questions from The Post. We'll be on the road for the next week or so, and therefore unable to properly follow up. But we do hope some of the other responsible media sources out there (Hello, RAW STORY?) might be able to push for a more palatable and detailed response to some of the above questions than the one offered in the Kurtz piece.

It should be noted that Kurtz points out that WaPo made similar donations to Clinton's inaugural in '93 and '97, along with Bush's in '01.

It should also be noted that we don't give a damn about that and would like such --- theoretically --- impartial media sources as WaPo to have both propriety and appearance of same no matter which Administration they have a duty to report on for the American people.

Their coverage of affairs in D.C. and beyond is already under deservedly close scrutiny by "the new media" folks like us. We have criticized and will continue to criticize them for their continuing failures to cover the news that Americans need to know about.

We'd recommend, however, that they not make it any easier for those on the Right (who already opportunistically, inaccurately and cynically label them as part of the "Liberal Media") or those on the Left (who already find their coverage sorely and criminally wanting) to tar them with the brush of bias in a media world where they are already rapidly sliding towards dinosaur status.

A $100,000 gift to the Bush Administration, re-gifted as another $100,000 gift to major corporate allies and partners, does not bode well for a deceleration of The Washington Post's unfortunate descent towards irrelevance in a swiftly changing media landscape.

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A Fox "News" Inaugural Meltdown...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 12:32pm PT  

"When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated...during a time of war as you know...he had a very modest inauguration and a very tiny party where chicken salad was served. And that was when we were winning a war..." --- Judy Bachrach, Vanity Fair contributing editor manages to slip the truth onto Fox "News".

We have a feeling one of their guest bookers is about to fired.

Oliver Willis has the entire tale of the tape.

(Thanks BRAD BLOG commenters Nana and Toni for the tip!)

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A Patriotic Commemorative Photographic Tribute...
Still Uniting Not Dividing!...From Sea to Shining Sea!...And Beyond!
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 2:32am PT  

UPDATE: Thanks to all of those who have linked to the following photo essay.

Late last night, I was remembering having watched the scenes of protesters during the first inaugural parade in Fahrenheit 9/11. As I watched those scenes I had thought to myself, "I can't believe I had no idea that such protests had even occurred that day!" And I had watched virtually all of the "wall-to-wall coverage" of the inaugural back in 2001!

The Mainstream Media failed us then, and I have since learned well how they are failing us now.

It would be a travesty for people to remain similarly unaware of the hundreds of thousands who spoke out yesterday against a failed President who had to cheat to "win" and whose claims of having received a "mandate" are as arrogantly fallacious as having claimed to have been "a uniter, not a divider". So, though it took quite a while very late at night to collect the following, I was girded in the process by remembering the importance for all of us now to "Be the Media". It must be done.

To that end, you too must do your part. The wingnut cabal preys on ignorance. Don't allow that to happen. Pass the link to these photos around. Hitting the "Send it to someone!" button is a convenient way to do your part. Don't be fooled. It's up to nobody but us at this point. - BF

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

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Sun Myung Moon Owned Paper Comes to Defense of George
By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2005 5:22pm PT  

As we alluded to a day or so ago, Sun Myung Moon, owner of Republican "Newspaper" The Washington Times, spiritual head of the Unification Church and self-proclaimed Messiah, reportedly glad-handed some $250,000 to the Bush Inaugural Committee disguised as a donation from a company called "The Washington Television Center".

With all of the recent criticism of the Bush Administration throwing a $50 million inaugural during a time of war, it seems that the White House organ, The Washington Times, has now ridden late to the defense of their friends in the Administration by employing some fuzzy math about the "price" of the inaugural.

They've fallen back on the old "Clinton did it" routine notable as the defense employed for all indefensible Bush and/or Republican actions. They had to lie to do it.

RAW STORY has the story from Salon.com.

By the way, according to Ken Bode, that $250,000 from Moon --- the price of an inaugural lunch ticket with Bush/Cheney --- could have fully armored 10 Humvee's in Iraq. $50 Million could have fully armored 2000 of them. (Not to mention the $10 - $20 million spent on security today and the cost of giving everyone in DC a federal holiday.)

