Special report: Media bias in California

Why a moderately conservative electorate is represented by a left-wing legislature

Copyright Ó 2003, by Alec Rawls

Media-bias in California: why a moderately conservative electorate is represented by a left-wing legislature

By Alec Rawls, Copyright © 2003 by Alec Rawls


Californians consistently elect representatives who stand far to the left of themselves.  For instance, a recent Field Poll reports that 59% of Californians are against the law signed by ex-Governor Gray Davis that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.[1] Yet the law passed the state Senate by a 20% margin and the Assembly by a 6% margin.[2]


This has been a persistent pattern in California politics for many years now. Californians overwhelmingly approve conservative ballot measures that the state legislature overwhelmingly disapproves. In 1995, Proposition 209, which banned government use of racial preferences, passed by a 60-40 margin. Nearly identical majorities passed Prop. 227, ending bilingual education in the public schools; Prop. 187, curtailing state services to illegal aliens; and Prop. 22, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. All were despised by virtually all Democrat legislators and all but the last were opposed by large numbers of Republican legislators as well.


There are only two possible explanations for this mismatch between the California’s moderately conservative electorate and its left-wing legislature. Either Californians are intentionally voting for people who they disagree with, or they are getting bad information. The first explanation is not plausible, while the latter is not just plausible, it is verifiable.


All four of California’s major papers—The Los Angles Times, The Sacramento Bee, The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Jose Mercury News—are relentlessly illiberal (“liberal” in the popular usage), being anti-liberty at every turn. They are anti-gun-rights and anti-school choice. They are anti-market. They are anti-growth. They are anti-defending-the-country. In short, they are just as leftist as the legislature.


They also lie. To see documentation of a number of examples this summer of blatant lying and media bias by Bay Area newspapers, see the appendix below. 


Most California media bias is not so bald as the flat out lie. Editors just have no interest in giving column inches to conservative views. Not that they won’t run the occasional George Will or Charles Krauthammer opinion. That’s a necessity. And they’ll publish any and every conservative who crosses over and attacks the President (making Pat Buchanan a peculiar bedfellow). The problem is that almost none of their writers or editors are conservative themselves, leaving these papers uniformly ignorant of and hostile to conservative understanding.


California papers do not even employ token conservatives. The lone conservative voice in Bay Area print news is Debra Saunders at the San Francisco Chronicle, who presumably (given the Chronicle’s proud championship of affirmative action) was hired because she is a very talented woman. More typically, affirmative action is used to lower the bar for illiberal “liberals,” such as Chronicle opinion columnist Joan Ryan, an internally promoted sportswriter who has no grasp of current events beyond the most sophomoric political correctness. (Ryan’s debut article as a regular opinion page columnist was a worn-out condemnation of SUV drivers.[3] No way the Chronicle was going to make the Debra Saunders mistake again.)


Bay Area television stations are similarly politically correct. All are co-anchored by women who have mastered the bathetic art of putting on long faces and deep voices and remarking sadly on every accusation of racism, sexism or other unfairness.


On simply worded ballot measures, voters do not need any additional information to know how to vote. If they despise racism, they vote to bar the government from using racial preferences. If they are pro-immigrant and anti-crime, they vote against giving state services to illegal aliens. The fact that the illiberal media describe these measures as racist and anti-immigrant rolls off people’s backs because they have independent knowledge of the issue.


With most news stories, however, the substance of the issue is not independently known by readers and listeners, who must rely on media characterizations. Here the relentless anti-conservative bigotry of the media is a tremendous obstacle for conservative candidates to overcome.


Suppose a candidate is for gun rights. The local media regularly publish anti-gun opinion pieces and run anti-gun junk-science as news while completely blacking out the actual news that crime falls dramatically when more law abiding citizens are armed. Gun rights are skewered as wacky right-wing zealotry at the expense of public safety, regardless of the overwhelming evidence that gun rights enhance public safety. By implication, any gun-rights candidate also puts zealotry ahead of public safety. No matter how many times the efficacy of gun rights for deterring crime is verified, as it has been many times, no Californian will ever learn it from the major media.


With every conservative issue and candidate smeared by this kind of disinformation, conservatives are at a tremendous disadvantage with the majority of voters who do not avail themselves of alternative news sources. A conservative estimate of the magnitude of this disadvantage is the gap between the views of the people and their representatives on the driver’s license bill and on ballot measures. (This estimate is conservative because it does not account the ability of the press to affect people’s views on the issues themselves.)


By this measure, media-bias is good for about a 20% electoral edge for the illiberal Democrat-left in California. With quite a bit of consistency, conservative/liberty issues that the people are 60% for, their representatives are 60% against. Subtract away this 20% electoral edge that can only be attributed to the illiberal media-monopoly and the core illiberal vote seems to be about 40%. Together with the 20% boost from their media monopoly, this leaves the Democrats in firm control except on ballot measures.


One way to fight back is to pursue a strategy of government by ballot measure. While this avenue has been a godsend for California, its power has up till now been greatly limited by Democrat control of the executive. The people could pass Prop. 209, for instance, but they couldn’t stop the Democrats who staff the government from finding ways to employ race preferences surreptitiously, as by giving university admission credit for overcoming “hardship,” then accounting race a hardship.[4]


With Governor Schwarzenegger now in control of the executive, government by ballot measure becomes a real possibility. How about an energy deregulation scheme, produced not by the Democrat sausage factory in Sacramento, which neither understands nor believes in markets, but produced by a panel economists who are experts in the field? With Arnold’s backing, the people would pass it 60-40 and the idiots in Sacramento could just be ignored.


