Thomas Sowell

EVEN THOSE of us who have been complaining for years about the bias and shallowness of the media should admit that we never expected the media to be quite so grossly biased or so unbelievably shallow as they have been about the outcome of the recent presidential election.

Their arguments have been like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

The big post-election spin in the media has been that the Supreme Court of the United States gave George W. Bush the election, thereby undermining his legitimacy and perhaps its own.

Reality check: The U.S. Supreme Court did not put one vote in Bush's column, while the Florida Supreme Court ordered hundreds of votes added to Gore's column.

Does anyone have any idea where we are headed if judges can order votes added to a candidate's total? The fact that the Florida Supreme Court got away with it is a constitutional time bomb.

Only the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States stepped in prevented them from doing more of the same until the real votes cast for Bush were outweighed by the guesswork "votes" created in heavily Democratic counties by local Democratic officials "interpreting" dented ballots.

Does it take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is something wrong with freezing the vote totals in the vast majority of Florida counties, while allowing new methods of adding votes to be used only in a few heavily Democratic counties? Yet who in the media called that an attempt to "steal the election" for Gore?

Who in the media talked about stealing the election when Gore supporters tried to disqualify 25,000 absentee ballots on the flimsiest of technicalities, rejected completely by two Florida courts? Who in the media talked about stealing the election when Gore supporter Bob Beckel, after "quiet intelligence-gathering" on members of the electoral college (reported in the Wall Street Journal of November 16th), tried to "persuade" Bush electors to betray the voters they represented by switching their vote to Gore in the electoral college?

Where are we headed constitutionally if this kind of betrayal -- with or without the implied blackmail -- reduces the whole electoral process to a question of what kind of cheap tricks you can get away with? Bob Beckel seemed shocked that some people were outraged by his attempt to subvert the election and the constitution. He could not understand why there were death threats against him and his family. How can you practice amorality and then be shocked at other people's amoral behavior?

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate