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If you spend one minute thinking of the elections today read this

  • Subject: [cg] If you spend one minute thinking of the elections today read this
  • From: "Kerr, Thomas J." <KerrT@missouri.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 09:49:14 -0600

Thank you for your time,

I'm forwarding three important pieces of information. The first is a quote
from a friend, the second a link contained in the quote -
http://www.geocities.com/countercoup/. The third an analysis presented to
you as reasonable substantiation for sending you the quote and the link and
urging your action. 

Prior to the elections I solicited support for vote swapping, to keep the
candidate I still feel is unqualified for the title (regardless of his
affiliations) out of our very important political office. In my
half-argumentive plea, I referred to the act of solidarity in trading votes
with people in other states. Now I use the same term, solidarity, to help
protect our current and future democratic process (irregardless of partisan
politics). 

While I have, until yesterday, tried to remain patient of the legal and
political process, and balanced in my opinion of the Floridians and their
ways, I no longer see this as an impartial stance toward a Democrat or
Republican Presidental incumbancy. The issue has surpassed the point of
partisanship and threatens the core of our citizenship. I have come to the
conclusion that this issue needs to be dealt with in the forms of all great
justice movements - we need to have our voices heard for civil, social and
political rights. And once again, I struggle with remaining bound neutrality
and above partisanship. 

There is only one way to help maintain the point expressed in our
time-honored directive - "United we stand, divided we fall." 

So please read the contents of the link, pass along to your friends, family,
neighbors, and do what your heart and mind collectively urge of you.
Whatever the result, let your voices be heard to help show the media, the
politicians, and the potential electorates who hold our very democracy in
the balance, that these many previewed and supressed "irregularities" will
not stand in this time.

Thanks to my friend who passed this information on to me,

In solidarity,
Tom Kerr
Kansas City, MO

The quote, and the link:

"I was not exactly aware of most of the information that FAIR-L was
reporting, but it is in line with the complaints about coverage that I am
absorbing electonically. Some of those complaints, as well as the public's
position on this issue can inspected this Saturday at 1:00 pm, right here in
Kansas City's premiere shopping district, as you probably already are aware
of. If not, and you for any reason give a hoot, visit
http://www.geocities.com/countercoup/"

The analysis:

