|8 May 2005 @ 16:44, by John Ashbaugh|
"If it's not in the paper on or TV, it cain't be true."
Columnist and editor of the Chicago Tribune Media Service, Robert Koehler's article on election fraud was rejected, for first time in his career.
Both the rejected article (1) and his response to it (2) are below.
With introductory commentary from Brad's Blog.
Mainstream Journo Penning Election Reform Column Has Article Rejected for First Time in Career!
What began innocently enough with a watershed article several weeks ago by Tribune Media Service's Robert Koehler on the need for Election Reform and an investigation into the results of Election 2004, has now erupted into a full-fledged firestorm resulting Wednesday afternoon in the unprecedented rejection of Koehler's latest column by the higher-ups at TMS where Koehler is both a columnist and editor!
Tribune Media Services is the syndication arm of the Tribune Company which, in turn, is the parent company to the Chicago Tribune.
Koehler's original ground-breaking column from April -- the first by an American Mainstream Media journalist that we know of to out-and-out charge that the 2004 Election was stolen -- was written a few days after Koehler attended the National Election Reform Conference last month in Nashville. The piece was headlined "The Silent Scream of Numbers: The 2004 election was stolen — will someone please tell the media?"
He followed it up the next week with another stunner headlined "Democracy's Abu Ghraib — If they can disable an election, what's coming next?"
While both pieces were distributed via TMS to syndicate member newspapers, only a handful chose to run either of those two columns.
Most notably, however, despite Chicago Tribune itself having chosen to run neither column, their "Public Editor", Don Wycliffe, found it appropriate to write a column in the Trib's pages wherein he rebutted Koehler's original piece. Wycliff's rebuttal, as reported here previously, attempted to discredit Koehler's column, Koehler himself, and those of us who might give a damn about democracy and the responsibility that the people (and yes, that would include the media) have to remain vigilant in order to sustain it.
Wycliff's column, citing the "moral example" of Richard Nixon (yes, not kidding) as the figure whom American's ought to follow in regards to potentially stolen elections, has erupted in a torrent of email directed towards the misguided and/or misinformed Wycliff and in support of Koehler.
Koehler once again hits a home-run with this week's column in response to Wycliff's. Or at least he would have had the Masters of Tribune Media Services not killed the article for the first time in Koehler's career!...
The silent scream of numbers
The 2004 election was stolen — will someone please tell the media?
By ROBERT C. KOEHLER
Tribune Media Services
As they slowly hack democracy to death, we’re as alone — we citizens — as we’ve ever been, protected only by the dust-covered clichés of the nation’s founding: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
It’s time to blow off the dust and start paying the price.
The media are not on our side. The politicians are not on our side. It’s just us, connecting the dots, fitting the fragments together, crunching the numbers, wanting to know why there were so many irregularities in the last election and why these glitches and dirty tricks and wacko numbers had not just an anti-Kerry but a racist tinge. This is not about partisan politics. It’s more like: “Oh no, this can’t be true.”
I just got back from what was officially called the National Election Reform Conference, in Nashville, Tenn., an extraordinary pulling together of disparate voting-rights activists — 30 states were represented, 15 red and 15 blue — sponsored by a Nashville group called Gathering To Save Our Democracy. It had the feel of 1775: citizen patriots taking matters into their own hands to reclaim the republic. This was the level of its urgency.
Was the election of 2004 stolen? Thus is the question framed by those who don’t want to know the answer. Anyone who says yes is immediately a conspiracy nut, and the listener’s eyeballs roll. So let’s not ask that question.
Let’s simply ask why the lines were so long and the voting machines so few in Columbus and Cleveland and inner-city and college precincts across the country, especially in the swing states, causing an estimated one-third of the voters in these precincts to drop out of line without casting a ballot; why so many otherwise Democratic ballots, thousands and thousands in Ohio alone, but by no means only in Ohio, recorded no vote for president (as though people with no opinion on the presidential race waited in line for three or six or eight hours out of a fervor to have their say in the race for county commissioner); and why virtually every voter complaint about electronic voting machine malfunction indicated an unauthorized vote switch from Kerry to Bush.
