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Re Recount: Remiss! Excellent Op-Ed [View All]

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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 10:34 AM
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Re Recount: Remiss! Excellent Op-Ed
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by Barbara Bellows-TerraNova Page 1 of 2 page(s)

When I read last week that James Baker III hosted a preview of the HBO film Recount at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, I knew that this dramatic interpretation of the 2000 election would disappoint those who long for historical accuracy.

And it did.

Not in all ways, mind you, but in some extraordinarily essential ones.

On Sunday morning, I wrote in an email that a true telling of the 2000 election had to include at least two points. An excellent telling would include a third. I finished with "Lets see how HBO does."

Within minutes of the start of Recount, I yelled out, "NO!" Thats not right!" They blew it coming out of the gate.

The film showed that at 2:16 AM, the vote in Florida, which would be the deciding factor for the entire country, was called by ABC News for George W. Bush, immediately followed by the NBC, CBS and CNN.

But that is simply not the case. History has shown that the first call at 2:16 AM came from Fox News conveniently omitted by HBO. The person who made that call was John Ellis, the son of former President George H.W. Bushs sister Nancy, first cousin of both Texas Governor George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He later reported to The New Yorker how "cool" it was to be on the phone with his two powerful cousins, going over the numbers all night and into the morning, until the moment the numbers showed that George had won and Ellis made the fateful call for Bush. Though Ellis claimed he had done the calculations, the actual election projection expert at Fox, Cynthia Talkov, sitting with him, has since reported that Ellis simply gave the call on Jebs say-so.

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