ABC Didn't Note Gore Violation; How Many Democrats on Florida's Supreme Court?; Geraldo Rejoiced that Gore Headed to Victory
1) After Bush's 10:15pm ET
address, ABC's George Stephanopoulos quoted the Gore team's Mark Fabiani:
"Mrs. Harris's attempt to steal this election for George Bush will not
stand." Not the tone promised earlier by Al Gore who said he told his
campaign "to refrain from using inflammatory language."
2) Reuters: Harris is "a cultured citrus heiress with a
staunch Republican pedigree." CBS: "She was a child of privilege,
born to one of the wealthiest families in Florida." NBC's David Bloom
assigned her a new name as he used this phrase three time in just one story:
"Florida's Republican Secretary of State."
3) Florida's Supreme Court. All seven justices were
appointed by Democrats, ABC reported. CBS described them as "six
Democrats and one Republican." NBC said six were named by Democrats and
one jointly picked by a Democrat and a Republican.
4) ABC picked up on charges that Democratic Palm Beach County
canvass board leader Carol Roberts had been manipulating ballot cards to get
more chads to separate.
5) A plurality believe George Bush won in Florida but most
agree with Al Gore's request for a hand count, an NBC News/Wall Street
Journal poll highlighted by Tom Brokaw found.
6) By adjusting the Buchanan tally into a percentage of votes
cast, the New York Post discovered he garnered 0.79 percent of the vote in
Palm Beach County, lower than his vote percentage in seven other Florida
7) Geraldo Rivera rejoiced Tuesday night: "Today's
decision, I believe, sows the seeds of an eventual Al Gore election victory.
You heard it here first folks. I like his chances and I like them big
8) "National and international media coverage has led to
a mass mangling of some basic facts about our community," the Palm Beach
Post complained in a memo to their media colleagues about confusing place
names, pronunciations and jurisdictions.
9) Letterman's "Top Ten Dumb Guys Ways to Solve
Presidential Election Confusion."
will do more to point out the ties between Florida Secretary of State
Katherine Harris and George Bush, ABC George Stephanopoulos suggested,
though the media are already doing it for them. Stephanopoulos also
relayed a fresh attack on her by a Gore operative, but didn't point out
how its tone contradicted Gore's assurances of a more civil discourse.
Following George Bush's live address from Austin
at 10:15pm ET carried by all the networks, Stephanopoulos warned ABC
"To show how
hot this may get, the Gore campaign's Communications Director tonight
said: 'Mrs. Harris's attempt to steal this election for George Bush
will not stand.' What you'll probably see from Democrats starting
tomorrow is more and more pointing out of the ties between Secretary
Harris and Governor Bush."
Stephanopoulos did not point out how the attack on
Harris violated Al Gore's promise made during his 6:35pm ET address:
"I would also
like to urge all of those speaking for either of us to do their part to
lift up this discourse, to refrain from using inflammatory language and to
avoid statements that could make it harder for our country to come
together once the counting is over. That is the direction I have given to
my own campaign."
Stephanopoulos was citing Mark Fabiani, whom Reuters
quoted as saying: "The Secretary of State, a crony of the Bush
brothers, is trying to steal this election away and no one is going to
stand for such a naked political act."
Democrats will have a willing audience for their message, as described by
George Stephanopoulos about "the ties between Secretary Harris and
Governor Bush." In fact, they've already been relaying the
Democratic character attack line for days, as documented in the last
several CyberAlerts, and were at it again Wednesday night.
-- Reuters reporter Peter Millership began his
November 15 story:
Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who dropped a bombshell on Wednesday
by refusing to allow a manual recount in the state's disputed vote which
is pivotal in choosing the next U.S. President, is a cultured citrus
heiress with a staunch Republican pedigree.
became a key figure in the high-stakes presidential drama when she refused
to bow to Democratic pressure to let recounted votes come in later than
Tuesday, a move which was challenged by Democrats...."
-- CBS Evening News. Bill Whitaker highlighted how
"she was a child of privilege" as he outlined her connection to
State Katherine Harris, now a GOP star in waiting. Today she received more
flowers from across the country, praising her efforts to end the recount
and proclaim George W. Bush the winner. A Bush delegate at the Republican
National Convention, she was a child of privilege, born to one of the
wealthiest families in Florida. Tonight the presidency of the United
States may not just come down to one state or one county, but one woman
and how she handles the ballot recount in Florida."
-- NBC Nightly News. In the space of just one story,
NBC's David Bloom managed to call her "Florida's Republican
Secretary of State" three times.
First time: "What set this all in motion, the
Gore offer, was the decision by the Florida state Supreme Court late today
to reject unanimously, a request from Florida's Republican Secretary of
State, who wanted to try to stop those hand recounts from
Second time: "Today, Gore's chief lawyer
accused Florida's Republican Secretary of State, of trying to stall the
recounts to lock in a Bush victory."
"We think it would be very unreasonable to ask people to stop those
recounts because the game here may be, I hope not, but the game may be to
delay those recounts as long as possible and then bring down the
Third time: "Tom, here's the bottom line.
