Mark Crispin Miller, author of the new book FOOLED AGAIN, which makes the case that Election 2004 was stolen, and so will be the 2008 Election unless something is done --- and quick! --- responds in a letter to the editor to critical coverage by both Slate's Farhad Manjoo and Mother Jones' Mark Hertzgaard.
Manjoo has written numerous articles for Slate pooh-poohing the theory that anything went particularly wrong in the 2004 Presidential Election and recently wrote a critical review of Miller's new book. In his foolish review of Miller, Manjoo embarrasses himself by suggesting that he --- and the rest of the media --- would bother to give a damn about the mountain of demonstrable problems in our democracy if only John Kerry or the mainstream Democrats bothered to complain about it. He thus sets aside any responsibility that he might have as has a watchdog for our democracy...unless instructed to do so by some politician or another. Shameful.
In Hertzgaard's long feature article at MoJo, he claims to have done "some reporting of [his] own" to look into the claims made by Miller and others who have been investigating the mountain of problems from last November. And yet, the work Hertzgaard turns in --- while it looks and reads a whole lot like reporting --- contained damned little of it. What it did contain was little more than half-baked. His recurring tactic in "reporting" on each of the "irregularities" he chooses to examine can be summed up this way: "Folks who challenge the election claim this, but those who disagree say that, therefore, that proves there's nothing here to worry about, folks!" It's really ludicrous and atrocious, --- as many astute MoJo letter writers point out --- and just one of the reasons I haven't bothered to highlight his article until now.
We won't comment on Miller's book itself, since we've yet to read more than just the excerpts from FOOLED AGAIN as published recently in Harper's. But we did read the two articles by Manjoo and Hertzgaard and came away less than impressed as you can tell. Most disappointingly so in MoJo since we like them, and indeed have an article upcoming ourselves in their January '06 issue.
Miller's money quotes from his full letter:
But this is not about John Kerry's image, any more than it's about the sales of Fooled Again, or about Salon's political position, or Farhad Manjoo's or Mark Hertsgaard's career. It's about the mammoth threat confronting this republic, which will not last if we continue to ignore the scandal of last year's election. If anyone should be attacked, it's those extremists who conspire against American democracy, and not those citizens who try to talk about it.