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Media stars refuse to concede election

By Nicholas Stix
web posted November 8, 2004

White, Christian evangelicals are the Rodney Dangerfield of American politics: They don't get no respect.

After being responsible for spearheading the re-election of their candidate, Pres. George W. Bush, instead of receiving congratulations, Christian evangelicals got to hear NBC stars denigrate their intelligence, turn their support for Pres. Bush into a negative, and even seek to nullify Pres. Bush's electoral victory.

At noontime the day after, NBC "election anchor" and Hardball host Chris Mathews, who during the campaign had not sought to hide his hardcore Democrat partisanship, said of white Evangelicals, "they're believing, not analytical," a statement that would have applied perfectly to your typical socialist mainstream media (SMSM) journalist or tenured professor.

Imagine if a network star said of blacks, "They're believing, not analytical." His producer would cut his mike, before the next sentence came out of his mouth. But at the networks, such disrespect for the intelligence of arguably the most powerful voting bloc in America is not only permitted, but encouraged. (Note that on some social issues, such as gay marriage, black evangelicals think the same way as their white brethren.)

In emphasizing that 97 per cent of Republicans voted for Bush, and that Evangelicals are the GOP base, Mathews said that evangelicals "love Bush," as if that were a negative, rather than observing the real negative of the election, John Kerry's failure to inspire Democrats to vote for him.

George W. Bush received 52 per cent of the popular vote and 286 electoral votes to John Kerry's 47 per cent and 252, respectively. The Republicans increased their control of the Senate from 51 seats to 55, and picked up four seats in the House, raising their total to 228. No incumbent president had enjoyed such re-election success since FDR in 1936.

On NBC with Mathews, Today host Katie Couric, who rose to fame playing the sweet, all-American girl, before revealing her mean streak, refused to concede the election. That was one hour <i>after</i> Kerry had called Bush to congratulate the latter on his victory. When Mathews noted that Bush had won a majority of the popular vote, Couric parroted the Democrat party talking point, that Bush had won "A majority, not a mandate."

People like Couric will apparently never concede a presidential election to a Republican. Not even Mathews would engage in Couric-style denial, responding, "The rule is 50 percent," a rule that does not, however, apply to Democrats.

They keep moving the goalposts.

In 2000, Democrats refused to concede the election to Bush, supposedly due to his failure to beat Al Gore in the popular vote, and then held the nation hostage for five weeks. (Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 ballots.) At the time, socialists and other Democrats demanded that if Bush were to be president, he was obliged to run a bipartisan, caretaker government. In other words, he could be president in name only.

In this election, not only did Bush win the electoral vote and beat Kerry by 4.67 million votes in the popular vote, but with 52 per cent, he was the first candidate to get a majority of all votes cast since his father in 1988. And yet, Katie Couric refused to recognize his victory. And Democrats like to call other people angry and mean-spirited?!

Bill Clinton never won a majority of the popular vote. He received only 42.9 per cent in 1992, winning due to the inroads Reform party candidate Ross Perot (18.9) made in the support of incumbent Pres. George H.W. Bush (37.1 per cent), and received 49.2 per cent in 1996 (with Republican Bob Dole getting 40.7 per cent and Perot getting 8.4 per cent). And yet, there is no record of Katie Couric ever denying Bill Clinton a mandate to govern.

During election night, CBS anchor Dan Rather was just as much a Democrat dead-ender as Katie Couric would prove to be. Shortly after midnight, it became clear that Bush would carry Ohio, and thus the election. As Brit Hume & Co. pointed out on Fox News, Bush only needed 269 electoral votes in order to win, since a tie would throw the election into the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Admittedly playing things close to the vest, to avoid mistakenly calling a state wrong, as Fox did with Florida in 2000, Hume waited until "12:41 and 20 seconds," to call Ohio for Bush." That gave the President 269 electoral votes.

CBS' stars, however, lived in an alternate universe. Rather's heir-apparent, John Roberts, claimed that Bush required 270 electoral votes, in order to win. A CBS analyst insisted that a tie would "cause a Constitutional crisis." Since the Founding Fathers had in the Constitution foreseen just such a situation, a Constitutional crisis could only have been provoked by Democrats, led by the media, had they refused to abide by the Constitution's electoral provisions.

