Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I assume that, as I’ve been lolling about in my dog days desuetude, you’ve been following the late summer blogospheric storm over yet another egregious lie penned by the New York Times’ resident Pinocchio, Paul Krugman. If not, National Review Online’s Donald Luskin summarizes the facts quite generously in “It’s the Truth that Counts”.
In a nutshell (the most appropriate of metaphors for Krugman’s little world), the Times’ columnist asserted (last Friday), in the context of a more voluminous and deranged rant, that in the aftermath of the 2000 election, “two different news media consortiums reviewed Florida’s ballots; both found that a full manual recount would have given the election to Mr. Gore.” As usual for Mr. Krugman, this is a lie of both commission and omission.
Consider what the member papers of the two consortia reported themselves:
On May 15, 2001, the USA Today’s Dennis Cauchon in “Newspapers’ Recount Shows Bush Prevailed” reported that “George W. Bush would have won a hand count of Florida’s disputed ballots if the standard advocated by Al Gore had been used, the first full study of the ballots reveals. Bush would have won by 1,665 votes — more than triple his official 537-vote margin — if every dimple, hanging chad and mark on the ballots had been counted as votes, a USA TODAY/Miami Herald/Knight Ridder study shows. The study is the first comprehensive review of the 61,195 ‘undervote’ ballots that were at the center of Florida’s disputed presidential election.”
Similarly, on April 4, 2001 in “Bush Still Wins Florida in Newspaper Recount” CNN revealed that “if a recount of Florida’s disputed votes in last year’s close presidential election had been allowed to proceed by the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican George W. Bush still would have won the White House, two newspapers reported Wednesday.
“The Miami Herald and USA Today conducted a comprehensive review of 64,248 ‘undercounted’ ballots in Florida’s 67 counties that ended last month.
“Their count showed that Bush’s razor-thin margin of 537 votes — certified in December by the Florida Secretary of State’s office — would have tripled to 1,665 votes if counted according to standards advocated by his Democratic rival, former Vice President Al Gore.”
With respect to the second consortium, the New York Times itself declared that “a comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year’s presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward. Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged [my italics], the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court’s order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
“Even under the strategy that Mr. Gore pursued at the beginning of the Florida standoff — filing suit to force hand recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties — Mr. Bush would have kept his lead, according to the ballot review conducted for a consortium of news organizations.”
Also reporting on this second conortium, CNN, in “Florida Recount Study: Bush Still Wins”, avowed that “a comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.” In particular, they observed, “suppose that Gore got what he originally wanted — a hand recount in heavily Democratic Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Volusia counties. The study indicates that Gore would have picked up some additional support but still would have lost the election — by a 225-vote margin statewide.”
If you missed their analysis, Power Line’s John Hinderaker and American Thinker’s Richard Baer each have excellent and extensive commentaries on Krugman’s latest prevarications. Far more terse, but entertainingly wry, is Evan Coyne Maloney’s quick summary at Brain Terminal.


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