Saturday, August 27, 2016
It's who they are and what they do.
To hear the mainstream news media retell the story of the contentious 2000 presidential election, one would think that it all boils down to Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court decision created huge controversy and poisons public life to this day. But this focus on the decision serves to obscure an act of great duplicity on the part of the media that dwarfs the impact of that case: namely, that if it hadn’t been for actions they took on television on Election Night, November 7, 2000, there never would have been a Bush v. Gore or a Florida recount in the first place.
It is a story of voter suppression. As it turns out, most of what we think was important about that election—hanging chads, butterfly ballots, 36 days of legal jousting—is unimportant. And by 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Election Night, a cover-up had already begun.
The network news anchors told their viewers that the Florida polls had closed, but Florida is in two time zones and the time zone that's heavily Republican (the "Redneck Riviera") was still open. Here is what poll workers said:
We had the usual rush in the early morning, at noon and right after work. There was a significant drop in voters after 6:00. The last 40 minutes was almost empty. The poll workers were wondering if there had been a national disaster they didn’t know about. It was my observation that this decline in voters between 6:00 and 7:00 was very different when compared to previous elections. The last 30 minutes was particularly empty. There is usually a line after the poll closes. In this election there was no one.The second poll worker corroborated the testimony of the first, stating, “The expected rush at the end of the day didn’t happen. We were all very surprised. It was a normal day until 6:00 pm. Between 6:00-7:00 pm voter turnout was very different from past elections. There was practically no one the last 40 minutes.” Since the final hour of voting in any election is typically characterized by an after-work rush, one can only imagine how many people would have voted in that last, deserted 40 minutes, but for the misinformation dispensed by the network and cable news anchors.