Dan Rather refused to concede Ohio to Bush. Period. As the minutes and hours passed, Rather kept the electoral vote count stuck on 242. Occasionally, he would say, "For those of you who may have been watching somewhere with not as good information as we have," with a chuckle, that CBS was not yet giving Ohio to Bush.

These guys are starting to imitate federal judges who think that if they personally dislike a legally enacted statute, they can simply toss it.

In his folksy persona -- as opposed to his high-strung, hard-charging one -- Rather mixed in some humorous, homespun sayings: The election was "hot enough to make paint peel," and "This situation could give an aspirin a headache."

Rather understood the significance of Ohio. Throughout the night, he would say, "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio."

At 2:06 a.m., CBS' Jim Axelrod reported from Kerry headquarters with a straight face, that Kerry's people were saying, "We are winning Ohio." [Jodi Wilgoren of the New York Times would report on November 4 that that statement had come from Kerry spinmeister Howard Wolfson.]

At 2:53 a.m., Rather said, "If George Bush carries Ohio, that's it."

After 3 a.m., Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA) appeared on CBS, to provide Democrat talking points: "It is not a mandate …. I hope he will govern from the center. He only won through tearing down his opponent. And that is not a mandate. It's simply a return to office.

"Well, there's no mandate to privatize social security. There's no mandate …" to this, no mandate to that.

In other words, you may think you've won, but we're still in charge. Another version of Dem-logic is trotted out periodically by the New York Times, whose editorial page lectures Republican elected leaders that the only truly conservative position involves "conserving" all Democrat programs, laws, and executive orders.

Speaking of the Devil, at 3:21 a.m., the Times, which had colluded with CBS' 60 Minutes on the phony Al Qaqaa "missing weapons" story, ran the following headlines on its Web front page: "BUSH HOLDS LEAD; Kerry Refuses to Concede Tight Race; GOP Keeps Grip on Senate House."

At about 3:33 a.m., Rather's lefty colleague, Ed Bradley, tried to explain to him that Bush had taken Ohio. Bradley showed that Bush's expanding lead in Ohio, at that point 170,000 votes, was such that even if every provisional vote went for Kerry, Bush would still win. "If you believe these numbers, we estimate that Bush rather solidly has won Ohio."

Rather reproved Bradley, "Now, Ed Bradley, who does not have a degree in math …"

Bradley: "But I used to teach math years ago."

Rather: "Well, if all that holds, Bush will win…. There's some ifs, ands, and buts there.

"While it appears that the advantage is George Bush's, the appearances may not be so…."

"Until it's official, it isn't official. That's it. Period."

At 3:42 a.m., Rather said, "Playing it cautious and conservative, as we have all night."

So, Rather will play fast and loose with forged documents, but cautious and conservative with election results? Something doesn't smell right here.

At 3:50 a.m., Rather did violence to Bradley's words, saying, "Ed Bradley has done some figuring, and concluded it's shaded for Bush."

At 3:52 a.m., Rather repeated the misleading notion, that even if Bush got 269 electoral votes, "He would still need one more vote."

If Dan Rather were serious, and the networks could not call a race before the total was "official," then there would be no function for them on election night. The people would merely need to wait until the next day to hear the official election results. But of course, Rather didn't mean that.

Was Dan Rather counting on some last-minute Democrat electoral black magic?

At 4 a.m., Rather went off the air without ever giving Ohio to George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, socialists and communists at the Web site democraticunderground.com were claiming that Republicans were stealing the election. They claimed variously that electronic touch screen voting machines in Florida were displaying Bush's name, when Democrats sought to vote for Kerry, and also insisted that because early exit polls had been heavily pro-Kerry, it proved that the Republicans were guilty of election fraud in Ohio and Florida, when Bush won both states. It would never occur to the good folks at DU to consider that the exit polls might have been fraudulent, due to pollsters seeking to help Kerry win, by discouraging Republican voters from going to the polls. (On Wednesday, Carl Cameron of Fox News would point out that the exit polls were skewed. For one thing, pollsters interviewed disproportionate numbers of female voters. But there's no excuse for that. A skewed exit poll is a fraudulent exit poll.)

