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The "Gray" Lady is Still Channeling Jayson Blair
by Jan Ireland
24 September 2003New York Times

The New York Times editorial board tried to stop the California recall, even as Times reporters reported that punch card ballots are more reliable than touch screen ballots.


Though he is ignominiously gone from the physical building, it seems the New York Times may still be channeling Jayson Blair.  The fired reporter’s manipulation of story lines, embellishment, ‘rearranging’ of facts, and at times complete fabrication -- seems to have resurfaced.  The Times has published an editorial directly contradicting itself, or reversing itself, or simply circling itself.  Who knows, anymore, with the Times?

The Times pontificated again recently.  It raged about throwing out votes, and discriminating according to domicile.  It lauded the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to stop the California recall.  Time was necessary, it averred, to allow for the replacement of the ‘heavily flawed’ punch card ballot machines with the ‘more reliable’ touch screen machines. 

Trouble is, this position directly contradicts the Times’ own reporters.  The paper investigated and ran a story which showed that punch card ballots are more reliable than touch screen ballots. The story even came with graphics, and as the Times itself has said, it has ‘all the news that’s fit to print.’ 

So, which is it, Jayson…uh, New York Times?

Are we to trust the reporters of the New York Times, who toil mightily in search of the truth?  Are we to trust the editorial board of the New York Times, who…hmmm.  What is it exactly that they do? 

Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger bragged in 1994 that buying a Times was like buying a ‘guide;’ that you got ‘credibility.’   That ‘credibility’ certainly seems in question of late, and new meaning has been given to the term ‘Gray’ Lady. 

There was a chance for the editorial board of the New York Times, erstwhile newspaper of record, to put to rest the lies that have perpetuated about punch card ballots used in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. 

Those maligned punch card ballots performed perfectly well in the counting machines.

They were, however, vulnerable in the hands of partisan Democrat officials, anxious to steal the election for Gore.  We all remember the ‘challenges,’ when Democrat officials demanded to ‘hold’ a ballot so that it could be examined.  Later came the expose of how votes for Gore were increased, and votes for Bush were rendered unusable.  This is the area punch card ballots are overly vulnerable in -- poll workers willing to do anything to steal an election. 

It is noteworthy, and still absent from the Times editorial, that despite those attempts, George Bush won every count, recount, and count again. 

And there is still another ethical question, not addressed by the Times editorial.  If the Times ‘knew’ the punch card ballots were so heavily flawed, why didn’t they editorialize when Joseph Graham (Gray, for telegeniety) Davis was elected with those same machines? 

They did not run stories at the time of Davis’s reelection campaign, suggesting that the election be postponed, the machines be replaced, or that minorities would be disenfranchised.  And they did not protest those machines, or run any such stories, when the Democrat candidate won. 

The same machines are in place today.  But there is now a very good chance that a Republican will win the office of governor.

Suddenly, stories appear about ‘40,000’ minorities apt to be disenfranchised, minorities and poor people unable to navigate the intricacies of the punch pin, and the ineffable joy of replacing those toxic punch card ballot machines with the touch screen.

The emperor is steadily losing all his clothes. 

But never mind.  The Times may come out all right.  Jayson Blair is reported to have gotten a six figure book deal.  Maybe the Times can get a three figure.

Jan Ireland is a masters level counselor/teacher, who has turned to writing. She says that obfuscation in the media prompts her to search for the
hidden
.

Email Jan Ireland

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