Thursday, October 23, 2008

Open Letter to the Media from the Media


Current Signatories 2 November 11pm (PT): Dave Berman - Mark Crispin Miller - Alastair Thompson - Peter B. Collins - Michael Collins - Ernest Partridge - Bernard Weiner - Rob Kall - David Swanson - Rady Ananda - Lynn Landes - Dan Ashby - Linda Milazzo - Jan Baumgartner - Cheryl Biren-Wright - Amanda Lang - Joanne Lukacher - Andi Novick - Paul Lehto - Mark A. Adams - Catherine Austin Fitts - John Gideon - Ellen Theisen - Bev Harris - John Chuckman - Bernie Ellis - Steve Freeman - John Russell - Jason Leopold - David L. Griscom, PhD - David Earnhardt - Carolyn Zaremba - Ron Baiman, PhD - Donna Norton - Josh Mitteldorf, PhD - Kathy Dopp - Allene E. Swienckowski - Lisa Finerty - Dave Stancliff - Sam Smith - Danny Schechter - Eric Holland

Dear Media Colleagues,

You are receiving this message because you are known to American progressives as a truth-teller. In this presidential campaign, despite the typical horse-race coverage, we also see the overall corporate media narrative influenced by daily debunking efforts from candidates' rapid response teams, the blogosphere, and the reality-based coverage and reporting that you provide.

We need to take this to the next level.

There are three very simple basic facts about the way US federal elections are conducted now, and we think they lead to an inescapable conclusion that must be addressed.

See if you agree:

1. We have secret corporate vote counting computers counting more than 95% of the votes cast in the United States;

2. The absence of paper ballots, and in some cases state's law, prevents meaningful re-counts throughout much of the country;

3. These electronic voting machines frequently produce results impossible in a legitimate election, such as John Kerry's negative 25 million votes in Youngstown, OH (Nov. 2004), or Palm Beach County's 12,000 votes in excess of the number of voters (Aug. 2008).

To us this suggests the conclusion that federal election results are unprovable, even though the media reports them as fact.

Can you draw any other conclusion?

It will surprise nobody this November when the outcome is a spoiled mess, riddled with controversy. In fact, we can already say the results--based on the conditions--are guaranteed to be inconclusive, unknowable and unprovable.

We must challenge our industry to refuse to report as fact what can't be proven and hasn't been independently verified, particularly when the only source of the information is the government itself.

The reality is that the media should be the greatest advocates of hand counting paper ballots because this method of counting allows media greatest access to observing and documenting the process, affording the reported results the greatest credibility.

Transparent coverage of a transparent counting process would create a basis for confidence in the reported results where none currently exists.

As we all know, there is a vibrant community of engaged citizens across the US who collectively self-identify as the "election integrity community." They are asking us truth-tellers to challenge our industry, essentially reframing the debate.

Many of them have appeared on our shows and in our columns over the past few years, and they are eager to be sources for us now. But they are also counting on us to take this message forward and we don't see how we can be truth-tellers without doing that.

Please join us in this concerted effort to use truth-telling yet again to change the corporate media narrative of this presidential campaign.

Respectfully yours,

Dave Berman,; Voter Confidence Committee of Humboldt, CA

Mark Crispin Miller, Author,

Alastair Thompson, Co-Editor/General Manager,

Michael Collins, "The Money Party,";

Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers

Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers

Rob Kall, Executive Editor & Publisher,

David Swanson, Co-Founder,

Joan Brunwasser, Election Integrity Editor,

Rady Ananda, Senior Editor,

Lynn Landes, freelance journalist,

Tom Courbat, Founder, SAVE R VOTE,

Dan Ashby, Co-Founder and Director,

Linda Milazzo, OpedNews Senior Editor; HuffingtonPost blogger,

Jan Baumgartner, Managing Editor,

Cheryl Biren-Wright, Managing Editor,

Amanda Lang, OEN Managing Editor,

Joanne Lukacher, Communications Director, Election Transparency Coalition,

Andi Novick, Legal Counsel, Election Transparency Coalition,

Valerie Lane, Chair, SAVElections Monterey County

Paul R Lehto, Juris Doctor, Author of Election Law Encyclopedia articles

Mark A. Adams JD/MBA founder of

Catherine Austin Fitts, Scoop “Mapping The Real Deal” Columnist,

John Gideon, Co-Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org

Ellen Theisen, Co-Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org

Bev Harris, founder and director,Black Box Voting (Web site

John Chuckman, Columnist & Cartoonist More Websites: Postcards, Trading Cards, Places

Bernie Ellis Organizer, Gathering To Save Our Democracy (Tennessee) and Convener, National Election Reform Conference Nashville, TN April, 2005 -

Steve Freeman, author, academic and founder of ElectionIntegrity

John Russell (FL-5) D -

Jason Leopold, investigative journalist, author - TPR: The Public Record

David L. Griscom, Ph.D.,; Co-Founder, AUDITAZ; Member Coordinating Committee, Election Defense Alliance.

David Earnhardt, filmmaker, "UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections"

Carolyn Zaremba, Socialist Equality Party

Ron Baiman, PhD, Economist/Statistician, Vice President National Election Data Archive/U.S. Count Votes

Donna Norton, Member Elect, Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee; Member, Progressive Democrats of America, Sonoma County

Josh Mitteldorf, PhD, statistician for Election Integrity and Election Defense Alliance

Kathy Dopp, MS Mathematics, Executive Director, US Count Votes

Allene E. Swienckowski, author

Lisa Finerty, Chair, Democrats Abroad - Rome Chapter

Dave Stancliff, freelance journalist

Sam Smith, The Progressive Review

Danny Schechter,

Eric Holland, MA Media Arts, Emerson 2002; Editor


(Note: you can find an email address at this link)

A current list of this letter's signers can be found at If you would like to add your name, please use the form on that page or submit your name and affiliation via e-mail to:

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LAST WDNC UPDATE: 11/2/08 11pm PT


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As shown on
Dave's new blog,
Manifest Positivity

We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

Back Page Quotes

"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor,; Co-Founder,

"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA

"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods

"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California

"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media

"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA

"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American