>-----Original Message-----
>From: FAIR-L [mailto:FAIR-L@FAIR.ORG]
>Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2000 1:50 PM
>To: FAIR-L@LISTSERV.AMERICAN.EDU
>Subject: [FAIR-L] Media Advisory: Media Versus Democracy
>
>
>                                 FAIR-L
>                    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
>               Media analysis, critiques and news reports
>
>
>MEDIA ADVISORY:
>Media Vs. Democracy
>
>November 16, 2000
>
>With the outcome of the U.S. presidential election still unclear,
mainstream
>media are emphasizing electoral "closure" over the question of who actually
>won the election.
>
>Almost immediately after the vote, calls for Al Gore to either proceed
>slowly or to concede with dignity-- even before final vote tallies were
in--
>began to appear. Some pundits even argued that calls for a more accurate
>count of the Florida vote were somehow undemocratic: "The nation's
stability
>is more important than whichever side falls upon the spoils of office,"
>wrote David Nyhan (Boston Globe, 11/10/00). "The country should not be put
>through the wringer. The system is more important than either man or either
>party."
>
>After Gore withdrew his concession, Fox News Sunday's Tony Snow commented
>(11/12/00) that "his decision made the poisonous political atmosphere in
>Washington even more toxic. Gore has established a precedent for turning
>elections into legal circuses and giving the final word not to voters but
to
>squadrons of lawyers."
>
>On MSNBC (11/8/00), Mike Barnicle of the New York Daily News thought an
>early concession might actually be to Gore's advantage: "This could be Al
>Gore's moment. It could be the moment where he finally gets the chance to
>live up to his great father's ideals and have the courage to step aside."
>
>For some, a Gore concession has a noble historical parallel: Richard
Nixon's
>decision to  bow out in 1960 instead of contesting the perceived voting
>irregularities. Liberal columnist David Nyhan (11/10/00) recalled it as
>Nixon's "most magnaminous act," while the New York Times (11/9/00) and U.S.
>News and World Report (11/20/00) referred to Nixon's own memoirs to prove
>the claim that Nixon bowed out to avoid being labeled a "sore loser."
>Liberal columnist Richard Reeves said of Nixon on the op-ed page of the New
>York Times (11/13/00): "He understood what recounts, lawsuits and
>depositions carried out over months-- even years-- would do to the nation."
>
>These comments appear to make the unwise move of taking Nixon's memoirs at
>face value. As an essay by David Greenberg in Slate (10/16/00) points out,
>legal challenges in 1960 were actually widespread: Greenberg notes that
>Republicans "succeeded in obtaining recounts, empanelling grand juries, and
>involving U.S. attorneys and the FBI," with the outcome in 11 states coming
>under scrutiny from Nixon aides.
>
>In the name of stability and keeping up international appearances, many
>national media outlets declared the unclear election results a "crisis,"
>calling for a quick resolution. NBC's Tim Russert (Nightly News, 11/8/00)
>warned that Gore "can't extend it to too long, nor can he become a whiner
>about Florida at some point," and offered this advice, particularly to Gore
>and his advisors:
>
>"If they continue then to file lawsuits and begin to contest various areas
>of the state, then people will begin to suggest, 'uh-oh, this is not
>magnanimous. This is being a sore loser.' I think the vice president
>understands that as well.... If it starts dragging into petty politics and
>we get to Thanksgiving and we still don't know who our president is, I
think
>the public will not have much patience with the candidate they believe is
>dragging it out."
>
>In fact, most public opinion polls suggest that citizens are taking a much
>more reasonable approach to the situation than some of the elite media,
>supporting a process that emphasizes fairness rather than speed. A Newsweek
>poll found that 75 percent of respondents "preferred removing 'all
>reasonable doubt' about the Florida voting rather than 'getting matters
>resolved as soon as possible.'" An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll
>(11/13/00) found that 55 percent of respondents favored the idea of
>recounting ballots, even if the process takes several weeks.
>
>CNN's Larry King, though, seemed to have trouble reading these results.
"The
>public, though, polls show they want it finished," he commented to a guest
>(11/13/00). "The public at least thus far does want it finished. Does that
>surprise you?" In a November 13 editorial, the New York Times insisted that
>there is "mounting public impatience with the delay in determining the
>outcome of the presidential election."
>
>One reason media might perceive a "crisis" is that much of the discussion,
>particularly on television, has relied on partisan debate, with
>representatives of the Bush and Gore camps squaring off on any number of
>issues. In such an environment, the issues that need serious
investigation--
>stories of voter manipulation, the refusal to allow legitimate voters their
>right to vote-- are not pursued, while some of the more dubious arguments
>about the vote circulate over and over again.
>
>Nightline's November 9 broadcast was one of the worst examples in this
>category, as Ted Koppel chose to only interview three senior Bush aides
>about ballot irregularities. Not surprisingly, they were not impressed with
>the complaints from citizens that their ballots were unclear or confusing;
>Koppel did not subject his guests to tough questioning.
>
>Conservative media even charged Al Gore with trying to steal the election:
>Columnist George Will (Washington Post, 11/12/00) wrote that "all that
>remains to complete the squalor of Gore's attempted coup d'etat is some
>improvisation by Janet Reno, whose last Florida intervention involved a
>lawless SWAT team seizing a 6-year-old. She says there is no federal role,
>but watch for a 'civil rights' claim on behalf of some protected minority
or
>some other conjured pretext."
>
>The comment about a "protected minority" seems to be a reference to the
>complaints of voter fraud and intimidation coming from African-American
>communities in Florida. Despite the almost around-the-clock media attention
>given the election story, few media outlets have pursued these stories--
for
>example, the charge that perhaps thousands of mostly black Gore supporters
>were given ballots that had already been marked (Times of London,
11/13/00).
>The NAACP has been taking testimony from voters who charge they were
>intimidated and harassed at various polling places. The Congressional Black
>Caucus has also called for further investigation into these allegations.
>
>Investigative coverage of the democratic process may be too much to ask of
>some media heavyweights. As Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly explained
>(Washington Post, 11/11/00): "You're trapped in a box full of numbers. With
>Monica Lewinsky, you could say, 'She's a tramp,' 'She's not a tramp'; you
>could do psychoanalysis. This is a one-dimensional story. You have to keep
>looking for new angles."
>
>In a situation that goes to the heart of the American democratic process,
>it's unfortunate that some in the media seem to have trouble finding "new
>angles."
>
>                               ----------
>
>Feel free to respond to FAIR ( fair@fair.org ). We can't reply to
>everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate
>documented example of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of
>your email correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to
us
>at: fair@fair.org .
>
>FAIR ON THE AIR: FAIR's founder Jeff Cohen is a regular panelist on the Fox
>News Channel's "Fox News Watch," which airs which airs Saturdays at 7 pm
and
>Sundays at 11 am (Eastern Standard Time). Check your local listings.
>
>FAIR produces CounterSpin, a weekly radio show heard on over 120 stations
in
>the U.S. and Canada. To find the CounterSpin station nearest you, visit
>http://www.fair.org/counterspin/stations.html .
>
>Please support FAIR by subscribing to our bimonthly magazine, Extra!
>For more information, go to:
>http://www.fair.org/extra/subscribe.html . Or call 1-800-847-3993.
>
>FAIR's INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: FAIR accepts internship applications for its New
>York office on a rolling basis. For more information, please e-mail Peter
>Hart (phart@fair.org)
>
>You can subscribe to FAIR-L at our web site: http://www.fair.org , or by
>sending a "subscribe FAIR-L enter your full name" command to
>LISTSERV@AMERICAN.EDU . Our subscriber list is kept confidential.
>
>You may leave the list at any time-- just send a message with "SIGNOFF
>FAIR-L" in the body to: LISTSERV@AMERICAN.EDU .
>
>                                  FAIR
>                             (212) 633-6700
>                          http://www.fair.org/
>                          E-mail: fair@fair.org
>
>list administrators: FAIR-L-request@american.edu
>


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