Despite Vice President Gore's latest proposal and the flurry of legal
activity today, there's nothing that's happened that would prevent
Florida's Republican Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, from
certifying these elections on Saturday after the overseas absentee ballots
are counted up."
seven justices on the Florida Supreme Court all nominated by Democrats or
are they "six Democrats and one Republican" or were six named by
Democrats and one jointly picked by a Democrat and a Republican? Depends
if you believe ABC, CBS or NBC which each offered a different description
Wednesday night, November 15, of the court.
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Erin Hayes: "The
Florida Supreme Court, which is by the way, comprised of seven justices,
all appointed by Democrats, gave Secretary Harris nothing that she
requested. And especially disappointing to Republicans: No halt to the
-- CBS Evening News. Byron Pitts: "Today the
circus that took over Tallahassee moved from Florida's state house to
the state Supreme Court, all satellite trucks and lawyers with their
lawsuits and legal briefs aimed at this two story building and seven
justices inside, six Democrats and one Republican...."
-- NBC Nightly News. Pete Williams: "Preferring
so far to stay removed from the legal storm swirling around them, the
court's seven justices, all political appointees serving six year terms
renewable by the voters. Six of the seven justices put on the bench by
Florida's last two Democratic Governors. The seventh, Peggy Quince,
jointly appointed by outgoing Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles and
Republican Governor-elect Jeb Bush. But a former court justice and a
Republican appointee himself, says when it comes to making decisions his
former colleagues leave their politics behind...."
not CBS or NBC, on Wednesday night gave some air time to Republican
complaints about voting manipulation by Palm Beach County canvassing board
chief Carol Roberts. FNC's Carl Cameron also explored the charges on
Special Report with Brit Hume.
On World News Tonight, ABC's Jackie Judd
announced: "Republicans zeroed in on Carol Roberts, the canvass
commissioner and prominent local Democrat, who has been pushing hard for a
manual recount. A Republican lawyer came armed with a list of
James Carroll at the
canvass board meeting held outside: "She has been observed bending,
twisting, poking and purposely manipulating ballots in a manner that
compromised their integrity."
demanded Roberts be disqualified. That was quickly shot down."
plurality believe George Bush won in Florida but most agree with Al
Gore's request for a hand count. At the end of Wednesday's NBC
Nightly News, Tom Brokaw passed along two findings from an NBC
News/Wall Street Journal poll:
"Who should be declared the winner in
Florida?" Bush replied 41
percent, Gore said 23 percent while 31 percent thought it's
"too soon too say."
On Gore's hand count request, 59 percent
considered it "acceptable" and 40 percent called it
Pat Buchanan's vote total of 3,407 in Palm Beach County really so
out of line? The New York Post "MediaWatch" column on
Wednesday showed how the mainstream media portrayed it as unusually
high by using raw numbers not adjusted for the high population of the
county compared to other Florida counties. By adjusting the Buchanan
tally into a percentage of votes cast, the New York Post discovered he
garnered 0.79 percent of the vote in Palm Beach County, lower than his
vote percentage in seven other Florida counties.
The chart produced in the November 15 New York
Post showed how Buchanan captured more voters percentage-wise in these
counties than in Palm Beach County:
Rivera celebrated the Tuesday circuit court decision to allow
Secretary of State Katherine Harris to keep her 5pm Tuesday deadline
but which told her to consider accepting hand count numbers submitted
later. On Tuesday's Rivera Live on CNBC, he rejoiced:
"Today's decision, I believe, sows the seeds of an eventual Al
Gore election victory. You heard it here first folks. I like his
chances and I like them big time."
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens took note of
Rivera's celebratory tone in remarks made the night before Harris on
Wednesday night rejected the reasons offered by the counties for late
submission of hand count numbers.
Rivera opened his November 14 CNBC show:
"An explosive day in the election that never ends. The day is
ending with a harsh spotlight on the Florida Secretary of State. It
began with Bush surrogate James Baker offering a blatantly lopsided,
'We win, you lose deal,' that was quickly and correctly rejected
by the Gore camp. That was followed by a state judge's decision that
was so brilliantly balanced that it was hailed as a victory by both
sides. Judge Terry Lewis upheld today's 5pm deadline for filing
results of recounts in several Florida counties.
decision then made it crystal clear that Florida's embattled
Secretary Katherine Harris must exercise appropriate discretion in
deciding whether to accept later returns from manual recounts that
will be submitted in the coming days. Implicit in the court's
language, I think, an unmistakable message to Secretary Harris who as
you know is also a high ranking Bush campaign official. Any decision
she makes concerning the still uncounted ballots coming from several
heavily Democratic counties must be reasonable. She cannot, for
example, arbitrarily decide against counting them. If she does she
risks the high probability of being overruled by the courts.
because of the pro-Gore trend in the ballots already counted by hand
in the counties in question and the likelihood that trend will
continue, absent a gigantic pro-Bush flood of overseas ballots or some
maneuver that gives Governor Bush some other unexpected bonanza,
today's decision, I believe, sows the seeds of an eventual Al Gore
election victory. You heard it here first folks. I like his chances
and I like them big time. And I'm not the only one. Why do you think
Bush spokesman Karen Hughes was so ticked off tonight?"
