The biggest story unfit to print

CBS, the network America trusts to deliver Democrat propaganda, defended its decision to run with a story—— one that relied heavily on clumsily forged documents—— intended to discredit President Bush's service in the Air National Guard: We have been working on this for five years, proclaimed Gunga Dan. And if it turned out that Bush, having greatly exceeded his flight requirements for the first four years of his hitch, really did decide to coast in the last two (returning Vietnam vets had produced a glut of pilots), the story would still be utterly trivial.

As CBS toiled to knock its hit piece into shape, the world continued to spin and events with actual news content continued to occur. A few of these were undoubtedly worthy of attention, but they sometimes presented the mainstream media with an ethical dilemma, as the desired Republican villains were not always available. One combination of celebrity and scandal with tremendous marquee value had to be discarded because the key player was a liberal woman (lacking color and a foreign birthplace, she missed the Victim superfecta) who thoroughly deserved everything she took.

Hillary Rodham Clinton began her protracted presidential campaign four years ago by claiming a Senate seat from a state she didn't live in. Her pro—Palestinian sentiments caused problems with New York's large Jewish population, and in particular, allowed her opponent, Rick Lazio, to trounce her in Hasidic communities. Except for one.

New Square Community, in Rockland County, contained four prominent men who got very rich by applying for and receiving Federal scholarships for 1500 students. The students didn't exist and the four men picked 'Go Directly to Jail' cards. The Smartest Woman Who Ever Lived visited New Square in August of 2000. In November, she won that district by the tidy margin of 1400 to 12 (a cool 99.15%). In December, a delegation from New Square journeyed to Washington, D.C. and visited with America's first Jewish President, who bit his lower lip and felt their pain. In January 2001, the four naughty Hasids were pardoned.

All of this has a familiar ring. True, it's the most spectacularly unambiguous example of vote—buying to come along the pike in a hound's age, but the Clintons do lots of crooked things. There is much huffing and puffing; they dare anyone to do something about it; nobody does nuthin'. All right, it's not much of a story.

The big story, the most sensational story never reported, was breaking in Palm Beach County, Florida.

First, some background: Peter Kirsanow, a Bush appointment to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has been described by Rich Lowry of the National Review as 'a one—man truth squad.' In that capacity, he has spearheaded an assault on all the canards pertaining to the Florida recount imbroglio that have been disseminated and pounded into the national consciousness by the Left.

Start with the notorious 'felon purge list.' Kirsanow writes:

But facts are stubborn things. Whites were actually twice as likely as blacks to be erroneously placed on the list. In fact, an exhaustive study by the Miami Herald concluded that 'the biggest problem with the felon list was not that it prevented eligible voters from casting ballots, but that it ended up allowing ineligible voters to cast a ballot.' According to the Palm Beach Post, more than 6500 ineligible felons voted.

Those police checkpoints that intimidated black voters? The basis for this legend was a single checkpoint, the subject of a well—publicized complaint filed with the NAACP, located two miles from the nearest polling place. It operated for ninety minutes, and issued 16 citations for faulty equipment, 12 of them to whites. "The incontrovertible evidence shows that no one was delayed or prohibited from voting due to the lone checkpoint."

What about the sinister plot by Governor Jeb Bush, or Secretary of State Katherine Harris, or Doctor Doom, to disenfranchise black voters? Blacks, who constitute 11% of Florida's population, cast 14% of the state's votes in 2000, and their turnout was up 300,000 over 1996——data highly inconvenient to the mythmakers. Peter the Great will drive the final nail into the coffin of this pernicious untruth:

Again, reality intrudes...the responsibility for the conduct of elections is in the hands of county supervisors, not the governor or secretary of state. County supervisors are independent officers answerable to county commissioners, not the governor or secretary of state. And in 24 of the 25 counties that had the highest ballot—spoilage rates, the county supervisor was a Democrat. (In the remaining county the supervisor was not a Republican, but an independent.)

It appears as though the Stolen Election is set to join the alligators in the sewers, which, come to think of it, is precisely where it belongs. Factor in the networks' election night knavery of announcing repeatedly that the polls in Florida had closed, when, in reality, Panhandle voters had an hour left——this stunt cost Bush a net of between 8,000 (Democrat strategist Bob Beckel's estimate) and 15,000 (Republican estimates) votes——and all of those drooling Moore—ons stumbling out of Fahrenheit 9/11 to parrot their obese guru's ravings will need to find a new script. But something is missing from this account.

