portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

election fraud | media criticism

"Democracy Now" Propaganda for Electoral Fraud and Fallujah Massacre, by Scott Loughrey

Amy Goodman and 'Democracy Now' never have appeared more like CIA assets than in the aftermath of the November 2nd, 2004 "election".
Bush Letterboxing
Bush Letterboxing
Larry Diamond
Larry Diamond
Amy Goodman Awed
Amy Goodman Awed
Note: Thanks to the Webfairy for the images which are reproduced under Fair Use guidelines.

On November 3rd, 2004, John Kerry conceded the Presidential race to George Bush while hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots were still uncounted in Ohio. Either he quit believing that he could not win?or something more sinister happened. Specifically, I'm referring to the possibility that Kerry was never running, that his campaign was a charade. Technically this idea implies that something very similar to a coup d'etat has been executed in the US, since a political organization has retained power without an election.

#file_1#

Questions about Kerry's lackluster "campaign" are natural when considering how lethargically he waged it. For example, his campaign simply skipped the March for Women protest in Washington, DC. (Held on 4/2/04, it drew 1.2 million, high-energy people many of whom enthusiastically supported him.) Many commentators have also noted that Kerry was swept into the role of Democratic front-runner after the mainstream media abruptly sabotaged Howard Dean's effort. In addition, much has been said about Kerry and Bush's similar station and ties to the same mysterious Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale.

We should also take note of Democracy Now!'s revealing programming on 11/3, 11/4, 11/5 and 11/8/04. (DN is an immensely popular hour-long daily news program which airs on Pacifica Radio and which is reportedly now owned by its leading figure, Amy Goodman.) At no point during this period did DN have someone mention that a single company had counted sixty million votes. While DN provided some useful information during this period it provided no single fact (like Christopher Bollyn's claim) that would galvanize the dejected Left into action. In addition, I will argue that DN served a propaganda function for the pending US assault of Fallujah. Not bad for a news resource that many anti-war activists regard as a treasure.

Democracy Now! - the Aftermath of 11/2

11/3 Broadcast

In reviewing the news shows aired by Democracy Now on 11/3, 11/4, 11/5 and 11/8/04 it is clear that DN was very narrowly framing its discussions about the Presidential election. For example, on the (two-hour) 11/3 program host Amy Goodman mentions an email she received asking why Kerry quit with "a quarter of a million provisional ballots" still uncounted. As if speaking for the Kerry campaign she asks rhetorically whether a candidate is entitled to quit.

All of the other people who appear on DN's 11/3 program authenticate the election results. DN producer Jeremy Scahill impatiently compares Kerry's quick concession with the weeks-long, post-election suspense in 2000. (Phyliss Bennis later draws the same comparison.) In addition, guests Mahdi Bray and Pacifica National Board member Leslie Cagan all affirm that Kerry lost an election that he was seriously contesting. Michael Ratner expresses only a marginal amount of concern over the uncounted votes in Ohio.

An ironic choice, Scott McConnell of the American Conservative Magazine appears for a lengthy segment. McConnell argues that Kerry quit because he could not be regarded as the legitimate winner, having lost the popular vote. No one reminds the audience that this is exactly the situation that Bush was in when first inaugurated.

11/4 Broadcast

Early on the next day (11/4) Amy Goodman asserts that Bush won the popular vote. She states that Kerry had quit because of a determination he could not win. We then see an excerpt of Kerry's concession speech. This is followed by an unusually favorable clip of Bush's acceptance speech. In it Bush is shown at his most likeable and conciliatory; i.e., Bush humbly asking for the support of all Americans.

Co-host Juan Gonzalez then proceeds into a lengthy segment. First, he's astonished at how the Black vote largely went to the Democrats. Then Gonzalez takes issue with the long lines that some people had to endure when voting. Then Gonzalez cites voting irregularities with the New Mexico election. (According to news reports most of the allegations of fraud and abuse came from Florida and Ohio.) . Moving to the Buckeye State, Gonzalez is "amazed" that Ohio is publishing voting statistics at the county and not at the precinct level. Then Gonzalez legitimates Bush's claim he won in Ohio by arguing that it came about from the inherent racism that goes along with that area of the country.

American University law professor Jamin Raskin then appears for a long segment. Raskin urges reform of the 225+ year-old Electoral College. He also legitimates the results by suggesting it came about from the GOP's use of gerrymandering. Following this author Esther Kaplan appears. She also validates the election results by claiming that the GOP won because of a backlash against social concerns like gay marriage. (Goodman and Gonzalez agree with her.) Robert Parry is the last guest on. Parry validates the election by explaining Bush won because of the conservative media infrastructure.