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By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2005 10:27am PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2005 6:18pm PT  

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Letter just sent to Republican Majority Chairman!
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2005 1:31pm PT  

Nine Democratic House Judiciary Committee members (Conyers, Nadler, Scott, Lofgren, Jackson Lee, Meehan, Waters, Wexler, Schiff) have just requested that the committee "hold hearings and investigate the vital issue of protecting our citizens right to vote".

The text of their letter (without footnotes) to the Republican chair of the committee is as follows...

January 19, 2004

The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner
Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We write to you at the very outset of the 109th Congress, to request that our committee hold hearings and investigate the vital issue of protecting our citizens right to vote. The right to vote is the very foundation of our Democracy and is at the core of our Committee's jurisdiction, and we can think of no more important or urgent issue before us than protecting our democratic rights. While the election is settled, however, our job as legislators on the Judiciary Committee to make sure that the constitutional right to vote is protected is just beginning.

In congressional forums many of us participated in Washington D.C. and Columbus, Ohio, we learned of significant voter irregularities in Ohio. These irregularities are included in a 100 page report Mr. Conyers issued, and include the following:

� The misallocation of voting machines led to lines of ten hours or more that disenfranchised scores if not hundreds of thousands of predominantly minority and Democratic voters. In Franklin County, 27 of the 30 wards with the most machines per registered voter showed majorities for Bush, while six of the seven wards with the fewest machines delivered large margins for Kerry.

� The Ohio Republican Party's decision to engage in preelection �caging� tactics, selectively targeting 35,000 predominantly minority voters for intimidation had a negative impact on voter turnout. The Third Circuit found these activities to be illegal and in direct violation of consent decrees barring the targeting minority voters for poll challenges.

� The Ohio Republican Party's decision to utilize thousands of partisan challengers concentrated in minority and Democratic areas disenfranchised numerous legal voters, who were not only intimidated, but became discouraged by the long lines in the adverse weather. Shockingly, these disruptions were publicly predicted by Republican officials: Mark Weaver, a lawyer for the Ohio Republican Party, admitted the challenges �can't help but create chaos, longer lines and frustration.�

� Numerous instances of intimidation and misinformation occurred across the state of Ohio that would appear to violate the Voting Rights Act. For example, the NAACP stated that it received over 200 calls regarding incidents of suspected voter intimidation or unusual election related activities, particularly actions taken by challengers who intimidated poll workers and voters. Other specific incidents involved a caller who reported that someone was going door-to-door telling people they were not registered to vote. A voter in Franklin County received information in the mail identified as being from the state that said he would have to vote by provisional ballot because he had moved; in fact, the voter had not moved and had lived at the address for 10-15 years. One polling place worker was reportedly only asking African American voters for their address.

� In Franklin County, a worker at the Holiday Inn observed a team of 25 people who called themselves the �Texas Strike Force� using payphones to make intimidating calls to likely voters, targeting people recently in the prison system. The �Texas Strike Force� members hotel accommodations were apparently paid for by the Ohio Republican Party, whose headquarters is across the street. The hotel worker heard one caller threaten a likely voter with being reported to the FBI and returning to jail if he voted. Another hotel worker called the police, who came but did nothing. There were also reports of phone calls incorrectly informing voters that their polling place had changed.

� The Cleveland Plain Dealer found that several Lake County residents received an official-looking letter on Board of Elections letterhead informing them that their polling place had changed or that they were not properly registered to vote. A fake voter bulletin from Franklin County Board of Elections was posted at polling locations, and fliers were distributed in the inner city, telling Republicans to vote on Tuesday and Democrats to vote on Wednesday due to unexpected heavy voter registration.

� In Cleveland, the Washington Post reported that unknown volunteers began showing up at voters' doors illegally offering to collect and deliver complete absentee ballots to the election office. The Election Protection Coalition testified that in Franklin County, voters received fliers informing them that they could cast a ballot on November 3. Also, in Franklin County there were reports that about a dozen voters were contacted by someone claiming to be from the county board of elections, telling them their voting location was changed, and �door-hangers� telling African-American voters to go to the wrong precinct were distributed.

In our view, this course of events is not consistent with the right to vote as we understand it. The fact that many of these instances appear to be focused particularly on minority voters is all the more disheartening, and triggers even more clearly our jurisdiction involving civil rights.

We look forward to full and open hearings concerning these instances of disenfranchisement in Ohio and around the Nation. We very much would like to work with you and your staff to insure that allegations of improprieties by both Democrats and Republicans are looked into and considered.

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