Harris Deadlines Denounced; Democrats Just Want "To Get it Right"; Will Harris "Tarnish" Results?; Bush's Fox Mole
-- Back to today's CyberAlert
1) This morning Gore lawyer David
Boies was prompted to criticize Katherine Harris while Bush lawyer Ted Olsen
was pressed to justify her deadlines. ABC's Charles Gibson: "But what
the other side seems to be saying is it's more important to get it right than
to meet a deadline." Bryant Gumbel worried she has "too much
leeway" and has become "a King-maker."
2) "Is there some concern in the Bush camp," Katie
Couric asked about the involvement of "Republican" Katherine Harris,
that she "will tarnish the results?"
3) "What did George W. Bush know and when did he know
it," asked Katie Couric in setting up a Today story on controversy over
how a Fox News producer, who is also a cousin of George W. Bush's, fed exit
poll data to the Bush campaign.
and CBS Wednesday morning approached lawyers for Gore and Bush the same way as
they acted as advocates of Gore's position against the deadlines set by
Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. ABC's Charles Gibson empathized
with Gore lawyer David Boies: "Do you think that is complete or do you
still hold out hopes that you can get a recount in Dade County?" But with
Bush team lawyer Ted Olson he argued: "Why do we have to have so many
deadlines from the Secretary of State? I mean, the critical thing here is to
get a proper count." And he forwarded a Gore spin line: "But what
the other side seems to be saying is it's more important to get it right than
to meet a deadline."
Instead of challenging Boies, CBS's Bryant Gumbel
tossed him an agreeable inquiry about whether he's "concerned that this
ruling allows her too much leeway and in effect makes her a King-maker?"
Minutes later, interviewing Olson, Jane Clayson made the GOP the bad guys
prolonging the matter: "How far are you willing to take this? Are you
willing, prepared to fight the Gore campaign to the bitter end?" She
presented the Gore position in the best light: "The Gore campaign says
the purpose of these hand recounts is to insure that every vote is counted,
and that every Floridian has his or her voice heard."
> ABC's Good Morning America, November 15. MRC
analyst Jessica Anderson took down Charles Gibson's questions. To Gore
campaign attorney David Boies:
-- "The Secretary
of State keeps setting deadlines. There's now this deadline that this all has
to be, once the absentee ballots are counted, that this all has to be
certified by this weekend. Can you get those delays, get those deadlines
delayed so that hand counts can be completed in counties where they'll take a
-- "But do you get
the feeling that the Secretary of State in Florida is going to certify some
sort of a result on Saturday and that's it?"
-- "And do you
think it's over in Dade County? They voted two to one last night not to
conduct a recount in Miami. That's a huge area. Do you think that is complete
or do you still hold out hopes that you can get a recount in Dade
To Bush campaign attorney Theodore Olson, after asking
him to react to what Boies said:
-- "But let me come
back to Broward County, for instance, as an example. There they said, 'No,
we're not going to conduct a recount because we have a legal opinion from the
Secretary of State saying that hand recounts are not proper.' Now the
propriety of that legal opinion has been called into sharp question, so they
say they're waiting for a decision from the Florida Supreme Court as to
whether they should go ahead with a hand recount."
-- "But why do we
have to have so many deadlines from the Secretary of State? I mean, the
critical thing here is to get a proper count. Now she's set a deadline of two
o'clock this afternoon where they have to submit an essay as to why they want
to conduct a hand recount and she wants to announce a final vote by Saturday,
when counties that want a hand recount may not be able to finish by
-- "But what the
other side seems to be saying is it's more important to get it right than to
meet a deadline."
> CBS's The Early Show. MRC analyst Brian Boyd
transcribed the questions posed. Bryant Gumbel to David Boies:
ruling in effect extended the deadline for certification, why wasn't it simply
ruled that way?"
-- "Okay, so now it
seems we've traded a 5pm Tuesday deadline for a 2pm Wednesday deadline. A
decision that Mr. Daley, I think, called inexplicable. Is it legal?"