11/5

On the 11/5/04 program Goodman says little of significance about the election. She mentions 4,500 lost votes in North Carolina. Also, she briefly mentions that VoteProtect.org reports over 1,100 calls to their phone number from people protesting the election.

11/8

On the 11/8/04 program Goodman again brings up the issue of Kerry quitting the campaign so quickly. However, she directs the conversation towards "... the use of the electronic voting machines..." Then she proceeds to offer a brief list of some of the irregularities with voting.

E-voting activists Bev Harris and Professor Aviel Rubin appear. Harris discusses her organization's upcoming freedom of information request (FOIA) campaign. She describes her request as requesting audits of selected selection machines at selected, individual precincts. During Rubin's segment he advocates the use of paper audits. Goodman and Rubin both wonder why there are so many who are not embracing the paper ballot panacea. Neither mentions the alternative of requiring the use of open source software with the electronic voting machines.

All in all, Democracy Now!'s news reports from 11/3 to 11/8 were so favorable to the outcome of those benefiting from the "election" that anti-war activists should reevaluate the integrity of this program and the people on camera. If this weren't enough, DN simultaneously provided a great propaganda service to the military with regards to their upcoming assault/massacre of civilians in Fallujah.

Democracy Now! and Fallujah Top

Democracy Now!'s propaganda effort on behalf of the US military assault on Fallujah is obvious when reviewing the 11/5/04 broadcast. Early on Bush is seen at a press conference. Speaking about Fallujah the reporter asks him "What the objective is, stakes are for the United States, the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi elections coming up in January." Curiously, Democracy Now! letter boxes both the reporter's question and Bush's reply. Bush's reply to the question appears smarmy, smirking, sadistic and rambling. However, the red letter box featuring animated sound waves dispersing above Bush's head distracts attention from Bush's lack of statesmanship. The chaos that DN is inserting above Bush's head is window dressing designed to improve Bush's effectiveness.

#file_2# #file_3#

Shortly after this Amy Goodman has on Larry Diamond, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Diamond is also affiliated with the National Endowment for Democracy. Goodman never mentions it but both the Hoover Institute and NED are said to have long-time connections with the CIA. (So does Pacifica, apparently.)

Goodman and Diamond both discuss Fallujah with just their faces and bodies lit; the background is black. Diamond repeatedly states that the objective of the US military is to remove the threat posed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. (As with any ghost story Zarqawi's menace is enhanced by the limited lighting.) Goodman never hints that there is enormous skepticism around the world about whether Zarqawi is CIA fiction designed to justify the slaughter of Fallujah's civilian population. When Diamond concludes his presentation with only modest criticism of the top military brass Goodman effusively praises him, saying:

"... this is very powerful coming from you, working at the Hoover Institution. We hear this from others, actually, in government as well, but peace activists, but for you to be at the prime Bush think tank in the country, for you, who was a senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, is quite astounding... (Goodman, 11/5/04)." What happened to the 'Exception to the Rulers' here?

Space precludes conducting film analyses of the audio and visual montages that DN aired in the four programs cited (from 11/3 to 11/8/04). In brief, they all appear to this author to be examples of cinematic propaganda designed to serve the Pentagon's interests. The most obvious is the video clip DN aired (11/4) of a smiling Bush standing with his lovely wife and daughters (11/4) as they wave to people off camera after Kerry's concession. Did Karl Rove select it?

In conclusion, Democracy Now's propaganda function on behalf of power was never more transparent than in the aftermath of the 2004 Presidential "election". If DN is not currently being sponsored by the CIA--it should be.

Scott Loughrey
Can Scott Say 12.Nov.2004 16:28

me

Out of context. You think a few sentences and excerpts taken out of context are going to convince us of your childish opinoin. Get your own fuckin radio show shithead. DN does a better job than ANY news program in the US, including Indymedia, KBOO, etc. These desparate attacks are to be excepted as DN grows in popularity, but I never thought it would reach the parallel to racist logic. For example, the "radicals" feel the need to pick on black churches for not strongly opposing Measure 36 while neglecting to mention the whites from all classes largely voting in favor of it. that might be somewhat unrelated, but Scott's piece really reminds me of it.

uh, very unconvinced 12.Nov.2004 16:37

empire slayer

personally knowing several of the people who put together "democracy now!", i can say that it is extremely unlikely that DN! is a CIA front. while i always encourage people to question everything, this author's conclusions seem like one more red herring, one more distraction from the real issues. surely, there MUST be something more important to de-construct than DN! i am completely unconvinced and i just don't really care. i want to spend my time building my local community.

