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Sore Winner, Man

The ConWeb invents new ways to count votes to disguise the fact that Al Gore got more of them.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/28/2000

The ConWeb is nothing if not resourceful in the face of cold, hard facts.

Take the cold, hard fact that Al Gore received more votes than George W. Bush in the November election -- 539,947 of them in fact, according to final election numbers as reported by The Associated Press in a Dec. 21 story.

The ConWeb, in its slavish devotion to Republican and conservative philosophy, has decided to ignore that particular fact.

A Nov. 29 NewsMax column by Neil Boortz is emblematic of the direction being taken by his employer and their compatriots. In it, Boortz cites the following "interesting statistics":

  • Counties won by Gore: 677; Counties won by Bush: 2,434.
  • Population of counties won by Gore: 127 million; Population of counties won by Bush: 143 million.
  • Square miles of country won by Gore: 580,000; Square miles of country won by Bush: 2,427,000.
  • States won by Gore: 19 States won by Bush: 29.
  • Average Murder per 100,000 residents in counties won by Gore: 13.2; Average Murder per 100,000 residents in counties won by Bush: 2.1.

Of course, counties, states and land masses don't vote for president, people do; nor does any alleged propensity toward criminality mean a person's vote is less valid. It's just another way to denigrate people who don't hold conservative beliefs, a favorite pastime of the ConWeb. Or, as Boortz quaintly puts it: "As long as there are people stupid enough to vote Democratic there will be people who are perfectly capable of screwing up even the simplest ballot."

Boortz cites no source for his statistics -- and therefore no way to acertain the validity of them -- save the murder rate comparison, which he attributes to Joseph Olson, a law professor at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. And even there Boortz is less than forthcoming; he neglects to mention that Professor Olson is also on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association, according to his Hamline biography, and has also been a proponent of boycotting gun maker Smith & Wesson for agreeing to follow government guidelines on firearm design and sales.

On Dec. 12, WorldNetDaily's Jon Dougherty suggests that mentioning something like Bush's loss of the popular vote is "overhyped rhetoric designed to undermine, undercut and underestimate Bush's legitimate election victory." Then, Dougherty quotes the exact same statistics Boortz used in his column (minus the number-of-counties count), thoughtfully updating the state totals but dropping Olson as a source. Either Dougherty is plagarizing Boortz, or they both got the same talking-points fax from points unknown.

Meanwhile, NewsMax asserts that Gore didn't win the popular vote at all.

A Dec. 20 story lists three differing vote counts from various sources, all of which list Gore winning by at least 300,000 votes. An attempt is then made to add a conspiratorial angle: "Some experts were saying that many of the state counts were incorrect, but all the stories from those Web sites have disappeared!"

Adding to the articles's "Huh?" factor is the very next line: "In any case, the absentee ballots have not been counted (and those are widely expected to favor Bush), and so no one can say what the true totals are at this time." Wrong; unless NewsMax is talking about absentee ballots discarded for not following legislatively mandated Florida election laws, all absentee ballots have been counted.

In another Dec. 20 story, it rehashes a report from Fox News Channel about an alleged 100 percent turnout in some precincts in Philadelphia "with an equally unbelievable 99 percent of votes going for failed Democrat nominee Al 'I'll Do Anything to Win' Gore." (Though FNC probably didn't say that last part.) After running down a laundry list of accusations of alleged vote fraud by Democrats it doesn't bother to elaborate on, the article sniffs: "It's laughable that Democrats still try to claim that Gore won the popular vote."

No, it's laughable (to the point of sadness) that even with their man heading for the White House, the ConWeb is so consumed with hate that it is unable to find any comfort in that victory.

But if it's not denigrating Gore and anyone who voted for him, the ConWeb is casting aspersions on the media-led recount of Florida ballots.

A Dec. 19 NewsMax story paints a dispute over two ballots in Broward County as evidence that "predictably, some of the media recounters are apparently giving the vice president every break they can" and the presence of NewsMax's buddies from Judicial Watch as "keeping media recounters honest."

In its sucking up to Larry Klayman, NewsMax overlooks another fact: Republican officials don't want any recount now that Bush has received that all-important Florida certification. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports in a Dec. 19 story that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of you-know-who, opposes the recount out of fear of undermining Bush's legitimacy as president, and a Florida congressman argued with Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch over the issue in front of reporters.

Tucker Eskew, a Bush spokesman, has attacked the Orlando Sentinel for printing results of a recount in Lake County that gave Gore 130 votes, the Sun-Sentinel adds. “To publish illegal votes as legal votes would be to mislead the readers and the public,” Eskew told Orlando Sentinel reporters. “These are illegal votes and your paper is publishing them as legal votes.”

And a Dec. 27 United Press International story on a lawsuit to force an investigation of voting irregularities in Duval County quotes a Republican strategist as calling the Democrat-backed effort "racial profiteering" and that "people need to move on."

NewsMax clearly doesn't want to criticize any Republican for holding a position it opposes, though it has no problem whatsoever eviscerating Democrats for holding contrary viewpoints.

The we-won-so-screw-you sentiment of Jeb Bush and friends is echoed by --surprise, surprise -- the Fox News Channel. Fairness and Accuracy in Media reports that FNC's John Gibson, guest-hosting "The O'Reilly Factor" Dec. 15, doesn't want a full recount either: "George Bush is going to be president. And who needs to know that he's not a legitimate president? Al Gore? Jesse Jackson? His political opponents? How does it do any good for the country to find out that, by somebody's count, the wrong guy is president?"

Gibson did suggest that the pursuit of truth could merely be delayed until it no longer mattered, FAIR reports: "How about, if you want to do this thing, we lock those ballots up until George Bush is not president, so nobody can go use these ballots to undermine his position, to undermine the position of this country, to throw this country into chaos. If you want to know, if historians want to know, fine. Know some day in the future. You don't need to know now because he is president now."

Funny, you didn't read about any of this on NewsMax, not even to criticize the stances of Jeb Bush and John Gibson. Oops -- we forgot the NewsMax Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of the Bush family or Fox News. (The more sycophantic the better, really, as illustrated by an embarassing Dec. 28 piece by John LeBoutillier written after he was a guest host on "Hannity & Colmes.") And thou shalt not speak well of any Democrat.

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