'Stealing America' steals your precious time
Rejoice, conspiracy theorists, bloggers and other assorted nuts. Your paranoia is about to be rewarded in the form of a documentary that twists rumor, heresy and innuendo into a self-fulfilling truth.
It’s called “Stealing America: Vote by Vote,” and given its “we was robbed” slant, I’m betting it was financed by money left over from John Kerry’s failed 2004 presidential campaign.
It’s not a fine whine, either. It’s dull, repetitive and without one substantiated claim. But why let facts get in the way of a whole lot of grousing by poor losers freely flailing pointed fingers at anyone they can think of other than the junior senator from Massachusetts.
No doubt there were irregularities in the 2004 election, particularly in the key swing state of Ohio, but there have been irregularities in every election since Adams edged Jefferson in 1796. Ah, but those elections didn’t involve these new-fangled electronic voting machines.
The way “Stealing America” relentlessly vilifies the easily manipulated cyber fiends, it almost makes you nostalgic for hanging chads. Oh, wait, that didn’t work out so well for the Democratic nominee, either.
Perhaps the solution isn’t in how we vote but in our choice of candidates. Instead of asking us to always pick between “the lesser of two evils,” give us at least one candidate we can actually feel confident and comfortable putting our trust in.
That’s wishful thinking, I know, but as long as we keep getting scoundrels for candidates there’s going to be fraud, no matter if the election is conducted electronically or on paper.
Such logic escapes the producers of “Stealing America.” They merely have an agenda and they’re going to exploit whatever talking heads they can get to support their argument.
Much like a fourth-rate Michael Moore, director Dorothy Fadiman cares nothing about facts or impartiality. Not one of her “experts” is remotely credible. They’re all nobodies (read: bloggers and spoiled sports) or people who like the sound of their own conspiracy theories.
To Fadiman, the most trusted name in television is “The Daily Show,” from which she cribs numerous clips, and the newspaper of record is The Columbus (Ohio) Free Press, represented by a couple of ex-employees, but oddly none of the current ones.
Few of these people have anything particularly insightful to say beyond overstating the film’s party line: that voting machines and Republicans are bad, paper ballots and Democrats are good. The only thing more tedious is the plethora of graphs and unsubstantiated data that flash by just quickly enough to elude scrutiny.
She does, however, raise disturbing questions about the wide discrepancies between exit polling and the actual vote, the insufficient number of voting machines in poorer neighborhoods, the conflicts of interest involving election supervisors and the ease in which machines can be rigged to skew results.
The problem is that Fadiman fails to proffer any sort of solutions beyond resorting back to paper ballots; and even then, not bothering to point out that they can be altered, too.
She also undermines her own argument by insinuating that the Kerry campaign and the national media, including CNN and The New York Times, are complicit in Bush’s “tainted” 2004 victory.
Ah, any proof of that? Well, no.
In fact, there’s so little proof of anything in “Stealing America” that if it were a tort, Fadiman would be laughed out of the courtroom. Just as she and her propagandizing flick will be laughed out of theaters.
Next time – and let’s hope there won’t be a next time – give us something a little more substantive, a little more factual and a whole lot more entertaining.
Stealing votes? All you’re doing is stealing our time.
STEALING AMERICA: VOTE BY VOTE
A documentary by Dorothy Fadiman.
The Patriot Ledger