Who funds DN? 12.Nov.2004 20:36

truth seeker

Check out: www questionsquestions.net/gatekeepers.html

reply 12.Nov.2004 20:49

Salamander

Obviously Democracy Now is not a CIA front. It is however blinded by liberal ABB ideology and too much in bed with the liberal intelligentsia. DN should be trumpeting the rampant voter fraud, and not falling into the trap of figuring out why Bush won when he didn't.

Democracy Now is cool when it comes to many social issues, but they are blind and dumb when it comes to anything to do with the Presidential election. Please stop saying that DN is a CIA front. That just detracts and distracts from very valid criticism of the cozy connection between Democracy Now and the Democratic Party and liberal media spin. It is bad news when radical grassroots media efforts begin to sound the same as entrenched liberal institutions like the Nation.

question authority 12.Nov.2004 20:50

gadfly

It's right to question Amy Goodman and anyone else in the media. But instead of just critiquing, send her suggestions--share your concerns about vote fraud, direct her to sources. See if she picks up on it. Whatever reason Amy is not running this story, she needs to start. The CIA or any of the other alphabet agencies COULD exert control. Since they've infiltrated the mainstream media, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see them infesting alternative media. Put the pressure on all media, including alternative, to tell the truth. There can be no doubt that there was massive vote fraud, and I say that not because I care which candidate won, because I don't. But what the hell are we doing playing this phony role of voter if our votes don't count?

DN 12.Nov.2004 21:09

Jason

It is much worse than being CIA (which it obviously is not). Rather it is the all too human characteristic of being influenced by fame and power. The allure of Democratic Party power, and wanting to be accepted into powerful liberal circles will cause a person to begin to reflect the party dogma. Democracy Now does a good job in various ways, but you simply cannot count on it for all things. It will not really touch 911, and it is so far avoiding to a significant degree the stolen election.

It also talks in a rather mainstream manner, adopting established structures and methodology. Things that get big and famous lose their edge. Criticize DN, understand it, then go create something new, fresh, and better. More original, local, passionate and truthful. It is one experiment, and has done and is doing good. We can all develop the art of spending less time criticizing and more time creating.

When it comes down to it, there just should not be big national shows. Nothing is so great that millions of people should view it. There is a cultish air around Amy Goodman.

leftgatekeepers 16.Dec.2004 07:28

realist

The problem of this nation is not the controlled and hijacked right wing media, but an infiltrated and controlled left wing media. It's even worse. They pretend to be in the opposition, but they're fake.

By not addressing the biggest lie in history, that 9/11 was an inside job, they provoked the killings of 100.000s of people and become complicit. Also all elections in this country had been controlled. Since 2000 in a more sophisticated way, including 2002 and the primaries of 2004.

The great late Antony Sutton brings the best analysis:

" First we have to dump the trap of right and left, this is a Hegelian trap to divide and control.
The battle is not between right and left; it is between us and them."

Why kerry lost 16.Dec.2004 09:41

menopause red

Maybe there was voter fraud. But maybe Kerry lost because he is a CIA asshole operative.

we are the media 17.Dec.2004 17:33

dulcinea

I agree and disagree. While I learn a lot from DN and have complete admiration and respect for Amy Goodman, we need our own local indy medias to get our voices out. It's true that DN is glossier than it was years ago, and possible fears going 'too deep' and losing support. What astonishes and frustrates me to no end is how WE are asleep....we should be taking the streets every week, organizing boycotts, porganizing a general strike, and instead we read about things, get mad, write a letter (maybe) and go back to our lives.
The sElection was just one more wake up call - we do not and possibly never have had a real democracy in this country. And the anti-war movement dilluted and organized into 'Anyone but Bush' which was very naive. We have to break out of this two party system and stop following and kissing up to the psuedo 'people's party' - the Democratic Party does not give a damn about you or me or our quality of life.

Weak 18.May.2005 20:31

B. Gagnon

Your arguments are so weak that they are laughable.

Do you still think Al-Zarqawi is a ghost?

Yes Al-Zarqawi is a GHOST 31.May.2005 16:21

Scott Caplan

The CIA created Al-Zarqawi because the American public could never remember the names of dozens of cells of resistance fighters, and this would require in depth reporting on who these people are. Naturally given their poverty and homicidal abuse rendered upon them by the Pentagon, we the people would begin to identify with their suffering and understand that we would be fighting as they are if another country had invaded America.

By using this composite phantom figure Al-Zarqawi the finger can be blindly pointed at the now imaginary Osama Bin Laden who was murdered by the CIA long before 9-11.

The American public is never allowed to see the suffering of the Palestinians either.

alt.fan.noam-chomsky on Usenet