Accuracy in Media

For over a month after Election Day the absorption of the media with Al Gore’s battle to find enough votes to overcome George W. Bush’s slim lead squeezed out much of the usual post-election analysis of the results. Nor was much attention given to the details of the exit polls, one by the Voter News Service that the networks depended on to make their early calls of the outcome, and another by the Los Angeles Times.

As of Dec. 20, the total popular vote as reported by the Associated Press was 105,380,929. Gore got 48.4 percent, Bush 47.9 percent and other candidates got 3.6 percent. Gore received 539,897 more votes than Bush, 0.5 percent of the total votes cast. The table above compares these results with the 1996 election, using Voter News Service exit poll data.

The percentage changes in the votes by gender and race in 2000 reflect Perot votes picked up by Gore and Bush. Bush got only 8 percent of the black vote compared to Dole’s 12 percent, a reduction of about 300,000 votes. By capturing 32 to 38 percent of the Hispanic votes (depending on whether you accept the VNS or the L.A. Times exit poll figures) he got from 900,000 to 1.25 million more Hispanic votes than dole got.

Whites are by far the biggest bloc of voters, about 84 million out of the105 million votes cast. Bush got 53 percent of the white votes compared to Dole’s 46 percent in 1996. That gave him about 8 million more white votes than Dole got in 1996. Gore won about 3.5 million more white votes than Clinton did in 1996. Among whites Bush beat Gore by about 8.5 million votes.

Some have argued that Bush could have won even more white votes if he had taken a hard line on immigration, since polls show that 70 to 80 percent of the public favor reducing immigration. But even if Bush had captured all the 450,000 votes that went to Pat Buchanan, who takes a hard line on immigration issues, they might have been offset by the loss of that million-vote increase that Hispanic voters gave him.

The L.A. Times exit poll found that 55 percent of the Bush voters and 17 percent of the Gore voters attached great importance to moral and ethical values. This suggests that at least a sixth of the Gore voters were not aware of his pattern of lying and his involvement in corrupt, criminal activity. Bush might have won over many of these Gore voters by using the abundant evidence in the public record to show them how little respect Gore has for moral and ethical values. Much of that evidence was described in the November-A AIM Report article arguing that Bush should have made Gore’s character an issue in the campaign.

ELECTION RESULTS
  1996 2000 Change Pct. Points
  Clinton Dole Perot Gore Bush Others Dem. Rep.
% Of Popular Vote
Gender and Race
50.1         41.4         8.5
VNS Exits Poll
48.4        47.9        3.6
VNS Exits Poll
-1.7 +6.5
Men 38% 49% 13% 43 52 5 +5 +3
Women 48 43 9 54 42 4 +6 -1
Blacks 84 12 4 90 8 2 +6 -4
Hispanics 72 21 7 63 33 4 -9 +12
Whites 43 46 11 43 53 4 0 +7
Importance of:
Moral, ethical values
All Voters
35%
Gore Voters
17
Bush Voters
55
Clinton’s Conduct
(L.A. Times exit poll)
16% 3 30

MISTAKES WE ARE PAYING FOR

A scandalous operation that was carried out under Gore’s supervision that has not been adequately covered in the establishment media was the 1996 Citizenship USA project of the Clinton-Gore administration. Its goal was to naturalize over a million aliens by September 1996 in order to get them registered to vote in the 1996 presidential election. This was a blatant effort to increase the number of Democratic voters by circumventing the normal procedures designed to insure that the new citizens meet certain requirements. One of the bars to naturalization is a criminal record.

David Schippers, the Chicago Democrat who served as special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Clinton, says in his book, SellOut, that the Citizenship USA program was “under the direction of Vice President Al Gore” and that he was making sure a million aliens were naturalized in time to register for the 1996 presidential election. Schippers found that more than 75,000 aliens naturalized under this program had criminal records when they applied for citizenship. The fingerprints of another 176,000 were not checked by the FBI because of the pressure applied by Gore to get them qualified to vote in 1996.

Here are some findings of a Congressional investigation of this scandal:

  • Hillary Clinton was involved in discussions on how liberal groups could facilitate the process of making aliens into citizens.

  • Al Gore and his staff were involved in discussions on how to “produce a million new citizens before election day,” and President Clinton was reported to have said he “wants action.”

