Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Want to know the exit poll results? Sorry you can't - not till we've fiddled them

In 2004 the Republican party in the US accused the Ukrainian government of election rigging when final election results there differed greatly from the exit polls. The same happened in the US, where the opposite explanation was given - the polls had 'got it wrong'. Much of the media later modified their exit poll results by 'weighting them by the final results' in order to make it appear there was no discrepancy between the exit poll results and the number of votes for each candidate that were actually counted.Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie then asked the US media not to report exit polls in American elections in future There are many reasons why many people who plan to vote Obama won't get to - and even many of the Obama votes that get cast will never be counted. (1), (2), (3).

It's 2008 and the media have agreed not to report the actual exit poll results. Exit polls will be carried out on behalf of a media consortium including AP and they've said no-one will be allowed to hear early exit poll results - allowing for plenty of time to 'weight them by final results'.One CNN analyst explained that it would be "dangerous" to allow ordinary people to know exit poll results as they supposedly wouldn't understand them.(4)

Why did the media agree so readily to deny the public information that could reveal one of the many ways elections in the US are rigged? Well the Chief Executives of the supposedly ‘liberal’ media companies are chiefly pre-occupied with securing further de-regulation of media ownership to expand their own business empires – and tax cuts on their own incomes. Sumner Redstone, head of Viacom, of which CBS News is a subsidiary, told Time Magazine in October 2004 that he had nothing against John Kerry, but “I do believe that a Republican Administration is better for media companies than a Democratic one” (5). He had previously described ‘de-regulation’ as one benefit (6).

Rupert Murdoch, mogul of Fox News and owner of the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal similarly said this September (in an interview on Fox)that "I like Sen. Obama very much....But his policy of anti-globalization, protectionism, is going to... find companies leaving this country...his policy is really very, very naive, old-fashioned, 1960s." Because we all remember how bad the economy was in the 1960s and how great it's been since then. Yes, i am being sarcastic - but one group have benefited - one very small group, the executives of big firms like Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone.

The media have a bias alright, but it's anything but 'liberal' or 'democratic', with a small or a capital 'd'. When it comes to a choice between their interests and the interests of the majority or peoples' democratic rights they know what side their on and how they'll manage the news.

(1) = Professor Steven F. Freeman (2004) 'The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy' http://www.appliedresearch.us/sf/Documents/ExitPoll.pdf

(2) = Steven Freeman & Joe Bliefuss 'Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count', Seven Stories Press, amazon listing

(3) = Political/Congressional Transcript Wire 04 Nov 2004 'ED GILLESPIE HOLDS A NEWS CONFERENCE AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ON THE ELECTION RESULTS' , http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-5018099_ITM

(4) = Chicago Tribune 04 November 2008 , 'Exit polls 2008' ,

(5) = Time Magazine 10 Oct 2004 , ‘10 Questions for Sumner Redstone’ ,

(6) = Asian Wall Street Journal 24 September 04 cited in Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) Action alert 28 September 2004 , http://www.fair.org/activism/cbs-niger.html

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