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THE MEDIA COVER-UP OF THE GORE VICTORY
PART FIVE: ANSWERING THE SKEPTICS


 

By Carolyn Kay And David Podvin

"It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
 — Upton Sinclair

Introduction

In this series, we have presented the truth about the circumstances surrounding the media Consortium's cover-up of the Gore victory. When we became aware of information regarding the destruction of our democracy, that knowledge carried with it a moral obligation to share the truth with the public. We presented this information knowing that most Americans are more comfortable believing the self-serving mythology that has been presented to them by the corporate media. 

Our presentation of the facts is not designed to convince the skeptics who have political motivations for rejecting the overwhelming evidence that Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election. It is our goal to arm patriots with the truth about the rape of our democracy, since we disagree with the patronizing establishment view that the average American is too pathetic to deal with reality.

The common denominator of every detractor's letter has been the basic premise that, since the authors of the series have not proven to the detractors’ satisfaction that we have appropriate credentials, the unpleasant facts we introduce can be dismissed as lacking an official seal of approval.  One skeptic said that our writing is “impressive,” which is irrelevant to him unless we can “prove” that we have the proper pedigrees. 

The nature of the criticism indicates that some readers have missed the point of the series; it is the people with the “proper pedigrees” who have consistently deceived you. The mainstream media has blatantly and provably lied to you, as when NBC/GE propagandist Andrea Mitchell was caught lying about White House vandalism by the Government Accounting Office, and went unpunished by her employer. The mainstream media has deliberately and provably misled you, as with the media Consortium's ludicrous contention that they have absolutely no way of knowing the trend of the ballot study. The mainstream media has deliberately and provably concealed the truth from you under false pretenses, as when the Consortium chose to withhold the results of the ballot study by using the blatantly false excuse that all of their political reporters were covering the war on terrorism.

It has never been our desire to inflict distress on those who shield themselves from reality through ignorance and hostility.  We are simply stating the truth, and we are confident that it will be confirmed by subsequent events.  It is appropriate to be skeptical of what you read. It is relevant that not one skeptic has been able to successfully refute any of the facts we have presented. We know that, as events unfold, those of you who are strong enough to remain open minded will become increasingly convinced that what we have reported in this series is true.

This is the last formal article in this series, but we will continue to send updates to those who have asked to be put on the mailing list.  (Click here and then click Send to be added to the mailing list).  The updates will include more interviews and other information when it becomes available.  As people come forward, on or off the record, we will keep you up to date on the information that is revealed to us or in other publications.

We are also starting work on another series.  More on that later.

Recommendation for Action

Throughout this series, we have said we would ultimately make a recommendation for concerted action.

The corrupt agenda of the Republican Party and the Bush Administration is exclusively designed to reward GOP campaign contributors at the expense of the average American. The Republicans are so corporate-centric that they reject anything that is designed to benefit ordinary people.  The Bush administration has consistently been indifferent to the vital needs of our citizens, while operating a free candy store for large corporations.

The level of heartless greed has been disgusting, especially as it relates to those who are most vulnerable. Retroactive tax cuts for multinational drug companies have replaced campaign promises of prescription drug aid to the elderly Americans who built and defended this country. Money to fund child abuse prevention clinics has been redirected to welfare for oil companies.

Depriving old people of necessary medicine and subjecting children to preventable violence is not just wrong; it is immoral. It is the evil that inevitably comes from worshipping power and wealth.

Democrats have also succumbed to the lure of lucre.  As former Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright wrote recently, “Looking at [the amount of money contributed to national political campaigns], we might ask ourselves: Who really picks our nation's leaders today? Is it the people? Or the contributors?” 

Since September 11, the unpatriotic opportunism of the Republicans has been appalling. The GOP has clambered over the dead victims of terrorism in order to promote drilling in the ANWR, more tax gifts for the rich, and handouts and bailouts for a host of corporate campaign donors. Their Democratic counterparts have been less than heroic in fighting for the interests of the common people.

You would think that the GOP would be ashamed to flaunt their despicable greed so openly during a time of national crisis. You would think that the Democrats would feel morally compelled to defend the interests of those who voted for them..

You would be wrong. Twice.

Politicians will only listen to the needs of ordinary people when ordinary people are the main supporters of political campaigns.  Public financing of campaigns would be ideal, but the current crop of national politicians will never put such a notion into practice. They were elected under the current rotten system, and they are unwilling to allow any major changes to the process that personally serves them well.

But We, The People, can take matters into our own hands.  And that is what we must do.  The only way to get our government back is to buy it back.