-- "I know you
don't have return video there, but I, I don't know if you've seen this
morning's New York Daily News. They have a picture of Secretary of State
Harris and the headline says, 'She Can Pick the President.' Are you at all
concerned that this ruling allows her too much leeway and in effect makes her
-- "Do you accept
the imposition of any deadline at all for certification?"
-- "OK, what's that
deadline?....So what's a reasonable deadline?"
-- "So there's no
way you see this going up until say December 18, when the electors are
supposed to meet?"
-- Gumbel finally
offered a mild challenge to Boies: "But in all fairness, Mr. Boies, they
could charge the same. I mean you're trying to force a recount in Broward
County, you may wind up doing the same in Miami-Dade. What do you say to those
people who say, hey, this should be between the candidates and the voters and
you know lawyers have no place in this? You shouldn't be trying to force
Jane Clayson to Bush lawyer Ted Olson:
-- "Governor Bush
says he will appeal the decision that allowed the hand recounts in Florida. If
you lose that appeal, will you take this case to the Supreme Court?"
the stalemate looks as if it will be resolved in the courts. Surely you must
worry about the legal implications of that and maybe more importantly the
public relations consequences. Do you?"
-- "But how far are
you willing to take this? Are you willing, prepared to fight the Gore campaign
to the bitter end?"
-- "Well, the Gore
campaign says the purpose of these hand recounts is to insure that every vote
is counted, and that every Floridian has his or her voice heard. What's your
major objection to that?"
-- "Will Governor
Bush request recounts in other states such as Iowa and Wisconsin?"
-- "When do you
think we'll know who our next President is?"
relayed the Democratic personal attacks on Katherine Harris's character,
the networks are now asking if her involvement will "tarnish"
the results for Bush. MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught this exchange on
this morning's Today:
"But very quickly, David, is there some concern in the Bush camp that
putting it in her hands, a Republican, the co-chairperson of the Bush
campaign in Florida will tarnish the results?"
"Well absolutely. There is no question that people are going to make
a lot of, a big issue out of the fact that she is a Republican that she
was the chairperson of his campaign in Florida. But they maintain that
they are allowing every recount to go on within Florida state law. It's
been counted and counted again and a third time, they don't think these
manual recounts are fair and they're gonna keep making that case
jumped this morning on the media controversy over how a Fox News producer,
who is also a cousin of George W. Bush, shared exit poll data with his
"While Florida continues to count votes a side
controversy has emerged about election night," Katie Couric explained
in introducing the full story observed by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens.
"What did George W. Bush know and when did he know it?"
Pat Dawson handled the story: "It was the
climax of the tightest presidential election night ever. George W. Bush,
it seemed the winner of Florida and the presidency....A call all the
networks reverse less than two hours later....But before he was mistakenly
declared the winner candidate Bush reportedly had inside information that
one network was about to make the call in his favor. How? It turns out his
first cousin was a pivotal player in the decision to call Florida for Bush
at Fox News Channel. John Ellis was head of Fox News decision desk,
helping the network decide which states to call for Bush and which for
Vice President Gore."
Dawson continued: "And in a letter provided to
NBC News, Ellis acknowledged he spoke frequently about the returns with
his cousins George W. and Florida Governor Jeb Bush as they sweated out a
long night in Austin."
Following a condemnatory comment from liberal media
critic Tom Rosentiel, Dawson elaborated: "In this New Yorker magazine
interview Ellis boasted about sharing the network's inside numbers with
his cousins before they were made public, saying, 'They were elated. It
was just the three of us handing the phone back and forth. Me with the
numbers, one of them a Governor, the other the President-elect. Now that
was cool.' Neither Ellis nor executives of Fox News would go on camera to
comment. A Fox News spokesman said they didn't know whether Ellis had
provided privileged information to the Bush campaign on election night but
were investigating. Ellis worked for NBC News in the late '70s and
'80s. But NBC News executives described him as a political researcher
not involved in the decision making process on election night. The Bush
cousin says he did nothing improper, that other Fox staffers were talking
to Gore's staff and that no privileged exit poll data was given to either
Another example of how the mainstream media can
never find any bias amongst themselves but see it regularly with the Fox
News Channel. -- Brent Baker
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