This, mind you, is just for starters. We might also ask why so many Ph.D.-level mathematicians and computer programmers and other numbers-savvy scientists are saying that the numbers don’t make sense (see, for instance, www.northnet.org/minstrel, the Web site of Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips, lead statistician in the Moss v. Bush lawsuit challenging the Ohio election results). Indeed, the movement to investigate the 2004 election is led by such people, because the numbers are screaming at them that something is wrong.
And we might, no, we must, ask — with more seriousness than the media have asked — about those exit polls, which in years past were extraordinarily accurate but last November went haywire, predicting Kerry by roughly the margin by which he ultimately lost to Bush. This swing is out of the realm of random chance, forcing chagrined pollsters to hypothesize a “shy Republican” factor as the explanation; and the media have bought this evidence-free absurdity because it spares them the need to think about the F-word: fraud.
And the numbers are still haywire. A few days ago, Terry Neal wrote in the Washington Post about Bush’s inexplicably low approval rating in the latest Gallup poll, 45 percent, vs. a 49 percent disapproval rating. This is, by a huge margin, the worst rating at this point in a president’s second term ever recorded by Gallup, dating back to Truman.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” asks exit polling expert Jonathan Simon, who pointed these latest numbers out to me. Bush mustered low approval ratings immediately before the election, surged on Election Day, then saw his ratings plunge immediately afterward. Yet Big Media has no curiosity about this anomaly.
Simon, who spoke at the Nashville conference — one of dozens of speakers to give highly detailed testimony on evidence of fraud and dirty tricks from sea to shining sea — said, “When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death.”
In contrast to the deathly silence of the media is the silent scream of the numbers. The more you ponder these numbers, and all the accompanying data, the louder that scream grows. Did the people’s choice get thwarted? Were thousands disenfranchised by chaos in the precincts, spurious challenges and uncounted provisional ballots? Were millions disenfranchised by electronic voting fraud on insecure, easily hacked computers? And who is authorized to act if this is so? Who is authorized to care?
No one, apparently, except average Americans, who want to be able to trust the voting process again, and who want their country back.
Here’s the spiked column, received from Koehler via email, not yet posted on his website,
For release 5/5/05
CITIZENS IN THE RAIN
By Robert C. Koehler
Tribune Media Services
"Where there is a free press the governors must live in constant awe of the opinions of the governed." - Lord Macaulay (one of many stirring quotes on the sacred role of the Fourth Estate adorning the lobby of the Chicago Tribune)
My fantasy of the mainstream media actually doing their job, and living up to the words they carve in marble to describe their own importance, is an 80-point (Terri Schiavo- or even Pope John Paul II-sized) headline running across the top of tomorrow's paper: ELECTION RESULTS IN DOUBT.
That would stop a few hearts. But the nation's major newspapers, even as they struggle with declining readership, have no intention of being quite that relevant to their readers - no intention, it appears, even to begin the process of looking into the hornets' nest of vote fraud allegations abuzz in meticulously researched reports on electronic voting (see uscountvotes.org) or the voluminous Conyers Report on what happened in Ohio on Nov. 2 (see truthout.org/Conyersreport.pdf).
Isn't our democracy at stake? Doesn't that matter?
"If John Kerry and the Ohio Democratic Party and all the other folks who had the most to gain from the election were making this challenge, I would get interested. But when the people with the most at stake don't step up, I'm suspicious."
So Don Wycliff, the Chicago Tribune's public editor, wrote to me in an e-mail exchange a few days ago, explaining why he, if not the Tribune itself, had no intention of investigating the issue with any seriousness.
It followed a strange breach in the Tribune's deathly silence on the irregularities of the 2000 and 2004 elections, which came about after readers began bombarding the Tribune with mail suggesting they run a column I had written, "The Silent Scream of Numbers," addressing these irregularities and reporting on a national election-reform conference in Nashville last month.
My column didn't run, but Wycliff wrote a column, "When Winning Isn't Everything," dismissing their concerns and telling them to ponder the moral leadership of Richard Nixon, who patriotically swallowed his close defeat in 1960 without complaint. In others words, shut up and get over it.