We propose the formation an organization that would make it easy for ordinary people to contribute only a small amount of money per month ($5 to $10—more for those who can afford it) to fund organizations, publications, and candidates who would represent us, the people, instead of corporate CEOs and rich people who never had to face the hardships that most Americans encounter in providing for themselves and their families.

This organization would provide funding to start a new media outlet dedicated to telling the truth, and that covers issues the American people need to know about, rather than Democratic politicians' sex lives.  It would stress the positive aspects of our country, our government, and our common goals, while exposing the pitiful tactics that are used by a small minority of conservative elitists  to maintain control over the debate in our country.  Robert Parry of consortiumnews.com has called for the formation of a “Superstation for Democracy.”  The superstation can be a non-profit entity, like the Guardian and the BBC in the U.K., so that no one could buy it out and shut it up.

Buy Back Our Government would support many of the fine websites that keep the light of truth burning while the mainstream media deceive us.  With enough participants, it could provide enough funding for candidates to make the Democratic Party earn votes by fighting for the best interests of the everyday people who vote for it.  We believe that this is the only way the Democrats will ever stand up for us. 

The organization would specifically focus on combating the effects of the wealthy members of the Scaife family, the Coors family, and the Olin family, who spend millions of dollars per year to support organizations, publications, and candidates that promote exclusionary right wing interests. It is time for them to be aggressively challenged by those who believe that a government of the people means a government of all the people.

Buy Back Our Government will be organized locally in Chicago with the help of the political director of a progressive member of Congress.  We will move west, south, and east, as the organization grows. 

Click here to read the organization’s proposal online.

Click here and then click Send to be added to a discussion group for starting the Buy Back Our Government organization.

Answering the Skeptics

Breathtaking situation.  Please have the media deal with this story.

The refusal of the media to deal with this story is the story.

[W]hat kind of background do you and David Podvin have?  Are you journalists?

We are deliberately de-emphasizing ourselves because the facts that we have presented should be the sole focus in this matter. We are extremely confident that subsequent events will verify these facts. We also seek to contrast ourselves with mainstream journalists who claim to have “credentials” while reporting things that are false, at times things they undoubtedly know are false. By maintaining an extremely low profile, we force those who want to discredit our reporting to successfully refute our facts, rather than using their traditional method of killing the story by killing the messengers.

We are not relevant to this story. Judge the validity of our account by the facts that we have presented, and by the inability of our critics to disprove them. 

Who are your sources?

We will never reveal those who are in positions of vulnerability within the organizations that we have identified. Other sources will reveal themselves on their own timetables, including this week.

Perhaps reporters for foreign newspapers, since the American media have proven their disdain for anything associated with this story, will find disaffected GE employees and others who are willing to come forward and corroborate our information.  Jack Welch has fired enough people to populate a small city.  There are bound to be people who will talk on the record.

[D]o you have at least one other source to corroborate all of this information?  This is pretty incendiary information, and even though there are realities of sources wanting to remain anonymous, a story like this shouldn't come out -- at any time -- with only one source.  With Watergate, if you recall, they got corroboration for information from anonymous sources.

The quotes are accurate and multi-sourced.

Why won’t your sources come forward?

This is the beginning of the long and difficult effort of revealing what really happened in the 2000 election. As the process continues, some sources will come forward and identify themselves. It would be unsafe for others to do so.  They would lose their jobs and come under the kind of attack that Anita Hill and Julie Hiatt Steele endured.

The original source will probably never go public.  The people who have gotten in touch with us since the first article was published, people who worked on the ballot project, can not come forward until after the results are released, and even then some may have to deny they were sources for us, because they signed confidentiality agreements.  Their concern is that if the results are postponed indefinitely, they may never be able to come forward at all.

By now it is abundantly clear that if the media companies could have been persuaded by duty, conscience, or public pressure to tell the truth, they would have already done so. I am so, so disgusted. I am not exaggerating when I say I am shaking with anger as I type this. It does no good for "make them accountable" to tap dance around naming names of the people at the head of the corporations responsible. For god's sakes NAME NAMES! We need to write to THEM, NOT the NEWSPAPERS!!! We need to expose THEM. We need to mount protests against THEM. We need to Picket on THEIR corporate doorsteps!! We need to boycott THEM!!

Read Part Four. Note the names Jack Welch, Robert Wright,  Douglas “Sandy” Warner, Mel Karmazin, and Michael Eisner. .

