International team to monitor US. Presidential Election


by Ivan Seeking
Tags: election, international, monitor, presidential, team
kat
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#73
Aug18-04, 04:49 PM
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I'm pretty sure that U.S. election law allows for observers. period. Anyone has a right to observe....with or without and invitation. Jimmy Carter stated that he would not have his organization observe because it might be seen as trying to influence the election. As far as I know he did not need an invitation or permission to have them observe. As for supervising, I think it becomes a little more difficult as our laws prevent anyone other then those appointed to actively participate in the election process.
plover
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#74
Aug18-04, 11:09 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
amp, as I said in the other threa, unsubstantiated assertions by a tabloid reporter hawking a book do not constitute evidence.
Taken out of context, this statement is not particularly controversial. However, as applied to Palast it seems a curious dismissal for someone who has received awards for his investigative reports for the BBC, who has written for the Washington Post, and who is considered a credible public advocate by the U.S. government's Commission on Civil Rights. It is good, however, that you've detached the word "foreign" which appeared in your first use of the tediously tendentious phrase "tabloid reporter hawking a book", as for one thing he's an American (even if he works mostly for British news agencies), and for another, the idea that the nationality of a journalist might a priori reflect on the credibility of their reporting is pretty far outside any standard of objectivity I can think of. Given that he's currently being sued by Mario Cuomo, it's not necessarily even easy to argue that Palast is narrowly partisan. (Note: Until I googled this stuff a few minutes ago, I didn't know Palast from a hole in the wall.)

Should this be taken as an example of how well you usually check sources?

Who do you consider credible? How well do you check their sources?

As for "unsubstantiated assertions", the pieces at the website that's been linked to are listed as "columns", not investigative pieces. For the purposes of this discussion that is unfortunate, but can't be considered an indictment of his methods. My googling indicated that at least some of his BBC pieces can be viewed on-line.
amp
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#75
Aug19-04, 10:39 AM
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Russ,
unsubstantiated assertions by a tabloid reporter hawking a book do not constitute evidence. Now if you have some proof
UK members I'm asking you is the 'Guardian' a Tabloid. Mr. Palast is an investigative reporter. I'm not asking you to buy or read his book but I'm certain he substantiates his assertions therein. You will note that the 94000 number comes from the company (DBT) that produced the 'lists' for Florida. Russ, you call that unfactual? And 94000 were purged, 91000 should not have been on the list! Thank you Plover. On 'Like it is' Mr. Palast said he can't work in the US, because basically they (the US media conglomorates)don't want us the citizens to know whats going on.
JohnDubYa
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#76
Aug19-04, 11:49 AM
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One way to examine the credibilty of a reporter is to examine his works for obvious bias. Do the following sound objective?

"Heaven help us when President Bush and Congress tell us that they are going to 'help' us vote."

People who have axes to grind are less trustworthy when it comes to reporting facts. That doesn't necessarily make Palast a liar, but can those that lie on the opposite side of the political spectrum ever trust him?
amp
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#77
Aug19-04, 01:24 PM
P: 28
JDY,
"Heaven help us when President Bush and Congress tell us that they are going to 'help' us vote."
In the context in which it is written it sounds more like a warning or an alert for us to watch out.
russ_watters
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#78
Aug19-04, 02:37 PM
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Quote Quote by plover
It is good, however, that you've detached the word "foreign" which appeared in your first use of the tediously tendentious phrase "tabloid reporter hawking a book", as for one thing he's an American (even if he works mostly for British news agencies), and for another, the idea that the nationality of a journalist might a priori reflect on the credibility of their reporting is pretty far outside any standard of objectivity I can think of. Given that he's currently being sued by Mario Cuomo, it's not necessarily even easy to argue that Palast is narrowly partisan. (Note: Until I googled this stuff a few minutes ago, I didn't know Palast from a hole in the wall.)
Should I let go the fact that you cited something I didn't say in that quote and then proceeded to argue against it? Well - the main reason I would use the word "foreign" in this context is that the British mainstream press (with a few exceptions) is generally regarded as a tabloid press here. I submit that that is the reason he chooses to work there: the style of reporting better matches his own than what he finds in the US. That's different from the implication for the credibility of a "foreign" reporter coming from, say Iran...
Should this be taken as an example of how well you usually check sources?

Who do you consider credible? How well do you check their sources?
Well, the first and most obvious way is to check if they have or cite sources.

First off, a closer inspection of your link (I mised this before), the asertion you and amp are attributing to Palast did not even come from him. Read this quote again:
Originally we thought it was 57,000 people that were purged. Now I got the info from DBT that there were 94,000 people in this list. 91,000 were innocent.[emphasis added]
...and now look at the byline for who "we" and "I" are.

Palast's assertion from the book (if accurately reported) is:
According to his[Palast's] investigation, up to 57,000 persons, the majority of them African American and Democrats, had their voting rights removed.
Notice the conspicuous lack of any charge that the purge was erroneous or illegal.

