"You can't be chairman of the Bush campaign and then be the chief umpire in the seventh game of the World Series."
-- Jessie Jackson, Columbus, Ohio, 11/28/04.
First off (with apologies to Bill Maher)...NEW RULE: Media accounts referring to Ohio's Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the man responsible for ensuring a fair election and accurate vote count in Ohio, must always be identified as well by his other job description --- Co-Chair of the Ohio Bush/Cheney '04 Re-Election Campaign.
Any story or writer that refers to the currently and appropriately besieged Mr. Blackwell at this point, without pointing out that not-trivial fact is being misleading in their coverage. I would include myself guilty as well at that and will endeavor to improve in the future.
That said, AP refreshingly updates its Ohio coverage today with an update on Jesse Jackson's rallies there over the weekend along with other late related items from the Buckeye State. That report, surprisingly enough, is being re-run by the bulk of the major media outlets! Good for them!
But look closer.
The same AP story is re-run under the headings "Challenges to Ohio ballots mount" in the version at CNN.com, "Nearly a Month Later, Ohio Fight Goes On" at The NY Times website, at MyWay.com, and at Yahoo. And finally, "Ohio Election Still Contested" at the Fox News website.
Guess which one of those sites alone decided to leaves out the critical final paragraphs that referred to Blackwell as Ohio's co-chair for Bush/Cheney!
All but the Fox News versions include these last four telling grafs:
"You can't be chairman of the Bush campaign and then be the chief umpire in the seventh game of the World Series," Jackson said.
Blackwell's office responded by saying the state has a "bipartisan and transparent system that provides valuable checks and balances."
"The problem seems to be that Rev. Jackson's candidate didn't win," said Carlo LoParo, a Blackwell spokesman.
Over at Fox News, however, their online reprint of the exact same AP story conveniently drops those final paragraphs from the story!
Clearly it wasn't a space issue. There are no other stories on the webpage, so an extra few paragraphs wouldn't have cost anything or have otherwise been a problem.
It was --- rather obviously, even for Fox --- an editorial issue from the continually Republican "Fair and Balanced" Fox News Network. How pathetic.
If you're interested in the substance of the story itself --- and I hope you are --- please click on one of the more reliable of the link options I've given you above.
UPDATE: The headline of CNN's posting of the AP story changed last night at some point from the "Challenges to Ohio ballots mount" that I previously noted, to "Activists continue to challenge Ohio ballots". You "activists" out there are welcome to make of that what you might.
UNRELATED SIDE NOTE: This is the 1000th BRAD BLOG item posted since starting up on Jan. 24, 2004. Not sure why that fact matters, but I thought I'd mention it. My fingers are not yet tired.