Their Election Fraud versus Ours

Robert Parry of Consortium News (6/15/09) gives hearing to a “strong case” to “undercut the widespread media assumption” of electoral fraud in Iran. But, true or not, “the rush to the ‘fraud’ judgment among much of the U.S. news media is shaping the political realities” and posing that “Ahmadinejad’s ‘theft’ of the election proves that hardliners in Israel and neoconservatives in the United States were right all along about the impossibility of dealing rationally with Iran”–the predictable upshot being “that force is the only option to employ against Iran.”

Parry also is “curious to see U.S. news organizations care suddenly about legitimate elections when most of them ignored, ridiculed or covered-up evidence that George W. Bush stole the U.S. presidential election in 2000 and possibly in 2004 as well”:

In Election 2000, Florida–a state controlled by Bush’s brother Jeb and Jeb’s cronies–was the scene of widespread election irregularities. Then, when a recount was attempted, the Bush campaign sent well-dressed hooligans from Washington to Miami to stage a riot aimed at intimidating vote counters. Finally, Bush got five partisan Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes and award the White House to Bush.

Yet the U.S. press corps was extraordinarily passive about this well-documented election theft. Even when it became clear that Al Gore won the popular vote and would have carried Florida if all legal ballots had been counted, major U.S. news organizations, including the New York Times and CNN, misrepresented the facts to protect Bush’s “legitimacy.”…

Similarly, serious irregularities in Election 2004, especially in the key state of Ohio, were never seriously investigated by the mainstream news media, which instead mocked Internet sites (including ours) and citizens groups as “conspiracy theorists” for citing some of the bizarre vote tallies favoring Bush.

“When an election occurs in another country and an ‘unpopular’ leader appears to win,” Parry tells how “an opposite set of rules apply,” and in corporate journalists’ eyes, “anyone who doesn’t immediately accept the assumption of voter fraud is naive; every ‘conspiracy theory’ is cited respectfully while contrary evidence is downplayed or ignored.”