So, my opinion of Palast just went up a notch, my opinion of your (and amps, and my) reading comprehension went down a notch, and my judgement that the 91k number is BS is intact.
russ_watters
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#79
Aug19-04, 02:47 PM
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Quote Quote by amp
Mr. Palast is an investigative reporter. I'm not asking you to buy or read his book but I'm certain he substantiates his assertions therein.
What makes you so sure? Heck, now I'm not even sure what those assertions are - but the fact that no mainstream press is reporting anywhere near what you have claimed makes me doubt your assertions: Corroboration is the second criteria by which I judge a report.
You will note that the 94000 number comes from the company (DBT) that produced the 'lists' for Florida.
Did it? Someone stating that it did does not constitute evidence. Evidence is a photocopy of the document where they got the number. That said, I'm not questioning that number (that's just a lesson in what evidence is). The full quote from this Isaac Hernandez guy is:
Now I got the info from DBT that there were 94,000 people in this list. 91,000 were innocent.
Note the period between the two numbers: though he may have gotten the 94,000 number from DBT, he is not saying he got the 91,000 from them: he's looking for you to assume it. That's the number that needs to be substantiated and that tactic is straight out of Michael Moore's book.[quote]
Russ, you call that unfactual? And 94000 were purged, 91000 should not have been on the list! [quote] Based on the word of Isaac Hernandez? Jeez, amp, do you have any standards for credibility besides 'I like what he said'?
On 'Like it is' Mr. Palast said he can't work in the US, because basically they (the US media conglomorates)don't want us the citizens to know whats going on.
Yes, that certainly fits with my judgement that he works in England because he's a tabloid reporter. But in any case, this isn't about him - its about this Mr. Hernandez.

Anyway, I don't speak Spanish: does anyone know what "EL MUNDO" means?
amp
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#80
Aug19-04, 03:03 PM
P: 28
It means 'the world'(el - the , mundo - world).
Note the period between the two numbers: though he may have gotten the 94,000 number from DBT, he is not saying he got the 91,000 from them.
The 91000 came from the finding that only 4000 people on the list were convicted felons Your right I didn't research this personally, but in light of the agreement that this little farce happened at all, lends enormous credence to what has been written. The fact that it took a court order to expose it leads even a simplistic Sherlock Holmes fan such as myself to deduce that the entire affair is SHADY, illegal I'll let the lawyers handle that though I suspect so.

And as I said he works in England because the american media isn't too interested in the truth when it comes to this admin. In fact, the buzz is that if you want to keep working for them you had best muzzle your objectivity and integrity.
russ_watters
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#81
Aug19-04, 03:05 PM
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Ok, looking more into Mr. Palast, I found THIS article. It wasn't written by him, its an inteview of him. But here's a direct quote from him:
My office carefully went through the scrub list and discovered that at minimum, 90.2 percent of the people were completely innocent of any crime...
So that's where the number of errors came from: he generated it himself. Unless he's really, really good about laying out his methods (so that others can use what he says to check him) in his book (I won't be buying it to find out), he fails both of the credibility critereon I posted earlier: his allegations are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.

Also, from another article on his site:
Imagine a cross between Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky, if such a beast is possible -- that's Greg Palast. In fact, Moore borrowed a good deal of the information for his bestseller, Stupid White Men, from the reports of Greg Palast.
Yeah, that's the impression I get too. But unlike the writer of that article, I don't consider that a good thing.
amp
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#82
Aug19-04, 03:12 PM
P: 28
When Ted Koppel investigated voter theft in Florida, he concluded that blacks lost votes because they weren’t well educated, and made mistakes that whites hadn‘t. He didn’t even bother to ask how the machines were set up. This is the kind of reporting we get in America. In Britain, this story ran 3 weeks after the election, when Gore was still in race. It was in the papers and on TV. In the US, it was seven months before the Washington Post ran it, and then it was only a partial version. After the election, Gadsden County replaced its voting commissioner. In 2002 they only lost one in 500 votes. So you can say blacks in Gadsden got smarter in one way – they elected a black elections chief.
This was in the link you posted Russ.
My office carefully went through the scrub list and discovered that at minimum, 90.2 percent of the people were completely innocent of any crime...
So that's where the number of errors came from: he generated it himself.
Russ, the errors are there to be found, even you could "carefully" go thru the list and being a perfectionist probably find more.
plover
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#83
Aug19-04, 06:41 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
Should I let go the fact that you cited something I didn't say in that quote and then proceeded to argue against it?
At least you figured this one out later -- even if that didn't lead you to remove the unwarranted accusation.
Well - the main reason I would use the word "foreign" in this context is that the British mainstream press (with a few exceptions) is generally regarded as a tabloid press here. I submit that that is the reason he chooses to work there: the style of reporting better matches his own than what he finds in the US.
Ok, first we have an unsubstantiated characterization of the British press. We then use this to deduce that someone about whom no relevant facts were ascertained must a) work for a news organ of dubious repute, and b) must himself work to dubious standards. And from all this we can ascribe motives to this individual, while simultaneously toting in a new implication that of course if this person were competent he would work in the U.S.

Um... wow.....


And, um.... yeah, that's just.... er, wow....


