Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Keith Olbermann Loses It

In the spirit of Yogi Berra's "It ain't over till its over!", former humorous sportscaster turned deranged political pundit Keith Olbermann refuses to concede defeat:

Here's an interesting little sidebar of our system of government confirmed recently by the crack Countdown research staff: no Presidential candidate’s concession speech is legally binding. The only determinants of the outcome of election are the reports of the state returns boards and the vote of the Electoral College.

That’s right. Richard Nixon may have phoned John Kennedy in November, 1960, and congratulated him through clenched teeth. But if the FBI had burst into Kennedy headquarters in Chicago a week later and walked out with all the file cabinets and a bunch of employees with their raincoats drawn up over their heads, nothing Nixon had said would've prevented him, and not JFK, from taking the oath of office the following January.

This is mentioned because there is a small but blood-curdling set of news stories that right now exists somewhere between the world of investigative journalism, and the world of the Reynolds Wrap Hat. And while the group's ultimate home remains unclear - so might our election of just a week ago.
That post, from November 7th, Olbermann's first since the early hours of November 3rd, apparently marks his descent into "Reynolds Wrap" territory.

The focus of Mr. Olbermann's rant is the fact that certain counties in Florida where the majority of registered voters are Democrats, went for Bush. Evidence of the vast right wing conspiracy at work? Were voters intimidated? Were electronic voting machines rigged?

Only in Keith's fevered dreams. As the Yale Free Press Blog points out in Vast. Right. Winged., these same counties went for Bush over Gore in 2000 and for Dole over Clinton in 1996:

The reason these counties have such high Democratic registrations is because they likely still have traditional Southern loyalties to the Democrats, but being in Northern Florida and the Panhandle, they are all very very conservative. No wonder, they even voted for Dole!
The discrepancy is merely a reflection of the solidification of the South as a Republican bastion - voting habits have changed faster than party registrations. I can understand that journalists can't be experts in every field, but can they at least do a bare minimum of research before airing crackpot theories?