Wycliff was speaking only for himself, not "the media," but because his column was one of the few pieces to appear in a major publication even acknowledging that a huge number of Americans are distraught at mounting evidence of large-scale disenfranchisement in 2004 (and no guarantee that 2006 and 2008 will be any different), his words, by default, have special resonance. They stand in for the prejudices of the media as a whole.
Of all my objections to what he wrote, his contention that Kerry has the most at stake in all this is the most dispiriting, and most reflects the wrongheaded, "horse race" coverage of elections the media have shoved down our throats for as long as I can remember.
In his column, Wycliff even used a sports analogy, pointing out that "it's not the pregame prognostication and expert opinions that count, but the numbers on the scoreboard after the contest has actually been played." The Bush team won; the Kerry team lost. And the voters must be the equivalent of sports fans then, either jubilant or disappointed when the game is over, but couch potatoes either way, not participants.
Anyone else just a little bit offended? As one of the hundred or so readers who responded to the column (and cc'd me) put it, "Winning isn't everything, but fair elections are everything."
Nearly a week after Wycliff's column ran, the Tribune has printed only one letter in response to it - and this letter was about Nixon. It didn't have a word to say about the 2004 election. So much for my naïve optimism that an actual debate would ensue on the pages of the Trib.
Once again I quote exit-poll analyst Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
The stakes are getting higher and higher. Could it be we can't have election reform without media reform? The "respectable press" refuses to confer the least legitimacy on the citizens who are questioning this election and demanding accountability in the voting process.
How do we make them care? How do we make them look for themselves? How do we make them stand outside with us in the rain, waiting to cast our ballot for democracy?
- - -
Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, is an editor at Tribune Media Services and nationally syndicated writer. You can respond to this column at email@example.com or visit his Web site at commonwonders.com
9 May 2005 @ 08:33 by : It's Amazing
how finding even one other American concerned enough about these matters to speak out cheers me on. Perhaps you feel the same way, John. The silent and splintered perception of the population is truly terrifying. The United States seems to have responded to the urgent suggestion to become a nation of consumers...not citizens. Thank you for posting!
9 May 2005 @ 19:06 by : Today's Americans
Have been born into the idea that the very word America
is tantamount to the definition for freedom and liberty.
Government is Revolution, perpetual in its need to continually reinvent itself in response to changing demographics and economic circumstances.
The idea that this government is in dire need of socio-economic reinvention
is lost upon the faithful, those who bow obsequiosly to the shrine of the received definition of our history. The idea that our government, our America,
could possibly be subject to the threat of usurpation by the demagogues of iniquity, is fundamentally unthinkable, and those of us who harbor such thoughts are relegated by the denizens of propaganda to the designated lost causes of the maniacal conspiracy theorists.
There is work to do, and the American Revolution is not over yet.
9 May 2005 @ 23:25 by astrid : ...and we haven't
even touched the Cosmic part of this issue yet: the KARMA from taking over the Continent from its rightful Stewards!....murderding, raping, through plunder, lies, deception; cruelty in ANY possible way and then live twohundred some years high on the hog, pretending its your's, "White Man" (I wonder at what point WHITES become SEMITES!? --after all; from a strictly bilogical point... just like North-Eastern Africas People are HAMITES.-- Does anybody know.??? like all the MIddle Eastern Peoples: Arabs, Palestinians, Libyans, Jordanians, Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians are the real Semites .....from a strictly bilogical point. WHERE AND WHEN DOES this MAGIC TRANSFORMATION OCCUR???
If the Net is a mirror of what goes on in Peoples' minds... then one do have a reason to believe there is a such a transformation at some point for some WHITES.... because being of the opinion tha White MAn doesn't really "own" this Land and ....well; instantly makes some people scream :"ANTISEMITE". That would bring forth the conclusion that Whites ans Semites are the same thing... at least in some cases... From that I draw the conclusion that OWNING AMERICA REALLY IS A SEMITIC THING...like all the Middle Eastern guys, the guys with the OIL!...And of course, that would explain why The Media & All the Corps are not really serving the PUBLIC INTEREST of the Average American Joe Doe... really... when push come to shove...)
So, anyway, there IS a KARMIC DEBT TO BE PAID!....and the USA will cease to exist and the rightful Stewards will have to come forth and rescue whatever little still can be saved from the destruction... before the GAme is over!...
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