Your accounts on the Consortium recount and especially Jack Welch's influence on the 2000 election are interesting. How about some references?  They would make your articles much more compelling.  No one is going to believe you. I will only send out to others if references are available.

We have sources in the upper echelons of the mainstream media and in the coding process at the NORC ballot study.

Although I'm very interested in the articles posted on your web site, I would really like to see some footnotes showing where you are getting your information.  By not citing your sources, you end up doing the same thing the main stream media did regarding the 2000 presidential campaign.  While I certainly don't disagree with your conclusions, I have a difficult time discussing such issues with my associates when I don't have source material to back up my opinions.

There are two styles of writing factual information.  One is to footnote assertions, and the other is to make the assertions and list sources at the end.  We have chosen the second approach, because so much of the information is readily available from common news sources.  The information from our sources helped us put it all together in a way that has not been done before.  Links to many articles containing corroboration of our statements are available on the series page.

[W]hat I don't see are specific citations in your stories about what is the source/evidence for your specific charges. If you expect people to believe you, you must present an unbroken chain of events based on primary sources, not bits and pieces of other people's work. Part of that chain is your own reputations, experience and standing, showing that you have avoided conflicts of interest and ideology. As to the founding fathers, they were great politicians, not journalists. Sam Adams was a great patriot, but I wouldn't trust anything he said about British parliament.

You totally misunderstand where we are coming from.  We have an admitted bias.  Just look elsewhere on the website and it will be obvious to you.  We do not purport to be "professional" journalists, and that is a good thing, not a bad thing.  The "professional" journalists just put George Bush in the White House, and he has taken us from peace and prosperity to war and recession.

So far, I haven't heard it anywhere else, and I can't help but doubt that a story this explosive would long go unreported if there was any substance to it. There are too many independent media who would be more than happy to jump in where the New York Times fears to tread. I present this line of reasoning to give you some indication where I'm coming from. My first response to a story like David's is to wonder who David Podvin is and how reputable a source he is. I'm sorry if that offends you, but I consider such skepticism both healthy and necessary if one is going to rely on the Net as a source of information.

You should be skeptical, if your skepticism consists of waiting to see more information before reaching a conclusion. We are not trying to convince you of anything; we are presenting the truth in the confidence that subsequent events will verify our account of events. In January, 2001, we were the first to reveal that the mainstream media was lying en masse about White House vandalism. The same primary source who provided information about that story has been a major contributor to this one. An intelligent reader would have been skeptical in January, but would have remained open minded until further information (the Government Accounting Office report) resolved the matter several months later.

Whether you remain receptive to seeing more information before making up your mind has less to do with our credibility than it does with your ability to think independently.  We challenge our critics to disprove what we have reported.

If you truly believe what you have written, it is your responsibility to get with an experienced news editor and present your findings in a manner that can be more readily accepted and less easily dismissed.

The “experienced” news editors have buried this story. In fact, the entire mainstream media and a majority of America want to put the 2000 presidential election theft behind them. We are unwilling to accept that.

I so want to believe the "Gore won" article that I will accept it as fact. However, how might I verify it to the more skeptical?

Do not waste your time trying to reason with those who only believe what serves their interests. For your own information, however, watch the torrent of stories that are emerging about FCC actions and media consolidation. Look closely to see who is involved. Follow the money trail.

Better Check your sources!   According to people on the scene, Gore lost again.  Bush won by several thousand votes.

We have interviewed numerous people who have observed the coding process in person. They uniformly report that the pro-Gore trend was dramatic and impossible to miss. The Republicans who witnessed the ballot study described themselves as being "very unhappy" with the proceedings and preemptively declared them to be invalid.

Who ever gave you the information is definitely mistaken. People on the scene at one time said "The only way Gore could of won, was if every nick and mystery vote was counted then Gore could have won."  These were the only statements bandied about to at least 2 of the people connected with counting and recording totals.

Using Florida state law, which involves determining the "clear intent of the voter", Gore won decisively.

How can this be kept secret?  There are so many people are involved.

It is not a secret; it is simply unreported by the mainstream media.  The biggest mistake that the average American makes is assuming that TV covers all of the big stories. If they do not see something on television, they believe it must not have happened, and is a “conspiracy theory”. By that standard, the most important story in America during the first eight months of 2001 was Gary Condit.  Many important stories get very little TV coverage.

