hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002
a liberal rumor is making the rounds via some guy
named David Podvin's web site:


that the media is "covering-up the clear Gore victory
in Florida". Here are some excerpts:

"According to a source whose previous information has
proven to be accurate, the Consortium of news
organizations that recounted the presidential votes in
the 2000 Florida election was shocked to find that
former Vice President Al Gore decisively won the
state, and it is now concealing the news of Gore’s
victory from the American people.

The source is a former media executive who previously
revealed information that the Bush administration was
lying about Clinton staffers having vandalized the
White House. That information led me to accuse Karl
Rove of manufacturing the “crime”. My accusation
appeared in an article that was posted by
Buzzflash.com on January 28, 2001, and it was
confirmed by a General Accounting Office investigative
report several months later. . ."

". . .The Consortium was stunned to discover that the
recount revealed Gore won a clear victory. Even after
casting aside the controversial butterfly ballots and
discarding ballots that were “iffy”, Gore decisively
won the recount. While the precise numbers are still
unavailable, a New York Times journalist who was
involved in the project told one of his former
companions that Gore won by a sufficient margin to
create “major trouble for the Bush presidency if this
ever gets out”."

The story of Gore’s victory has been spiked at the
highest levels of the media conglomerates that are
involved, rather than at the cosmetic steering
committee level of the recount project. The Consortium
reportedly has received intense pressure from members
of the Bush inner circle both in and out of
government, but has not been lobbied by
representatives of Gore. . .

“It was the old baseball manager’s trick of crying
about every call in order to pressure the umpire to
give you more than your fair share,” said the
executive. “And it worked in Florida. However, in the
relative calm of the Consortium recount - absent the
pressure tactics - the Bush total remained basically
consistent with the original count, while the Gore
total shot way up.”

As for what will happen next, the executive said,
“Once the dominant pro-Gore trend became apparent, the
Consortium was never going to release the results; the
pressure from the big money boys was too great.
Terrorism just provided a better excuse for
withholding the information than the ‘technical
difficulties’ stalling tactic that was otherwise going
to be used. The Consortium is determined to make sure
that the original results of their recount will never
see the light of day.”

Having become a sadder but wiser liberal from the
Election 2000/Florida mess, I recognize what Jacob
Weisberg calls "journalistic gumbo". And I remember
you commenting on the NORC results that "they're a
mess!" , hardly an indisputable Gore victory.

So I beg of you, please debunk this rumor before it
takes life and ends up driving some over-zealous but
well-meaning liberals round the bend.