Thursday, January 06, 2005


So Conyers' Challenge was short-lived and "quickly disposed of" in the dismissive language of the Associated Press. It was important to do it anyway, to show the Repukes, the press, the Dems, and everybody that some things are worth fighting for just on principle.

Sure, the Repubes used Kerry's concession against him, as they have all along, and as they did against Gore in 2000 (note to future Democrats-don't fucking concede--ever again!). They want to make it out like standing up for something important just makes you a "sore loserman" but what Dems and liberals need to remember is that sticks and stones may break their bones, but standing up the fascist right can only help us. So good for Boxer and Tubbs-Jones and Conyers and all the rest who spoke but I didn't get to see because I was reading this tripe from the "liberal media" over the airwaves (like every other radio schmo with an AP wire) at noon today:

The White House is accusing Democrats of engaging in "conspiracy theories." Democrats have succeeded in delaying today's certification of the Electoral College count in the presidential race. It will be held up for a couple of hours, as lawmakers debate alleged vote problems in Ohio.

That's the story in its entirety. To me, it perfectly encapsulates the problem with the American media--by the way, I didn't read the first sentence on the air.

Here's How The Shit Is Fucked Up

Notice that the story quotes the White House but no one else. There is no "fair-and-balancing" quote from a Democrat--maybe they could've talked to Conyers or Boxer or Tubbs-Jones and put in a blurb from one of them. How about if the story had read this way: The White House is accusing Democrats of engaging in "conspiracy theories," but a Democratic senator says she is seeking "electoral justice." That new bit is from Boxer's website and was almost certainly sent out to major news orgs as a press release--probably more or less around the same time some Bushite spokesmen was called Democrats "conspiracy theorists."

That way, the story would have a yin and a yang. Repubes say it's a "conspiracy theory" while Dems say it's a lack of "electoral justice." A statement like my altered one would truly allow the reader to decide who's right and who's wrong by presenting both sides rather than just repeating a snarky White House statement.

And that's part of the problem that people like McChesney and Matt Miller bring up--the press as stenographer. The White House said it, so they have to write it down and publish it. Which might be fine if the White House stayed doped up on truth serum, but no White House does that. That's why they teach you in journalism classes that you have to have more than one source. Because there are always at least two sides to a story. The AP just gave one.

The whole tone of the story is dismissive, saying that Conyers' Challenge was merely "delaying today's certification" and merely "held up for a couple of hours" the foregone conclusion. Did the Associated Press know for sure that Ohio's electoral votes would not be successfully challenged? Are they clairvoyant? Is the AP able to see the future? Were they given the final result by Diebold and ES&S? Or by the Lord Jesus himself? Now granted, the challenge had little to no chance of succeeding in overturning the results, but that doesn't mean that it was impossible.

The Second Story

That first story came down the wire at 12:51 p.m. EST. This second story came down at 3:56 p.m. EST. Here's the second story:

Congress is quickly disposing of a challenge by some Democrats who were unhappy about the way the election was conducted in Ohio. The protestors invoked the rule requiring the official counting of the electoral votes to stop long enough for a debate on their complaints. But the Senate has already finished the debate and voted to reject the protest.

Again, dismissive language--"disposing of," "the protestors," and "their complaints." The first sentence is particularly odious, as though the AP were saying "All is well, corporate America! Fear not, for the Republican Congress hath disposed of the wicked Democrat's unseemly challenge and hath smitten them mightily!" Like the half of the country that voted for Kerry is reassured somehow by that "quick disposal."

And then there's the description of Democrats as merely "unhappy." Ah poor Dems! Are you feeling down today? Turn that frown upside down! C'mon, all is well in the land, for King George hath ascended once more to his rightful throne..."Unhappy?" That's the best adjective they could come up with? How about this more neutral sentence instead of the AP's loaded one: "Congress is nearing the end of a discussion about a challenge brought by Democrats who say Ohio's conduct of the election was problematic."

And the "protestors" the story refers to? There are less loaded yet accurately descriptive words that could have been used here: "congresspeople," "Democrats," "legislators," etc. And the "congresspeople" didn't bring forth mere "complaints," they brought forth "objections" or "exceptions," perhaps. "Complaints" makes the people the word is attached to sound whiny, while "objections" sounds more reasoned and professional.

But that's our kickass "liberal" media at work, always ready to suck up to the Democrats and the liberals...Oh shit is this country in trouble...

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