The Welch involvement in this matter was not widely known, but General Electric's appalling record of criminal conduct while he ran the company is known, and the mainstream media treats him with deference and adulation. The multinational corporate culture is amoral—the stock rose while Welch was in charge, so he is a great man. Bush will do the bidding of the multinationals that own the media, so he is "legitimate". Do not seek to transpose your moral convictions onto those who do not have any.

This is business.

The NORC website says the results will be made available.  Why are you reporting that they won't?

The NORC is under contract to the members of the media Consortium, and has stated that there is not a definable time when the report would be released to the public, absent Consortium permission. We have never written that the "results" would not be released; we have written that our sources report there currently is no intention to release the accurate results.

Would you please stop?  Do you realize that you do more harm than good? Your failure to seek any information that does not make good fodder for your fundamentalist rants discredit the well-reasoned and legitimate criticisms coming from more thoughtful quarters.  One may disagree with the media's decision to postpone the release of the ballot evaluation (and I am familiar with the methodology used and there is no "count").  A criticism well worth voicing, I think, but not one that bespeaks a "cover-up" at all.  Cover-ups are planned.  Yet a few weeks ago those same "media elite" that you unjustly slander were in fact all sitting together in an office at NORC coordinating the imminant release.  Unfortunately, someone screwed it up by running into the room and announcing "the world trade center has been attacked."  Needless to say, the meeting ended there.  Damn them.

Members of the media Consortium have not been honest in their portrayal of the ballot study. Their stated reason for delaying release of the result, which was a lack of available reportorial personnel, is provably false. The Washington Post does not have enough reporters to cover the story of who really won the presidency, but they recently assigned a full time non-sports journalist to cover Michael Jordan. It is a matter of priorities, not a lack of resources.

Their contention that “no one can possibly know” because the final tabulation has yet to occur is sophistry. Observers in the coding rooms, including Consortium observers, know that the trend for Gore was identifiable and overwhelming.

Insofar as your account that they “in fact all sitting together in an office at NORC coordinating the imminant (sic) release at the time of the attack on the World Trade Center, that sounds a little too conspiratorial for us.

Julie Antelman of NORC sent me an email message that says:

Podvin and Kay are wrong in their assertions…  As of this writing, the consortium has not received the data set.  NO ONE has analyzed it, and NO ONE knows what the data will show.  We are assured that the media group members will begin their part of the project when they have the resources to allot to it.

Ms. Antelman did not observe the ballot coding process extensively. According to those who did, the trend was “decisively pro-Gore”.  When we spoke with Ms. Antelman, she also told us that no one could know the results because the coders did not know which number on each ballot stood for which candidate.  When we asked her if someone knew which number was for which candidate, could that person then get an idea of how the count was going, she said yes.  And that is exactly the information we have from people who were actually there for extensive periods of time.

The Republican observers knew which number stood for which candidate.  They also knew what the results were showing.  It is inconceivable that they kept this information to themselves.

If the voters cared enough about their votes to make absolutely sure that the ballot was clearly marked with the intended choice, there would have been no doubt as to the outcome. Some of the voters are stupid: others are merely careless.  You may take your choice as to which group lost the election for Gore.

Ballots where the voter both punched/circled Gore’s name and wrote his name as a write-in candidate meet the legal standard of establishing the ‘clear intent’ of the voter. Including these illegally disqualified ballots, Gore won by thousands of votes.

If we use your standard and disqualify the ballots in Florida that were cast by voters in a stupid way, then Gore won the state by about 2.9 million votes.

That Part Four article about Welch et al was awesome, but if I showed it to my conservative friends they would still just rant about the liberal media...ah, the power of propaganda.

Many conservatives are not willing to question the assumptions on which their beliefs are based.  It will take a concerted effort to change those minds that can be changed.  The right wing has been working at their propaganda campaign for at least twenty years.  We will need to match them in patience and persistence.

Believe me, that article about the recount is funnier than any Coulter satire that you could ever come up with.  If the "pro-Bush" banks control the NYT, why is it so flamingly liberal?

Perhaps your premise about the NYT being flamingly liberal is incorrect.

The page with the cartoons on it may be liberal, but the political coverage is relentlessly pro-Bush. The recent spate of articles by Richard Berke lionizing Bush is just the latest example of the extreme conservative bias of the reporting in the Times.

Why would an overwhelmingly democratically controlled press (the ones who announced Gore had won Florida long before the poles were even closed) choose to turn on their favorite candidate by switching sides?

The basic problem with the conservative philosophy is that false premises lead to false conclusions. Rupert Murdoch is a Democrat?  Jack Welch is a Democrat?  Michael Eisner is a Democrat?  We do not think so.

