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WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE OVER BUSH'S ELECTION FRAUD?

By       Message Randolph T. Holhut     Permalink
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DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Ever since the somewhat murky outcome of 2004 presidential election in Ohio, there have been numerous reports of how Republicans engaged in widespread and intentional cheating and fraud to ensure that George W. Bush would win.

Unfortunately, the story has never gained traction in the mainstream press. Just like it is considered impolite to say that the Bush administration repeatedly lied to gin up a war with Iraq, it is considered equally impolite to say that Bush stole both the 2000 and 2004 elections.

Maybe that might change with the publication of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s story in latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Kennedy put together a lengthy and well documented summation of the extent of the vote manipulation in Ohio. There was very little new in the Rolling Stone piece, but it is the most complete examination of voting fraud to appear so far in a major American publication.

The mainstream press, particularly in Ohio, pooh-poohed Kennedy's story.

"I read it and there really was nothing new," Carl Weiser, government and public affairs editor at the Cincinnati Enquirer, told Editor & Publisher magazine last week.

"They were things we already reported on and issues we did not see to have much substance," Eva Parziale, Ohio bureau chief for the Associated Press, told E & P.

"In the end, there were problems, but they were not of the magnitude that would have made any difference," Doug Clifton, editor of The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, told E & P.

In other words, it's old news and not really a story worth talking about.
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Except that it is. Kennedy's story is this summer's Downing Street Memos.

Remember them? The documents leaked in the British press last year that confirmed that the Bush administration settled upon an invasion of Iraq early in 2002 and was manipulating intelligence data to support that desire?

The Washington press corps pretty much ignored them. It took nearly a month before the AP ran a story acknowledging their existence, and it consisted mostly of official denials.

Few in the press have the courage to say the Bush administration intentionally lied to the American people on Iraq. Likewise, few have the courage to say that Bush supporters in Ohio, and other states, did everything they could to ensure a Bush victory.

Here's some of what the Ohio press corps believes is old news that's totally irrelevant and not worth further investigation:
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• Nearly 240,000 votes went uncounted in Ohio, enough to give Bush the margin of victory he needed to win the state, and ultimately the election.

• In all, about 3.6 million votes nationwide were uncounted. If you were a black voter, you were nine times more like to see your vote discarded than if you were a white voter.

• There were about 1.4 million "spoiled" votes nationwide -- punch cards with too few or too many punches, paper ballots that were improperly scanned or touch screens that never registered a result.

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Randolph T. Holhut has been a journalist in New England for more than 25 years. He edited "The George Seldes Reader" (Barricade Books). He can be reached at randyholhut@yahoo.com.

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