The New York Times refused to concede that Bush had won the election until after John Kerry did. ("BUSH WINS 2ND TERM; Kerry Concedes, but ‘Our Fight Goes On [sic]'") Does that mean that any candidate, no matter how soundly thrashed, can hold an election hostage, by simply refusing to acknowledge the obvious? According to the SMSM, if he's a Democrat, it does.

As Clay Waters of Times Watch (of the Republican Media Research Center) reported, on November 3, some Times reporters wrote as if John Kerry, not George Bush, had won the election. As Waters noted, the Times' Todd Purdum claimed that President Bush "has made himself not only the most polarizing president since Richard M. Nixon," and approvingly quoted socialist historian Robert Dallek's casuistry to argue that Iraq is Vietnam all over again, even if it isn't. "It's not Vietnam, but it stands in the shadow of Vietnam, and as a consequence, people see this as similar." "People" meant folks like Robert Dallek and Todd Purdum. (Purdum is the husband of Dee Dee Myers, who served as Pres. Clinton's press secretary.)

Let's see. Jimmy Carter managed to lose re-election to Ronald Reagan, which would suggest that he was more polarizing (aka "divisive") than George W. Bush. And Bill Clinton got himself impeached, which suggests to me that he was pretty darned polarizing. Nixon, after all, won re-election in one of the great landslides of American electoral history. A "polarizing" landslide victory? Aren't they all? The only possible meaning I can determine for "polarizing," as used by Purdum would be, "is hated by the SMSM and other members of the Democrat base."

Paralleling the SMSM's refusal to concede, vice-presidential candidate, Sen. John Edwards, reportedly wanted Sen. John Kerry to dead-end it, and refuse to concede. (The Times' Wilgoren put a positive spin on this, saying that it was due to the Democrats' principle of counting every vote, as opposed to their strategy of using every trick to steal an election.)

Network people and other Democrat politicians have been saying that Bush must seek to heal the rift in the country – by moving to the left, er, "center." Again, when Bill Clinton won his victories without getting 50 per cent of the popular vote, the media never called on Clinton to move to the right, in order to heal the country.

Carl Cameron of Fox News offered the most honest appraisal of the election: A president hadn't won re-election and expanded his control of Congress, "Since the earth cooled. Not a bad day, and a tough one for Democrats to swallow."

On November 4, the New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren explained why CBS and ABC had refused to acknowledge that Bush had won Ohio, and thus the election.
"The critical moment came at 12:41 a.m. Wednesday, when, shortly after Florida had been painted red for Mr. Bush, Fox News declared that Ohio - and, very likely, the presidency - was in Republican hands.

"Howard Wolfson, a strategist, burst into the ‘boiler room' in Washington where the brain trust was huddled and said, ‘we have 30 seconds' to stop the other networks from following suit.

"The campaign's pollster, Mark Mellman, and the renowned organizer Michael Whouley quickly dialed ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC - and all but the last refrained from calling the race through the night. Then Mr. Wolfson banged out a simple, two-line statement expressing confidence that Mr. Kerry would win Ohio once the remaining ballots were counted.

"‘What was driving our decision making was the memory of how in 2000, by allowing Florida to go for Bush, a lot of momentum was blocked,' said one person who was in the room. "Our whole goal was stop the train from moving that way."

"Train stopped, lawyers and strategists at the campaign's Washington headquarters prepared court papers to challenge Ohio's process for counting provisional ballots, and made spreadsheets comparing each county's provisional ballots with its margin of victory or defeat."

It didn't occur to Wilgoren that anything was wrong with Democrats' successful hijacking of election night coverage

And what could the Democrats have hoped to accomplish? All of the polls in Ohio had closed. The broadcast and cable networks don't even begin tabulating a state's election results, until polls close (though they violated that rule in the case of Florida in 2000, which led to a 36-day siege). Thus, withholding the Ohio results was not going to lead to more voters lawfully voting in the Buckeye State. The only actions that could yet have been taken place involved illegal or legal chicanery. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at Kerry headquarters!

We may never know what options were considered on Election Night by the Kerry campaign, but this much we do know: In this election, it was not only John Kerry that lost. The SMSM went down to an historic defeat that cost them power, credibility, money (via ratings), esteem and mystique, which they may never recoup. Like Christian evangelicals whom SMSM figures so despise, the SMSM don't get no respect.

Nicholas Stix can be reached at add1dda@aol.com.

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