The early calls were correct.  The state of Florida went for Gore.  The exit polls were correct, and it was only machinations by the Bush machine, including Bush’s first cousin John Ellis calling the election for him at Fox News, and Jack Welch’s presence in the newsroom the night of the election, making it very clear that he wanted George Bush to win, that skewed the results.

If you believe that Al Gore was the media’s favorite candidate, then you have not read the series carefully, and you may not have seen the Bush Questions page of the MakeThemAccountable website.  The media were part and parcel of the Bush campaign team.  They may as well have been getting paychecks from Bush political guru Karl Rove.

Do you really believe the outwardly liberal media would be convinced to tow the company line in exchange for the almighty dollar? No way!  What was Jack Welch going to do, have all three liberal nightly news anchors fired during the election cycle? Not a chance!

I think you would be best hooking up with Oliver Stone.  Maybe he will produce a movie about this and you could profit from it, and since you despise anyone profiting from their efforts you could give your share to the DNC or the twin Towers fund.

Jennings and Brokaw are on record as saying that they believe that conservatives should have a greater voice in network broadcast journalism, so there would be no need to fire people who already “got my mind right, Boss”.  We will be donating our profits from any upcoming Stone movie to the lords of GE, so that they can scrape together enough money to remove their toxic sewage from the Hudson River.

My point is that your efforts would be best served looking forward, not back.

We are most certainly looking forward.  We are looking forward to further erosion of our civil liberties, endless war, and depression, unless the Republicans are soundly defeated.  They can only be soundly defeated if we have election reform (among other things).  We can only have reform if we fully understand and acknowledge what happened in the last election.  When the man who was elected president is not the man in the White House, something is seriously wrong.

What is that something?  How did it happen?  Why did it happen?  Once we know those things, how can we fix it?

Only then can we start to believe we might have fair elections in the future.

No media outlet has dared report the final numbers, and that makes me as suspicious of the result as it does you.  However, rather than the craven motives you assign them, I think they have a real fear that if people knew the truth, this country would be in for quite a period of civil disorder.  They've undoubtedly been encouraged in this by the Bush team, and have remained willing participants in the cover-up.

Civil disorder is the chance we take.  According to retired professor Dave Berkman, writing in December of last year, “It would seem to me that a level of protest which, in its magnitude, matches the thievery that placed an illegitimate president in office, is more than justified.”

Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have shown a trend against the "messiness" of the political process and toward the "niceness" of more control for the Supreme Court.

This is the problem:  If information is to be kept from the American people, who gets to decide what information is kept from us?  We do not believe that any self-appointed elite should be allowed to make that kind of decision for us, even if they believe that it is “for our own good.”  They do not want to “bother” us with the fact that democracy died on December 12, 2000.  If we let them get away with that, then we do not deserve a democracy.

"We urge you to pass this article on to EVERYONE YOU KNOW!"  Have you lost contact with reality?  Admittedly a large percentage of my contacts are more or less liberal, but it would be "coals to Newcastle" for them, and many of them are trying to "move past" this horrible event as one moves on after a death in the family.  There is enough depression in the world already. 

We are glad to have finally found the person responsible for deciding what the American people can “handle” and what they're psyches are “up to.”  If one is dedicated to the truth, one tells the truth.  No matter what the timing is.  No matter who does not like it.  No matter who does not want it told.

If you believe in a higher power, we suggest you take up the matter of timing with Her.

If I send it to contacts who are more conservative, they will use it merely as an occasion to discount other things I choose to tell them that I try to make factual -- like *numbers*!  When someone says, "Bush would have won anyway," I want to be able to say, "No, that is incorrect!  According to an unbiased accounting by the major news media," including specifically those preferred by the one to whom I speak, "Al Gore won by xx,xxx votes!"  Period!

The Consortium study results will not declare a winner.  NORC's assignment was to classify the ballots only.  What we contend is that the number of votes that were clearly intended for Gore but were not counted, in some cases even though it was illegal not to count them, is so large that it will be obvious to any sane person that Gore won Florida.  If your conservative friends are not sane, they will not believe that Gore won Florida.  No matter what we tell them.  Or when.

[I]f senators can't stop leaking classified information and journalists can't stop lapping it up to get a scoop, how on earth could they keep a lid on something like this that would please them to the core to leak?

When is the last time you deliberately did something to threaten the financial well being of your employer?

The leak about the 100 percent chance of retaliation if we bombed Afghanistan came from Orrin Hatch, after a briefing by John Ashcroft.  What is the military reason for keeping that information from us?  Why would Orrin Hatch “love” to release the information that the man he helped put in the White House is not a legitimate president?