John Fund, the author of Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, knows what it is. He tells us in his indispensable book:

In the confusion and chaos after the 2000 election, an anomaly occurred that many people believe ended up costing George W. Bush thousands of votes in Palm Beach. Bear with me while I go through some numbers; they are important because they suggest fraud. One former Democratic Congressman I spoke with said that 'no other conclusion explains the bizarre numbers'; and two law—enforcement officers said they received credible reports on election night of tampering with punch—card ballots in Palm Beach, but in the chaos of the post—election period they were told not to follow up.

Space does not permit a full exposition of Fund's brilliant investigative and deductive work. The main points are as follows: 1) 'Palm Beach produced 19,120 overvotes that night, a 4.4 percent error rate——ten times the error rate of 0.4 percent in the rest of Florida, or of any large jurisdiction in the rest of the country that used punch—card ballots other than Chicago.'

2) 'Only in Palm Beach County did Gore gain 750 votes in the initial post—election recount and Bush almost nothing. In 50 out of 67 counties, the total change was less than seven votes, and in 63 out of 67 counties the total change was less than thirty votes either way.'

 3) "In every precinct in Palm Beach where Gore got more votes than there are registered Democrats, Bush received less than 60 percent of the registered Republican votes.'

4) Bush, a popular candidate within his own party, received fewer votes in Palm Beach than Bill McCollum, the Republican senatorial candidate who lost the state by nearly 300,000 votes.

5) More implausibly, Bush got fewer votes than the combined total of the four Republicans running for Congress in Palm Beach, 152,969 to 158,211. Gore, by contrast, received 269,732 to the four Democrats' 214,307. Study those numbers and see if the problem doesn't reveal itself.

6) In Palm Beach County '...the ballots aren't counted at the precinct but instead must be transported by car to a central counting station.'

7) The punch line:

'I was told by two former law—enforcement officers and a poll watcher that they believe ballot tampering affected some Bush ballots on election night. This fraud took place after the polls had closed and the poll watchers had gone home. Precinct officials improperly reopened the ballot transfer cases, in at least one instance while taking the 'scenic' route to the election center where the punch cards would be tabulated. Using a nail, pencil or other sharp device, they would take a ballot and punch out Al Gore's name for president. If the person had voted for Gore, the nail would go through air. But if the person had voted for George Bush or anyone else, the ballot would be invalidated, thereby reducing the vote count for that candidate. I was told by one former law—enforcement officer that this was done in at least two heavily Democratic precincts that registered an unusually low number of Bush votes.'

There is more: buy the book.

Words are inadequate to cope with the enormity of what happened in Florida in the last presidential election. Adding together the votes suppressed in the Panhandle, the military absentee ballots thrown out by Democrat lawyers, and the ballots invalidated in Palm Beach County, Bush won that state by about 30,000 votes. Pause and reflect. It's staggering. For almost four years, the nation has been polarized and a decent man's reputation has been besmirched by scoundrels who are unhappy that they didn't manage to steal quite enough votes to cheat the rightful winner out of the presidency. All of that rage, that phony righteous indignation——the hypocritical criminals!

This story could have won a Pulitizer for a real old—fashioned reporter (well, actually it couldn't have——the bad guys belong to the wrong party). The ideologized impostors who filed one mendacious account after another, sniffing out imaginary voter suppression, never had a clue, or if they did suspect something, prided themselves on being Democrats first, journalists second.

The reason cheating isn't rampant in public poker games is that there are penalties for it. Democrats lie quadrennially about social security; Kerry is currently lying about the draft and blatantly distorting positions he has taken, e.g., on military options in Tora Bora——there is no downside. A monumental blunder by Bush and Rove—their refusal to present the facts about the Florida mess—has encouraged their stop—at—nothing foes, laying the groundwork for fraud on a massive scale this Tuesday. When Democrats cheat, Republicans get hurt slightly if they're vigilant, and badly if they're not. There is no downside for the cheaters.

A fair and responsible media would——and should—— function as moral arbiters. The partisan thugs who control the major networks and the most influential dailies are accomplices to the crime, when they are not themselves the perpetrators.