THE BLOG

To Byron York and Other Ostriches

05/13/2005 01:26 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Byron York has treated me fairly and without rancor, and I am grateful for that. Certainly I am more in his wheelhouse than mine, and I'm honored that he saw fit to engage me in this little set-to we've conducted since Monday. I fired a lead right, Rep. John Conyers shouted encouragement from my corner, then York delivered a hook to the body. I shot back an uppercut, then he loaded up a right hand and attempted to bring an end to the discussion.

Byron York's most recent refutation of my charge that irregularities in the 2004 Presidential election demand criminal investigation cites quotes from the report of Edison/Mitofsky, the two-company partnership which provided exit polls to the major television networks, on the vast discrepancies between those polls and the official results of the election. The report, which Mr. York has helpfully highlighted in his second post and which runs to about eighty pages, essentially offered the conclusion that an five-and-a-half point gap between final poll numbers and the national popular vote tabulation-- a variance more than four times the statistical margin for error of 1.3%-- can be attributed to shy Republicans. The Washington Post summarized the conclusion: "procedural problems compounded by the refusal of large numbers of Republican voters to be surveyed led to inflated estimates of support for John Kerry." With this, in effect, York dismisses the exit poll variance argument.

I could go on at length here about the curious disconnect between the actual data in the report and its guesswork conclusion, how Edison/Mitofsky systematically validate all their sampling choices and their methodology, in effect eliminating any logical underpinnings for their ultimate summation, all the while selectively ignoring the lopsided skewing of pro-Bush discrepancies in the most critical swing states. I could spend some time dissecting what I believe is an obvious whitewash, a delicate sidestep away from the potential public relations disaster of being tied forever to the most notorious election theft in history.

But none of that is necessary, because the entire Edison/Mitofsky report is irrelevant to the argument, given that it is based on the assumption the final official vote tally is accurate. Make no mistake: my argument is that the final official vote tally is anything but accurate, that it is the product of massive vote fraud carried out through the programing of Diebold voting machines and various other machinations aimed at suppressing, destroying or losing Kerry votes. My argument is that what were accurate were the exit polls. As one Ivy League research methodologist has noted, "Apparently the pollsters at Mitofsky and Edison have found it more expedient to provide an explanation unsupported by theory, data or precedent than to impugn the machinery of American democracy."

Various statisticians have reported that the odds on the occurrence of variances from exit polls to actual results such as were produced in this election range up to 959 000 to 1. Sounds like DNA. As US Count Votes notes in a statistical abstract, "No matter how one calculates it, the discrepancy cannot be attributed to chance."

So let me put it in Foxspeak. If all the circumstantial evidence related to potential vote fraud in this election were gathered up into one big file for the Scott Peterson jury, they'd convict. The jury that might look at all this and acquit? O.J. Simpson. Politics make strange bedfellows.