Palm Beach Post staff was so upset with constant errors by network
reporters about their community that on tuesday the paper published a
memo to their colleagues to correct them on geography, jurisdiction,
place names and pronunciation, Jim Romenesko's MediaNews noted: http://www.poynter.org/medianews
Here's an excerpt from the November 14 Palm
Beach Post piece written by Larry Aydlette:
MEMO TO: TV talking heads, national reporters, foreign press,
late-night talk show writers, etc.
RE: Geography and pronunciations.
To our fellow colleagues in the media, and with all due respect and
professional courtesy, PALM BEACH IS NOT WEST PALM BEACH!
And Palm Beach is not Palm Beach County. And South Palm Beach is
not Palm Beach. And don't even get us started on North Palm Beach,
Royal Palm Beach, Palm Springs and Palm Beach Gardens, not to mention
Riviera Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach. As you can see, there
are a lot of palms and beaches down here.
National and international media coverage has led to a mass
mangling of some basic facts about our community. And with 1 million
people in Palm Beach County living in 37 individual municipalities and
unincorporated sections spread over a 2,386-square-mile
area that is larger than the state of Delaware, things can get more
confusing than a pregnant chad on a butterfly ballot.
Plus, TV people always screw things up.
Listen, we don't need the extra heartburn. So, media mob, clip and
save this handy guide of fast facts:
LESSON NO. 1: County, County, County! When in doubt, always refer
to Palm Beach County (pop. 1.042 million, per capita income $38,772.)
Such as: The protests are going on in Palm Beach County. Or: The
confusing ballot was issued by Palm Beach County. All of the
municipalities -- West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton -- are part
of Palm Beach County. Which leads to...
LESSON NO. 2: Palm Beach is not Palm Beach County. The talking heads keep yakking about the "Palm
Beach ballots." Cut it out! Palm Beach (population 9,710, per
capita income $71,106) is the ritzy, affluent island town that is part
of central Palm Beach County (not that Palm Beachers consider
themselves part of anything). Granted, Palm Beach is what everybody
thinks of when they think of Palm Beach County, but it's not, which
really irks the folks in West Palm Beach, which leads to...
LESSON NO. 3: West Palm Beach is not Palm Beach. West Palm Beach is not Palm Beach County. TV analyst Jeff
Greenfield was gently chided by West Palm Beach Mayor Joel Daves on
CNN Friday night for saying he was in Palm Beach when he was in West
Palm Beach. MSNBC referred to "West Palm Beach County" on
Monday morning. Saturday Night Live referred to the "West Palm
Beach Department of Elections."
Let's try this one more time.
West Palm Beach (pop. 81,132, per capita income $15,712) is an independent city on the west side of the
town of Palm Beach, hence the title. West Palm Beach is home to the
Palm Beach County Governmental Center, where all the protests are
taking place and the ballots are being counted. But it's not Palm
LESSON NO. 4: How to say Boca Raton. MSNBC's Lester Holt keeps saying Boca "Ra-tahn." For the
record, it's Boca "Ra-tone," Lester. Think of the city of
Boca (pop. 69,994, per capita income $28,307) as the Palm Beach of
southern Palm Beach County. On the other hand, that would confuse
So, to recap: Palm Beach is an island town to the east of West Palm
Beach in the central section of Palm Beach County. Palm Beach is not
West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach is not Palm Beach. But both are part
of Palm Beach County, as is Boca Raton, which is pronounced
And you thought our ballot was confusing.
For the complete article, go to:
the November 13 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Dumb
Guys Ways to Solve Presidential Election Confusion." Copyright
2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Find some guy named George W. Gore. Make him President.
9. Each can be President of the people who voted for them.
8. Thaw out Walt Disney, let him cast the deciding vote.
7. I don't care how things get solved; just don't run any special
reports during 'Becker.'
6. Do what they do in other important contests in Florida: swimsuit
5. Form conga line with everyone in Palm Beach (won't solve a thing
but boy are they fun).
4. Whichever news anchor can stay awake the longest gets to pick.
3. New rule: you punch 2 holes, voting booth explodes.
2. Let my brother Jeb decide.
1. Solve it? Are you nuts? This is great!
And, from the Late
Show Web page, some of the extra entries which didn't make the final
-- 275,000,000 person show-of-hands
-- Ask Count Chocula, he'll know what to do
-- Get a short-term President from one of them temp agencies
-- Make ballots simpler by letting only one person run for President
-- Whichever candidate weighs more at noon on Friday wins
-- Decide the presidency the way they do in France: with a wine-soaked
If we followed the last suggestion Bill Clinton
would remain in office forever. -- Brent Baker
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