I’ve had enough of Farhad Manjoo’s articles on the 2004 election. He is at it again this week as the self-designated hatchet man for Mark Crispin Miller’s new book Fooled Again!
This book may or may not have merit. But Manjoo takes the occasion to launch a largely ad hominem on Mark Crispin Miller and by extension on anyone who would question the results of a presidential election. I wrote a long letter to the editor substantive enough I thought I may as well put up here as well. I hesitated as Manjoo’s original article really isn’t worth reading. But election fraud is worth talking about. Here’s the letter:
I am amazed that of the fifteen odd letters, the four chosen as Editor’s choice for this article, are booster pitches for Farhad Manjoo.
And frankly I am astonished that Farhad Manjoo is still allowed to cover election fraud issues. He has been so tendencious and didactic in his dismissal of any notion that fraud may have taken place, that quite frankly, I believe he protests too much.
Why has Mr. Manjoo decided a priori that election fraud in a presidential election is an impossibility? It has before happened – among other places, in Chicago in 1960 when Democrat John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon. It appears to have happened in 2000 in Florida with the personal intervention of G.W. Bush’s brother’s handpicked officials. It appears to have happened in 2004 with a huge discrepancy between exit polls (showing Kerry up more than three percent) and final results in Ohio, New Mexico and several other swing states.
The specious reasoning involved in explaining those exit poll numbers is mind-boggling:
- Bush people work later and harder than Kerry supporters so they come to vote later, after the pollsters are gone
(Kerry supporters and Democrats don’t work?).
- Bush people are proud and secretive and won’t talk to pollsters
(more often loud-mouthed braggarts who can’t wait to shove their vote in your face).
- The pollsters are young people and want to talk to other young people
(hello, these are trained and briefed pollsters working according to established field-proven methods – did they suddenly decide this year that they were on a camping trip to make election day friends?).
The electronic voting machines can be tampered with. Election results would suggest that they were tampered with. At this point, the burden of proof ought to shift to the Farhad Manjoo camp to prove that there was no tampering.
But no, Mr. Manjoo has had his mind made up for a long time. Frankly, I don’t want to read another of his dismissive and condescending articles on the subject. Like Bill Batten I think
Farhad Manjoo should be retired from this brief. I sympathize with Robert Sterling’s position – articles like this make me regret my Salon subscription. The right-wing talking heads numerous enough that we don’t need to sponsor another one here. These Manjoo election fraud articles remind me of the Republican apologists in a Tom Tomorrow cartoon.
Both of the letters mentioned above are a great deal more deserving of being an Editor’s Choice than the backslapping tripe in support of Farhad Manjoo you have chosen.
Others have suggested it, and I will too – the recently released GAO (Government Accountability Office) report was highly damning of the 2004 process and by implication results. Apparently there have been more anomalies in recent Ohio referendum results which are widely the contrary of survey polls – on issues – like campaign finance – which matter a lot to the Republicans.
With Farhad Manjoo’s free pass for election fraud (John Kerry is to be seriously faulted for not questioning the results at the time), you are making the blighters even bolder.
Wake up and put a real reporter on this beat.
Salon should be at the forefront of demanding a paper trail and paper recounts, not the leading whitewasher and apologist for election fraud.
Check out the live links above. The 2004 election results are more than suspicious. It is unbelievable that in the United States, election results are no longer verifiable, real recounts impossible. Some things are just better done long hand. Elections are one of them.
Very interesting article. A lot of us are puzzled by the empty rage of Manjoo and others, claiming 300 pages of emptiness in the book but providing nothing to support the idea that there’s no evidence, and nothing to dispute 300 pages of footnoted evidence as adding up to nothing. Why would five swing states all show exit poll victories for Kerry, but in the end the election itself is awarded to Bush? Such discrepancies are grounds to investigate both the election and exit polls, but the data for both are kept secret. On the election with secret data (ballots) and secret methods of vote counting on trade secret corporate software, we are merely provided with miraculous results that come out of nothingness. Thus, there’s no basis for confidence in these results, when nobody can verify them in any way because of the secret vote counting taking place without any disclosure.