Thursday, December 02, 2004

MIS-TRUTH: Is General Electric Knocking on Keith Olbermann's Door?


For those of you who saw light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for the mainstream media with respect to the U.S. votergate issue -- that tunnel is now a bit longer and a bit darker, thanks to Keith Olbermann. On his blog, dated December 1, 2004, he writes:

Each and every day since our coverage of all this began on November 8, I have received a set of emails, some times a few, some times many, asking “Why don’t you have Bev Harris on Countdown?,” “Why don’t you run the Bev Harris videotapes?,” “Why don’t you show the voting tapes Bev Harris found discarded in the trash in Florida?”

Because she won’t let us.

Wow!! Really?! Sounds like Bev, herself, is hiding something, doesn't it? Olbermann continues:

I have not dealt with Ms. Harris directly, but my staff has, and though we have asked her on a regular basis to let us show these tapes on national television, she has declined.
O.K. it has now been asserted by Olbermann that Bev Harris has replied to MSNBC that she will not release "the tapes". I assume Olbermann is talking about both the video and voting tapes.

Well, I guess we should hear the other side of the story, shouldn't we? On (Bev Harris' site), a completely different truth emmerges:
Contrary to Olbermann's assertions, neither he nor his staff have ever spoken with Harris to ask her to show anyone the Volusia County tapes. Producers now admit that they have not spoken to Harris at all since November 8, when they cancelled a scheduled appearance on Countdown. Harris did not come to Florida until November 12, when investigations in Volusia County began. Both Executive Producer Izzy Povich and producer Katy Carp admitted they have not been able to get hold of Harris at all since Nov. 8.
Are Olbermann and Harris in different parallel universes?!! Two accounts of the same story couldn't be any more different than that! Huh?!.........What's that, Keith?.........Oh, you want to clarify something for us (excerpt from Keith's December 2 blog):
My staff is not certain that any of our messages to Ms. Harris inviting her on the show since the week of November 15 have specifically asked her for permission to play the videotapes of her work trying to audit the Florida vote. We think so, but I’ve got only three people booking all the guests on this program, and they each probably make about 100 calls a day.
Looks like ol' Keithy-boy is doing some professional mainstream backtracking on his comments -- I'm surprised he didn't erase his previous blog entry (you DO know you can do that -- eh, Keith?) But....but....I've only got three people booking! But....but...there are a lot of guests!! But...but....100 calls a day is a lot of calls!!!! This, ladies and gentlemen, is a professional American journalist making these comments.

Here's another couple of comments by an "informed" professional American journalist:
...She burst into LePore’s retirement ceremony, her cameraman rolling tape as she did so, and she raced to the podium to announce to the shocked room full of supervisors that she was “serving” LePore with papers as part of her lawsuits over what she claims are LePore’s evasions in providing records of the 2004 vote...

...she may also have an interest in making her own documentary, on her own schedule, for her own purposes...

With those comments, it is clear that American journalists are clearly NOT well informed. Oh, I forgot, Keith has at least 400 calls to make in one day!! -- please set the record straight:

Also contrary to Olbermann's claims, Harris is not making a documentary, but the makers of the Votergate documentary, an independent team who captured the Volusia County trash incident on film, are eager to interview Keith Olbermann on camera to ask him why he produced this report.
Is that right? O.K., how about the "grandstanding" issue?
When Harris asked about Olbermann's mischaracterizations of the LePore incident (which he characterized as "crashing" "rushing" and "screaming.") Izzy Povich said that they took those details "from other news sources." When asked by Harris, she declined to name any of the news sources. When Harris stated that she has always been, and was still willing to come on the show, Povich said they are not interested in having Harris as a guest, but only in getting copies of the videotapes.
Olbermann has never referenced those "other news sources" on his blog yet. However, he seems to be very sensitive lately:
Only today did she even get back in touch with us, and was so belligerent, threatening, and demanding, that we have chosen to withdraw our invitation to her to appear, or to have videotape of her efforts played, on Countdown.

He failed to mention this little detail, however:

Harris arranged for the owner of the Volusia County videotapes to call Povich and offer her the tapes. Povich admitted that producers had never tried to call the owners of the tape. The tape was offered to Povich by its producers, who called to make the tape available, but Olbermann's producers have so far not returned the call.

or this little nugget:

The NBC local affiliate in Palm Beach County asked for the LePore videotape, which Harris promptly provided. The LePore tape was aired on both Orlando and Palm Beach County NBC affiliates on Dec. 1.

So it seems that the NBC affiliates don't see Bev Harris as "belligerent" or "threatening". Olbermann is offended that Harris said that Countdown has withdrawn her invitation to appear or haven't made an effort to have the videotape shown. Why is he so offended? IT'S TRUE!!!! Even by his own account!!!

I leave this post with Keith Olbermann, who now sees himself as the only honourable mainstream American journalist out there (God help us!!!):

Threats against myself or my staff will not be tolerated. We are not only busting our humps on the voting irregularities beat, but we remain the only mainstream news organization to continue to cover this vital story. These are my people — they are running professional risks I can’t begin to describe — and I will stand up for them, first, last, and always.

I wonder what these "threats" by Bev Harris were? Perhaps, a demand for an apology? That's my guess. All I can say is that when a professional journalist LIES about Bev Harris "declining" to show the poll tapes and videotapes (which are not hers to begin with), then "standing up" for the ideals of journalism also means making a public apology to a person who has been "busting her humps" to truly investigate an issue which means so much to American democracy. You have lied, misinformed and smeared one of the most important investigators dedicated to finding out the truth in the 2004 election. I'm sure General Electric is thanking you for that effort.

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