That's different from the implication for the credibility of a "foreign" reporter coming from, say Iran...
How is this suppose to follow from what went before? You have some greater reason to trust the overall Iranian press than the British press? How is this relevant to the case of a given individual? First you apply a statistical argument to a point where it's not warranted, and now you're backing that up with a statement where the statistical argument doesn't even seem to hold?

Well, the first and most obvious way is to check if they have or cite sources.
See the last paragraph of my previous post...
First off, a closer inspection of your link (I mised this before), the asertion you and amp are attributing to Palast did not even come from him.
You gotta stop putting words in my mouth. I haven't directly attributed any statement to Palast or offered any explicit support. I merely noted that your dismissal exhibited more partisanship than fact-checking.
Yes, that certainly fits with my judgement that he works in England because he's a tabloid reporter.
Only if you equate a journalist disagreeing with your assessment of the U.S. media with being a tabloid reporter.
russ_watters
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#84
Aug20-04, 12:18 AM
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Quote Quote by plover
Um... wow.....


And, um.... yeah, that's just.... er, wow....
You should learn from me. Detecting credibility (or lack thereof) really isn't all that hard. It just takes a little common sense.
russ_watters
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#85
Aug20-04, 12:22 AM
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Quote Quote by amp
Russ, the errors are there to be found, even you could "carefully" go thru the list and being a perfectionist probably find more.
Well, that's great, amp - does that mean you've seen the list, the errors, and the evidence? Please post the list with the errors noted and substantiated and I'll take them into consideration.
amp
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#86
Aug20-04, 08:15 AM
P: 28
There is no need to do that Russ, Plover has in fact raised the issue that you probably would not consider the truth - truth if it dosen't conform to your preconcieved notions. He is right you know. Your cavalier dismissal of an accredited reporter with so weak an argument which seems to be just your opinions may indicate that you would still disagree, thats your right and I respect that. I do not desire to scan thru 94000 names and cross-references to acertain something which better qualified people have all ready done.

Detecting credibility (or lack thereof) really isn't all that hard. It just takes a little common sense.
I think Plover has expunged yours.

Ok, first we have an unsubstantiated characterization of the British press. We then use this to deduce that someone about whom no relevant facts were ascertained must a) work for a news organ of dubious repute, and b) must himself work to dubious standards. And from all this we can ascribe motives to this individual, while simultaneously toting in a new implication that of course if this person were competent he would work in the U.S.
russ_watters
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#87
Aug20-04, 12:27 PM
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Quote Quote by amp
There is no need to do that Russ, Plover has in fact raised the issue that you probably would not consider the truth - truth if it dosen't conform to your preconcieved notions. He is right you know. Your cavalier dismissal of an accredited reporter with so weak an argument which seems to be just your opinions may indicate that you would still disagree, thats your right and I respect that. I do not desire to scan thru 94000 names and cross-references to acertain something which better qualified people have all ready done.
And there we have it: 'I don't need to see the evidence to believe it.' Sorry, but I do. I don't choose to believe or disbelieve things based on if they sound good to me - I want the evidence. You even say that I wouldn't believe the evidence even if I saw it: even if true, how is that worse than choosing to beleive it without the evidence?

And if his credentials are so good: why doesn't he have a job in the US? Oh wait, I remember now: its all a conspiracy. And with all the self-fulfilling preconceptions that go with it: being rejected by the US press isn't evidence that he's a bad reporter (to you), its evidence that the US press is bad and he's good. Uh huh.
amp
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#88
Aug20-04, 01:27 PM
P: 28
Second question first, Its not a conspiracy just fact. He could work for press that dosen't have an agenda slanted in some particular direction, for instance, Rupert Murdoch wouldn't hire him and he owns a large share of the media. I am implying that because he tends to investigate news that brings serious issues to light that those who control the purse strings won't want anything embarrassing to their objectives to get know publicly.

Russ:
: 'I don't need to see the evidence to believe it.'
Nope, I don't need to see the equations of Newton or Albert to believe there is such a thing as gravity. I don't need to see the evidence of Mr. Kay to believe the UN inspectors when they said Saddam didn't have nuclear capability. I don't need to see the evidence (medically speaking) to know I live. (well that particular fact is felt by me.)

The point though is that by the time I heard or read about Mr. Palasts report, what had happened in Florida was public knowledge.

Which makes it a good idea to have observers.
russ_watters
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#89
Aug20-04, 03:09 PM
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Quote Quote by amp
Nope, I don't need to see the equations of Newton or Albert to believe there is such a thing as gravity.
Einstein's and Newton's equations are the theory, not the evidence. The evidence is the apple falling on your head. You're reading the scientific method upside-down, which maybe explains your position here...
amp
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#90
Aug20-04, 03:21 PM
P: 28
Right, I had it wrong anyway. See how easy that was, I knew someone would set it straight. In this case it was you, Russ. Just so, I know if Mr. Palasts staff had come up with the numbers they came up with erroneously it would have been refuted, perhaps by someone like you. Since it is now public knowledge, the people now know in order not repeat this voter purge they will have to view the election officials conduct under a microscope.


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