How do you know they are lying about Gore winning Florida decisively?

We have evidence from people who participated in the coding.  We have evidence from people who observed the coding.  The reporting on the early stages of the ballot study indicated that Gore was gaining considerably over Bush.  Every time a partial recount was completed by some newspaper, especially the Miami Herald, the results were contorted and distorted so that the headlines could read, “Bush Won.”  But when you read down to the middle of the article, or read the next day’s article, it was obvious that Gore won, even those partial recounts.

At a time when so many national figures seem to be obsessed with propping up Bush’s credibility and legitimacy, why would the major newspapers hesitate to prop him up further with additional “Bush Won” headlines?  It can only be because they cannot say that Bush won.

As a reader of the articles said,

1.      If the recount results do not actually show a large lead in Gore ballots, then this can be  shown by publishing the results. No sophistry can overcome this fact.

2.      If the consortium continues and continues not to show the results, then we are free to use all evidence available to us in drawing inferences about the facts that the consortium fails to show. Any argument that it is improper to draw such inferences can be answered by referring back to point number (1).

I have followed all of the recounts and have not seen any results that are in line with your claim that Gore won the state.

You have never seen a recount that included all of the ballots that met the legal standard of “clear voter intent”, because there has never been one. This ballot study is the first examination of all the legally cast votes in Florida.

Is there any corroborating information on any of your assertions in any mainstream publications?

The Daily Telegraph of London has printed some of our contentions.  That same article was reprinted in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Aren't some of the activities you describe in Part Two illegal?

Yes.

According to Maia Cowan, who has published an article on this subject, “Not only does this double-marking of the same candidate NOT make it impossible to discern the voter's intent -- it's defined in the Florida statute as a legal vote that SHALL be counted (that's the legalese SHALL, as in ‘you don't have any discretion in the matter: do it’). There's no excuse for elections officials not knowing this aspect of Florida election law.”

If you can legally prove wrongdoing, then do so.

There were as many as 50 fairly easily provable illegal activities before, during, and after the election in Florida.  None of these has even been investigated by the Republican administration in Florida.  Senator Dodd was about to start an investigation before September 11.  The list is culled from published accounts by reputable newspapers.

If [you are right], why is no one in Florida being indicted and tried for their illegal activities?

Who would indict and prosecute them? The state, which is run by Jeb Bush, who is suspected of playing a part in some of the suspicious activities?  Or the federal government, run by George Bush, the man who benefited from the illegal activities?

In light of the events of September 11, wouldn't it be better to wait before publishing these articles?

The events of September 11 have deliberately been misinterpreted to be a validation of the right wing agenda. The patriotic view of September 11 is that it clearly defined the difference between democracy and violent intolerance of dissent. Somehow, the mainstream media has contorted that into a demand for capital gains tax cuts, destruction of the environment, and attainment of the conservatives' ancient hallowed goal: the elimination of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against arbitrary governmental search and seizure.

What September 11 should mean is that democracy must be protected in order to protect Americans. The best way to protect democracy is to practice it. We can begin by telling the truth about the last election.

How long are you willing to wait for the news to come out?  It may be the intention of the Bush handlers to delay this news at least until Bush has been re-elected.  Are you willing to wait three years?  Or 7-1/4 years, when Bush has to give up his grasp on the presidency altogether, unless he and the Supreme Court have declared by then that there will be no more elections?  What if the results are never released?

Would  a disclosure of this nature not be beneficial to our country right now?  Could it become an aid and comfort to bin Laden and the Taliban?

It does not harm bin Laden for America to have an un-elected president who is in the process of destroying the civil liberties of the majority of citizens who opposed him. It does not harm bin Laden for American democracy to be a farce, or for the American media to be corporate propagandists. If you can get an ironclad date on which the right wing will give permission for anticonservatives to aggressively begin fighting for the interests of the dispossessed majority of Americans, then let us know.

There has never been an "beneficial time" to contradict the corporate media's version of events.

And there never will be.

We have great confidence in the American people's ability to judge issues properly in the long run.  There is a certain collective wisdom that works very well as long as they are being given all the facts.

[W]ill the results be made broadly public, in your opinion, within the next several months?

As a result of increased public awareness, it is probable that results will be made public. As the Miami Herald recount showed, it is highly doubtful that the results will be presented to the public honestly.