  • One option for President Clinton was to order lower standards for U.S. citizenship.

  • Doris Meissner, director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, warned that Citizenship USA could be viewed as “a pro-Democrat voter mill.”

This was an excellent example of the cynical use of power by Clinton and Gore to insure their reelection even if it meant naturalizing felons.

Edward Nelson, president of U.S. Border Control (USBC), a private organization that wants tighter controls on immigration, estimates that nationally 2 to 4 percent of all votes this year were cast by aliens and that in some Florida counties it may have been 10 to 15 percent. Figures from the Florida Department of State show that from 1994 to 1998, the number of “other race” registered voters – primarily Hispanic – went from just under 100,000 to 655,000. That’s an increase well over 500 percent. Registration of blacks increased by 40 percent and of whites only 12 percent.

Nelson points out that no one knows how many of the 550,000 “other race” voter registrations were of citizens naturalized under the Citizenship USA program. But we do know that Miami was one of the cities targeted. “On the other hand,” Nelson says, “no one knows how many of these same voters are not citizens at all, but non-citizens and even illegal aliens who were nevertheless invited to register to vote by Florida motor-vehicle and welfare-state employees doing what they were required to do under the federal Motor Voter law.”

Motor Voter Registration

When the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the Motor Voter Act was passed in 1993, it legalized voter registration by mail in federal elections. Registration forms can be picked up at almost any government welfare or motor vehicle office. All that they require is a name and an address. The name can be fake and the address can be a post office box. There is no bar to non-citizens using them to register to vote. USBC attorney William Olson says, “The Clinton Administration told the states that if they specifically asked these people if they were citizens, that would be an assault on their civil rights. There are only three states that bother to do a secondary check to see if the people who are registered are U.S. citizens.”

The Democratic Congress passed the bill under tremendous Party, liberal and media pressure. Congress was repeatedly told that the bill would simply open up the democratic process to more people and that opponents of this approach were “racists” who wanted to restrict the vote to white well-to-do people.

Thanks to Clinton’s lax immigration, naturalization and voter registration policies, California is now a Democratic strong- hold, largely because of the increased Hispanic vote. In 1996, Rep. Bob Dornan was defeated for reelection in California by Loretta Sanchez by only 979 votes. A truncated House investigation found that 970 of them were invalid. Of these, non-citizens, most of whom used absentee ballots provided by the Sanchez campaign, cast 820. Dornan says Speaker Newt Gingrich wanted him to lose. He later learned that the investigative committee, chaired by Rep. Bill Thomas, had found 1,499 more illegal non-citizen ballots that they hid from him.

In 1994, strong evidence of vote fraud surfaced in Baltimore when Republican Ellen Sauerbrey was narrowly defeated for governor. State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli, a Democrat who later prosecuted Linda Tripp for taping her phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky, declined to prosecute the voter fraud case. Two former members of Maryland’s Administrative Board of Election Laws, a Republican and a Democrat, expressed shock, saying the election was clearly tainted and that there were numerous admitted violations of the election code.

Alien Voters Welcome

Rep. Stephen Horn of California had the courage to introduce the Voter Eligibility Verification Act, designed to prevent non-citizens from registering to vote. The bill would allow election officials to request and send the name, date of birth and Social Security number of any potential voter to the Social Security Administration and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to determine if they are truly citizens. Horn’s bill was brought to the floor under special procedures that required a two-thirds vote for passage, but it fell short and wasn’t brought up again.

In their book,Dirty Little Secrets, University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato and Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn R. Simpson assert that between 2 million and 3.4 million “phony registrations” litter the voting rolls in California alone. In a “60 Minutes” segment, correspondent Steve Kroft revealed that dogs and cats have been registered to vote in California. A small newspaper, the Carmel Pine Cone, helped publicize this by registering a fictitious person by mail and then solicited and received an absentee ballot for him. Kroft covered this in his “60 Minutes” story. The paper reported that Kroft was amazed to learn that people could register and vote without showing any identification in California. That also amazed a Floridian who moved to California. She reported to C-SPAN that in Florida, where the management of elections has been severely criticized, they at least try to reduce illegal voting by requiring voters to show photo ID cards.

