An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ed Bradley RIP

The loss is greater than you realize

Ed Bradley of CBS news died of complictions from leukemia on Thursday November 9, 2006. As I write this the next day the web overflows with obituaries, tributes and other laudatory verbiage. But I'll bet most of them will fail to mention one very important event. During the 2000 election Ed Bradley was the only journalist in the United States who used his head for something other than a hatrack.

Bradley was the one who noticed that Al Gore's numbers ran backwards in Florida. While everyone else looked at the percentages, which are supposed to vary and trade places relative to each other, Ed Bradley saw that an update of the raw number of votes for Gore showed an amount less than the previous one. The raw numbers are not supposed to do that. A Diebold vote tabulating machine for optical card ballots "disappeared" nearly 20,000 votes for Gore. This is the reason Gore withdrew his concession of the election. (Nevermind that most of the media played it like it was some sort of indecisiveness -- what would you have done?). We know as much as we know about the travesty that took place in Florida because Ed Bradley was paying attention and doing his job. What about the rest of them?

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