This all important article by the Free Press is here reprinted in full:
TV Networks Officially Refuse to Release Exit Poll Raw Data; Mainstream media finally displays true colors
by Gary Beckwith
December 22, 2004
For those watching the growing body of evidence concerning election fraud in our past presidential election, one question has remained: Why don't we hear about this on the evening news?
As of yet it's been hard to explain why the controversies in Ukraine make the headlines, but when similar problems are discovered at home, you have to scour the Internet to find the information.
It certainly isn't for lack of events on which to report. Members of The House Judiciary Committee have been meeting regularly reviewing evidence of systematic voter suppression and voting machine tampering. A coalition of lawyers have filed a lawsuit against the Bush campaign citing deliberate manipulation of votes. Sworn testimony and signed affidavits have implicated companies, individuals, and a Florida congressman.
This developing story could eventually turn out to be more explosive than Watergate. But it's rarely mentioned on the major networks, and when it is, there's almost always a chiding remark about the "conspiracy nuts" and obscure "internet bloggers" who are behind it all.
The truth is, it's not just conspiracy nuts, or bloggers, or even just Democratic supporters of Kerry. It's a growing number of people who want to know what really happened on Novermber 2nd. It's teachers, doctors, lawyers, all kinds of people who care about their Democracy just as much as the people in Ukraine do. And a recent survey showed that even without the media coverage, 20% of Americans believe the election was stolen.
For these people it's been a difficult task to spread the word, and to tell the uninformed about the election problems. That's because for many, if it's not on the evening news, it isn't happening. And as soon as you start telling someone about it, their first question is always, "Why aren't I hearing about this on the news?".
That's a question we'd all like to see answered.
Until now, we've only been able to speculate. Perhaps the media is just tired of a long drawn out election season. Perhaps reporters don't want to "stick their neck out" until more evidence is uncovered. Perhaps the reporters just haven't seen the evidence that already exists. And one possibility of many is that the mainstream media has been purposely withholding this story from the American people. Emails have floated around, purportedly written by reporters, saying that they've been instructed not to write about the problems with the election or they'll lose their job.
It's hard to believe that the media would cover up something like this, considering that many reporters probably voted for Kerry and would want the people to know if the election was stolen. But there's already enough of a story that it should be getting attention - the Congressional hearings, lawsuits filed, and sworn testimony are newsworthy of themselves, regardless of their outcomes. The lack of coverage of already existing events forces us to wonder why.
Attempts to get an explanation from the media have been met with cold and evasive responses. Local media outlets say it's not their duty to report the national news. National media people say there's not enough evidence yet, and they're waiting to see how it pans out before they give it the spotlight. This begs the question: Do we wait until the Superbowl is over to report on it? Did they wait until the OJ trial was over to report on it?
But as the story develops, no one has been able to explain why the media is avoiding it like the plague.
Yesterday Representative John Conyers called their bluff. He's the one leading the investigation in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. After weeks of investigation he's become more and more interested in seeing the raw data of the exit polls. Exit polls were a red flag in Ukraine, and many statistical experts have used the exit polls from our election to demonstrate a high likelihood that there was some funny business on November 2nd.
Like most people trying to get to the bottom of the matter, Mr. Conyers first came to the realization that the exit poll data has mysteriously not been released yet. We only have the preliminary exit poll data, which showed Kerry winning Ohio by several points. But about half way through election day, the networks started "mixing in" the "real" numbers with the exit poll data, and from that point on, the raw exit poll data has been locked up.
So, Conyers wrote to Warren Mitofsky, who owns the exit poll data, asking for the complete raw data, without the "real" numbers mixed in. Mitofsky balked, saying that the TV Networks actually own it and he was not able to release it without their permission. Conyers then took his inquiry to the leaders of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox.
And they promptly laid an egg. Through a spokesperson who spoke on behalf of all the media companies together, they said they are still analyzing the data and don't want to release it until they're done.
The egg they laid is frustrating for those who want to know the truth and want to see the raw exit poll numbers. But it does answer one question for us once and for all. It finally shows us that the media is not avoiding the election controversy because they're tired of the election, or they want more evidence. They are purposefully preventing the information from getting out and they are hiding the information they have.
Any objective investigator, or any concerned citizen for that matter, simply cannot accept their answer to Conyers. The media has had over 6 weeks to "analyze" the exit polls and releasing the numbers would not prevent them from continuing their analysis in any way.
The data is just that - raw data. By itself it is not obscured by "analysis." The networks can evaluate and analyze it all they want, but they should also give others a chance to look at the same numbers and draw their own conclusions. There is absolutely no precedent or moral ground for withholding this information from the American public. The bottom line is that raw data does not need to be analyzed. Conyers and the American people are not asking for the analysis. We're asking for the data.
We're not talking about proprietary trade secrets, or a "secret source" that they're trying to protect. We're talking about information about us, the American people who voted on Election Day. It's like having your doctor refuse to let you see your own medical records.
The media is supposed to report the facts, whatever they are, not withhold them. When the media stops reporting and starts withholding, it ceases to be the media.
While it's frustrating that we still can't see the exit polls, let's thank the media for at least resolving one thing for us today. Now we know why we don't see stories about the election on the evening news. Their refusal to release the exit polls shows us categorically that there is a concerted effort on behalf of the major media outlets to consciously prevent the information from getting out. It's not simple oversight, and it's not because they don't think it's newsworthy. Now we know. They are withholding information from us.
Now that that's been resolved, we can move on to the next question: What are they hiding, and why?