Liberals Outvoted Conservatives

If we accept the raw figures, it appears that liberals won the majority of votes. Gore and Nader combined got over three million more votes than the more conservative candidates- Bush, Pat Buchanan and Howard Phillips. The Washington Post on November 3 had highlighted how liberal groups were “energized” over the election and were “mobilized…as never before in recent memory, spending more than $56 million, five times what they spent in 1996.” Most of the money was spent on television ads in support of Al Gore.

The Republicans failed to confront the power of organized labor. By one estimate, the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions may have put $1 billion into the presidential and congressional campaigns, much of it spent on get-out-the-vote activities. The AFL-CIO held a post-election news conference which said that union households made up a record high 26 percent of voters, up from 23 percent in 1996 and 1998. Yet unions represent only 13.9 percent of workers in the U.S. The labor group said that union turnout was a key factor in several states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.

Despite this propaganda assault, the AFL-CIO admits that 32 percent of its members voted for George W. Bush, but their union dues were used to support Al Gore.

CAN THE U.S. PROMOTE DEMOCRACY?

Helle Bering, editorial page editor of The Washington Times, was dismayed by the wrangling over the U.S. presidential election. She wrote, “The United States is considered throughout the world as the prime example of popular democracy. Through the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute as well as the Carter Center and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, we dispatch election monitors to far-flung countries…How much credibility will they have after this debacle?”

But her premise is wrong. The U.S. has not been consistently promoting democracy under the Clinton-Gore Administration. On the very day that Helle Bering’s column appeared, the AFP news service carried a story quoting U.S. officials as saying that “hard line nationalists” in the Serb part of Bosnia should be denied power. James Cunningham, deputy U.S. representative to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council, “We will continue to urge that obstructionists be kept out of the government.”

It appears that the Clinton-Gore administration was prepared to live with democracy only if it liked the results. In the Bosnian election, the nationalist Serb Democratic Party, the SDS, won 36.8 percent of the vote, the most of any one party. The U.S.-backed candidate, representing the Party of Independent Social Democrats, won only 17.9 percent of the vote. U.S. officials even complained about what the AFP news service called “illegal campaign activity.” American U.N. representative James Cunningham said these reports were another reason why the SDS party should not be permitted to exercise power.

Even before the Florida fiasco, the U.S. had no credibility when it came to free and fair elections in the Balkans. In another example of blatant hypocrisy occurring during the Kosovo war, on the very day that President Clinton had strongly denounced then-Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, saying “he uses repression and censorship at home to stifle dissent and to conceal what he is doing in Kosovo,” a story about U.S.-engineered censorship in Bosnia appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

The article cited several examples of censorship and asked the reader to consider whether it was Milosevic or some other Serb nationalist who was orchestrating this attack on a free press. It then revealed that the drive for censorship and control was coming, in part, from the U.S. Agency for International Development, which had supplied equipment to a Bosnian broad- caster and was threatening to take it back. Here is part of what the Journal reported about heavy-handed U.S. attempts to censor Bosnian Serb media: “(R)egulators ordered one small TV channel to stop broadcasting when it promoted anti-NATO protests; it initially defied the order but went off the air…and is negotiating to get back on. And authorities are insisting that other stations balance their Belgrade-inspired reports with Western views.”

Military Dictatorship

Bosnia is being held together by 30,000 foreign troops, including 7,000 Americans, which constitute a NATO-led force. Clinton said about the people there, “Nobody claims that we can make everyone love each other overnight. That is not required. But what is required are basic norms of civilized conduct.” But “civilized conduct” is being enforced at the point of a barrel of a gun. Technically, Bosnia is a NATO protectorate, where bureaucrats appointed by the United Nations run the country. The key NATO bureaucrat is Carlos Westendorp, who has complete authority to call in NATO peacekeepers to intimidate broadcasters or even take stations off the air.

After the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began, armed NATO peacekeepers were ordered into Bosnian Serb broadcasting stations to tell the journalists that they had to report the news in a manner approved by NATO or else they would be shut down. Robert Gillette, deputy director of the so-called Independent Media Commission, told the Journal that, “If somebody felt a little intimidated, good.” This commission is partly funded by the U.S. State Department and runs the local media. Which means that you’re helping to pay for repression and censorship.