I'm glad you are part of the very small minority...  It's only the lunatic fringe such as yourself and those like you that try to demonize those who have a different political agenda.  My guess is we won't see any of the sky-is-falling predictions you made regarding depression, war or civil liberties. We have a government of checks and balances to make sure this doesn't happen.

The war and the confiscation of civil liberties have already begun. So far, there is no depression, just a severe recession.  As to checks and balances, where are the brakes on this runaway conservative train?

Members of the Consortium may find another way to lie and say that Bush won.  What good are our efforts if they do that?

The best way to confront people who are doing evil things is to make it unavoidably clear that you will never stop pursuing them, and that you are going to be a problem forever. The key is to be relentless. In other words, remember that you are not a Democratic member of Congress, and you therefore have no obligation to capitulate to bad people.

Why isn't Al Gore or the Democratic Party supporting your efforts?

The Democrats, Gore included, have decided that the winning approach for them is to be non-confrontational. This explains why, other than the aberration of pugilistic Bill Clinton, the party has been in decline for decades.

In fairness, it is hard to fight for something when you do not passionately believe in anything. There can be absolutely no question that Gore and his fellow Democratic leaders knew for a fact that their black supporters in Florida were deliberately and illegally disenfranchised by Bush in Florida. That did not stop Gore from laughing, along with the Republicans who despise him, as he jauntily rejected the gallant effort by the Congressional Black Caucus to address the matter in January.

It is the nature of the beast: Republicans fight tooth and nail to address nonexistent injustices, such as the persecution of the rich. Meanwhile, the Democratic political class politely shrugs off the theft of an election. 

What confounds me is why so many so called "educated people" in this country blindly accept the unending propaganda as gospel.  Does greed blind them, or are they that shallow?

It has taken the conservatives at least 20 years of patience and persistence to put forward their dishonest agenda in dishonest ways.  We will also have to have patience and persistence, but it will not take us as long.  What we want, and what we are fighting for, is what is in the best interest of most of the people.  We will prevail.

We are not free here in America, we have duct tape over our mouths because Bush does not want the truth about himself and his family and what the Republican Party has done over the years.  Are we any different than the Taliban when keeping the news from the American people?

No.

By publishing this type of crap you're doing more damage to the Democratic cause than you realize.

We are not advocates for the “Democratic cause”. We support “democracy”, which is enhanced by “reporting the truth”.

I have come to the conclusion that proving Bush's illegitimacy is a losing proposition, a wild goose chase that will take time and attention away from higher priorities. Even if the consortium releases the results of the study, it will be spun for the umpteenth time to favor Bush. The current reality is that public sentiment is on his side; the media is on his side, big moneyed corporations are on his side. As a loyal Democrat who supported Gore I am NOT on Bush's side, but I have to face the fact that my limited time and resources are better spent pushing to get Democrats elected to Congress in 2002 rather than pushing for proof of Dubya's illegitimacy.

As a Democrat, you need to come to terms with the fact that your party is unwilling to fight for the interests of the people who vote for it. Until that happens, you will continue to be backing the losing side.   What is the point of “pushing to get Democrats elected” if they refuse to represent your interests?  Or if the GOP is just going to steal the election, anyway? And what is to stop them unless they are brought to account for stealing it the last time?

"If this is true, then why haven't any  ethical journalists broken ranks to reveal the information? They can't all be corrupt."

Who might they be? What would they say? "I'm Claire Shipman, and I have something to reveal because I never want to work again."

I’ve never been too excited about it because the Florida legislature would have sent Bush electors no matter what, so there is no way Gore could have won.

Maybe so, but would that not be “changing the rules after the election”—expressly prohibited in Title 3 of the United States Code, Section 5?  That is the section that the U.S. Supreme Court said was not violated by the Florida Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore.

Would it not have been better for us all if the U.S. Congress had been forced to choose between two slates of electors—one chosen by the people and the other chosen by the legislature?  The Supreme Court saved Congress that "messiness" by usurping ever more power for itself in its indefensible decision.

It’s a well known fact that Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach have the most corrupt elections in the U. S. and have since the Metro vote in the mid-50's

It’s also a well known fact that Nixon was a great foreign policy president, but that does not make it true. Republicans said many times during the aftermath of the 2000 election that “Democrats have ALWAYS stolen elections.”  If that is the way Republicans have felt, why have they not exposed the wrongdoing?  Why have they not urged us all to work with them to fix the problems and to make elections fair?

Could it be so that they could use supposed lawbreaking by others as an excuse to break the law themselves?  And a justification in their own minds for doing so?

