Peace through victory - the American way.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Media acts to overturn San Diego mayoral election.

In an outrageous interference in an election, several local media organizations -- TV station KNSD, the newspaper San Diego Union Tribune, and a consortium of other media outlets -- have asked for recounts in the San Diego mayoral election. By doing so, these organizations are taking sides in the election, whether they intended to or not, and are acting to overturn the election.

KNSD appears to be trying to maintain neutrality because it filed its request on behalf of three voters who supported each of the three candidates. Yet only one candidate, Donna Frye, is contemplating a recount, and only Frye stands to benefit from the recount. Neither Dick Murphy nor Ron Roberts are seeking a recount. The election has already been certified, Murphy declared the winner and sworn into office. So KNSD's attempt at neutrality fails. The Union-Tribune and the consortium filed their requests on behalf of specific Frye voters so there is no pretense at neutrality in their actions.

Worse than this, these recount requests are being filed by the organizations in an effort to have the illegal votes for Frye be counted. (See "What's a democracy without rules" below for explanation of the illegal votes.) Thus, not only are these organizations taking an action on behalf of a particular candidate in the race, they are also seeking to have votes which weren't cast according to the rules added to that candidate's total, possibly overturning the election result and ousting Murphy from office.

This is an outrageous and unnecessary interference in the election by local media. It's outrageous because the media are taking sides in an election and are now parties in a dispute over what constitutes a legal vote. They are no longer merely reporting the news they are making the news. It's unnecessary because a recount request has already been filed by a Frye supporter. The proper role of the media should be to report on that independent recount request and on the recount itself. It is not their role to request the recount and possibly affect the election result.

-tdr

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