Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Olbermann: Still the man

I was going to compile an update on the investigation into voting irregularities in Florida and Ohio tonight, but unsurprisingly, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann beat me to the punch with some great reporting. Olbermann's Countdown is the only mainstream television news show pursuing this story, and if his work breaks something big, he'll be the country's next star anchorman.

Highlights from Olbermann's research, much of which appeared on his Monday show:

  • Twenty-nine Florida counties where Democrats hold a large majority of registered voters nonetheless voted in huge numbers for President Bush, including Liberty County, where Bush won by almost 900 votes even though Democrats constitute 88 percent of the county's registered voters. Those counties all use optical scan machines.
  • An official in Warren County, Ohio, which voted heavily Republican, cited a nebulous security threat to try to justify barring reporters from the administration building as votes were counted. Officials finally relented and allowed reporters inside the building, though they still weren't allowed to look through the windows into the room where the votes were being counted.
  • In 29 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes the heavily Democratic city of Cleveland, there was a total of 93,000 more votes than voters.

In his latest blog post, Olbermann also offers three guesses as to why no one else in the mainstream media is looking into things:

1) The media are just tired of election coverage.

2) Journalists distrust bloggers, who are keeping the story alive.

3) Reporters are afraid of being labeled partisan Democrats if they so much as try to double-check the math.

It's scary that working to ensure fair elections ever could be seen as partisan, but that's the world in which disingenuous media attack dogs have placed us. I'm just glad that the guy who urged Boston Market patrons to "eat something" is bucking the trend.

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