The Independent Media Commission was described by the New York Times as a tribunal with “the power to shut [down] radio and television stations and punish newspapers that it decides are engaged in propaganda that is undermining the peace.” In other words, in the name of peace, our government is engaging in censorship. But it actually goes beyond censorship.

The government is not only going to decide what news gets broadcast or published, it will actually shut down media outlets which run stories that the censors don’t like. The story said the news from Bosnia would be monitored to make sure it meets “internationally accepted standards.” The panel even monitors the media for hate, racial epithets and ethnic slurs. Another part of the panel, an “intervention tribunal,” can punish news organizations if they are found to be engaged in “propaganda.” The punishments include being forced to make public apologies, paying fines and having media licenses revoked.

It would be unthinkable to allow a government agency in the U.S. to pore over our newspapers and news broadcasts looking for offending terms and phrases, and then requiring apologies and retractions. In Bosnia, U.N. bureaucrats can confiscate media assets and then decide on their own whether to return control of the media to the local owners. This smacks more of training for dictatorship than democracy. It involves nothing less than American taxpayers being forced to underwrite the establishment of a military dictatorship in a foreign country. But because it’s being done in the name of a good cause – “peace” – the reaction has been largely muted. A spokesman for the operation in Bosnia admitted, “This is all pretty groundbreaking.” But not really. Dictatorships have long used such tactics to suppress and silence the opposition, but our own free press has been loath to condemn what is happening.

The Corrupt Court

U.S. “pro-democracy” efforts are also underway in Yugoslavia, where Vojislav Kostunica has replaced Slobodan Milosevic as president after demonstrators in the streets protested his apparent attempt to steal the election. This transfer of power was encouraged and even financed by the U.S., which subsidized various opposition groups, but it apparently doesn’t go far enough to satisfy the nation-builders and “pro-democracy” forces in Washington. President Clinton’s Balkan envoy, James O’Brien, says foreign aid will end April 1 of next year unless it cooperates with the International War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague and eventually turns Milosevic over to the court for trial.

For his part, Kostunica says Yugoslavia should decide whether to try Milosevic for his alleged crimes. He told a Rockford Institute conference on November 14 that he would only authorize “modes of cooperation” with the tribunal. He has agreed to a liaison office for the tribunal in Yugoslavia but has not said he would allow investigators from the court to have access to the country for the purpose of identifying or apprehending war-crimes suspects.

The media portray the court, which issues secret indictments, as a legitimate effort to bring bad people to justice. But the operations of the tribunal have caused great concern. In one dramatic incident, American solders in Bosnia acting on behalf of the court rushed from an unmarked van to seize a suspected war criminal. He was snatched, tied up, and thrown into the van. Earlier, U.S. forces had provided back up for British troops who killed a war crimes suspect. Clearly, this “defendant” won’t be standing trial.

In another controversial case that came before the Yugoslavia tribunal, a Bosnian Serb named Goran Lajic was accused of carrying out atrocities against Muslims and Croats at a specific camp in northwestern Bosnia. He was one member of a group of Serbs indicted on charges of murder and torture. This case was featured by the American Bar Association-supported Coalition for International Justice as an example of how the court was doing its job.

Lajic had been arrested in Germany in March of 1996 and transported to The Hague, where the tribunal is based. He was arraigned and pleaded innocent, saying he had “never set eyes” on the camp in question. More than two months later, however, on June 17, 1996, the tribunal issued an order “for the withdrawal of the charges” against Lagic and he was returned to Germany. Without any explanation or apology, the court said it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

In another case, British NATO troops snatched Bosnian Serb twin brothers as “war crimes suspects” and took them to The Hague, where they were accused of torturing and beating to death Muslim prisoners. They insisted they were innocent and tribunal authorities finally admitted that it was all a mistake – another case of mistaken identity. The two men were sent home with an apology.

What You Can Do

Send the enclosed cards or your own card or letter to Larry Olmstead, managing editor of the Miami Herald, or to an editor of your choice. E-mail or call in a complaint to the New York Times. See the Notes for suggested complaints. The e-mail address is nytnews@nytimes.com The toll-free number to leave a recorded complaint is 1-888-698-6397.




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