From a “good” GE employee:

Wow....an amazing, if  fatally flawed and inaccurate picture of both Jack Welch and the company.  As a former television reporter and as a confirmed liberal, it offends me that you would concoct such tripe that purports to be journalism.  Al Gore didn't get many breaks, but there isn't a conspiracy here. 

Sorry that your friend isn't still working at NBC News.  I have tremendous faith in the integrity of Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell and my other colleagues there.  Good luck peddling this nonsense.

You've added 2+2 and gotten 0. 

In the case of Mitchell, her reports alleging vandalism of the White House and burglarizing of Air Force One by departing Clinton aides were proven to be false by a General Accounting Office investigation requested by Rep. Bob Barr. To this day, she has never retracted her false claims, or apologized for falsely accusing innocent people of committing felonies. Your definition of this behavior as "integrity" lowers the journalistic bar to Nixonian levels.

If your "faith" in Brokaw and Russert is more than a rhetorical bluff, then contact NBC News president Andrew Lack and urge him to honor his commitment to send to Rep. Henry Waxman the in-studio election night videotapes of Welch talking to Brokaw and Russert immediately before they inaccurately called the election for Welch's favorite candidate.

If you know facts that refute what we are saying, let us have them.

Although I believe that most of what you are saying about the inside machinations of Jack Welch are undoubtedly true, your article has little value other than that of a well written opinion piece if you can't prove it.

Proving the truth is an evolving process—stay tuned. And what is really interesting is that no one is disproving it.  We are getting more and more corroboration.

I see what happened to Steve Kangas and James Hatfield and read The Greatest Vendetta on Earth in Salon and I wonder...aren't you afraid they will do the same to you? Manipulate your life in such a way that you will be so depressed you will commit suicide or can be killed with impunity?

One of the paranoid people

Yes, we are very well aware that there may be repercussions over this.  We expect that if our message gets out as we hope it will, the corporate henchmen will find everything they can to use against us.  These are ugly people, and they do ugly things.  All in the name of "democracy."  Perhaps our troublemaking genes are overly expressed.  We refuse to let them get away with this if there is anything we can do about it.

Just because you are paranoid does not mean there is not someone out to get you.

I am not going to vote at all.  Ever. The supreme court can vote for me.

This is just the time to reaffirm that you will vote, and that you will try to get everyone you know to vote.  It is more important than ever.  And join Buy Back Our Government.

I read this--and your other articles--and it makes me very depressed. What hope is there for any truth about Bush EVER coming out?  If the media is corrupt it all seems hopeless.

Keep your chin up.  It has to come out.  As Benjamin Franklin said, "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead."  We have to defeat them.  We have to be smart, and patient, and persistent.  We have to try a lot of things to find out what works. Our republic has never been in such danger, and it is not from external terrorists

For one thing this plot makes Watergate look like the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.  Unlike Watergate, whose plotting was the result of a few misguided political operatives and insiders, this scandal runs much deeper.  That may be good news, because the more people that are involved the more likely it will be that someone will spill the beans. 

Yes, this is both deeper and wider than Watergate--by a long shot.  Fortunately, most of the people involved are quite arrogant.  And that makes them careless.  People are afraid to come forward because of the mighty power of those involved.

The scary part is could this be only the beginning?  If they keep on like this all pretense to democracy will fade away, and I am afraid of what we'll have then.  We have got to find a way to energize the democrats.  Its hard to believe that, as politicians, they have passed up on knocking out of the park all the softballs the conservatives and business elite have unintentionally tossed their way.  I hope the democratic leadership is just weak, as opposed to being in collusion

All of your statements are correct, and yes, the Democrats have no guts.  We believe that the only way we are going to get justice for all the wrongdoing that took place in Florida and elsewhere before and during the 2000 election is to elect many more politicians who are beholden to us ordinary folks instead of to corporate CEOs.  And we can best accomplish that goal by forming an organization like Buy Back Our Government.

I've concluded that most Americans wouldn't recognize Democracy these days if they saw it.  Now, it's all about "winning" by whatever means.  Too many have lost the sense that we're all Americans together, and that rights they deprive others of today could be the rights they lose tomorrow.  Keep up the good work.  I despair for our country, but we can't give up.

What is worse is that so many people agree that big corporations should not be able to do what they are doing, but seem to believe that we can not do anything about it.  Or that we have no right to do anything about it.  Buy Back Our Government can overcome these limitations.

As we said earlier, stay tuned

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Last changed: December 13, 2009