The long term need is to break the left-wing media monopoly by buying one of California’s big four newspapers and turning it into a real newspaper, with no demagoguery either in news or opinions. Only when the left-wing media monopoly is broken will the actual conservatism of the California electorate be reflected in state government.


How about a California Truth Leader, with statewide distribution? Page three could be dedicated to exposing lies and bias in the state’s other major papers, while down one side of the front page would be listed all errors of fact or reason that had appeared in the Leader itself, in order of significance. It would be a profitable investment too. That is a guarantee, in this honesty-starved state. Anybody want a share?


Alec Rawls is a Contributing Editor of The Stanford Review. He is currently writing a book on republicanism. Contact alec@rawls.org or visit www.rawls.org.



Appendix: Some recent examples of lying in The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Jose Mercury News


Like The New York Times, The San Jose Mercury News and The San Francisco Chronicle lie with great regularity, often by commission, constantly by omission, always with the goal of slandering conservatives and conservatism. Consider three recent examples.


1.   The San Francisco Chronicle, 9/2/2003.   A news analysis on this date by Chronicle Washington bureau chief, Marc Sandalow, begins:


“Of all the arguments advanced by Gov. Gray Davis to fight the recall, none resonates more strongly with Democrats coast-to-coast than his assertion that Republicans are engaged in a systematic effort to steal elections.” [5]


The analysis then goes on to validate this perception. First, the theme of analyzing Democrat perceptions gives Sandalow a free hand to discuss Democrat viewpoints without having to consider competing Republican viewpoints. Thus for instance, he quotes Democrats complaining about supposed Republican perfidy in the Florida election, without giving any space to the other side. That is handy, because the de facto substance of the Supreme Court’s ruling was that it was the Democrat side, abetted by the Democrat dominated Florida Supreme Court, that was trying to steal the election. The U.S. Supremes agreed 7-2 that the Florida Supremes were allowing unconstitutional practices. (In fact, the Florida Supremes were letting Democrat election officials fish for counting schemes that would close the gap between Bush and Gore.) By a vote of 5-4 the U.S. Supremes then ruled in effect that giving the Florida Supremes a second chance to defy the Constitution was not a good enough reason to set aside the electoral college deadline. This is the actual substance of the Democrats’ charge of election stealing: that Republicans on the Supreme Court didn’t give them a second chance to steal the election, but Sandalow just lets the Democrat charge of election stealing stand unopposed.


Sandalow then goes on to make a systematic list of Democrat charges that the Republicans are trying to “overturn the will of the voters.” Reporting on the Democrat view of the subject again gives Sandalow an excuse to list charges uncritically. For instance, Sandalow lists as a Democrat complaint the Texas case where: “Democratic legislators, who fled the state to prevent [redistricting] from coming to a vote, are now facing threats of fines of over $50,000 per senator and other reprisals from the GOP majority.”  Punishment of Democrats for lawbreaking is listed as an undemocratic behavior on the part of Republicans, while no note is made that the punished lawbreaking had the express purpose preventing the Texas majority from wielding its legitimate powers. Neither is this overt effort to defy the will of the voters mentioned anywhere else in Sandalow’s analysis.


Of the Democrat complaints listed by Sandalow, the only one that has any substance is how the Republicans, after losing the 1996 presidential election, “defied public opinion by impeaching the president.” This has been an unfortunate aspect of our national politics ever since the Democrats created the special prosecutor law in the wake of Watergate. Whoever loses the presidency can use the special prosecutor law to put the president through the wringer. The Reagan administration was subject to seven special prosecutor investigations.[6] Sandalow makes no mention of how, until Clinton became ensnared in it, this Democrat creation was used almost exclusively by Democrats to attack Republicans.


While Sandalow lists every inflated Democrat charge, Republican complaints are listed cursorily and incompletely. Sandalow notes that Republicans: “point to the Democrats’ own legal efforts to challenge Forida’s certified results in 2000, and to the party’s  controversial replacement of Sen. Bob Torricelli on the New Jersey ballot last year just 36 days before the election.” No mention is made of the Republican interpretation of the Florida ruling—that by a 7-2 vote of the Supreme Court, the Democrats were caught cheating—and no mention is made that the late substitution of Frank Lautenberg for Robert Torricelli was contrary to New Jersey election law.


Most glaringly, Sandalow makes no mention anywhere in his article of the unprecedented and largely successful effort by Democrats to block President Bush’s judicial nominations via the majority-overriding mechanism of the filibuster. A 1500 word article on obstruction of majority rule, and this unprecedented obstruction of majority rule, keeping the Senate from its constitutional obligation to yield advice and consent (i.e. to vote), goes unremarked!


To support this one sided list of supposed Republican abuses, Sandalow then turns to supposedly neutral sources, “scholars and observers not affiliated with either party,” who support the Democrat charges.


The first “neutral” scholar cited is Allan Lichtman. No mention is made that this “neutral” scholar was an advisor to Al Gore during the 2000 elections and that his analysis of the 2000 elections, contained in the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ majority report on the elections, was roundly criticized by minority report author Abgail Thernstrom as blatantly biased and incompetent.[7] Lichtman, not surprisingly, toes the Democrat line, claiming that: “There has never been a use of power to this extent, in this magnitude, to change the whole structure of politics."


A second supposedly neutral commentator is Alan Ehrenhald, executive editor Governing Magazine, described by Sandalow as a “stridently nonpartisan” publication. Ehrenhald affirms that: “most of the serious outrages lately have come from the GOP side of the aisle.” His explanation? “When you don’t believe in government too much in the first place, you are less committed to the process of orderly management of government,” a statement that completely reveals Ehrenhald to be a statist-leftist. He does not even understand the concept of limited government! Conservatives are not “anti-government.” Limited government is about government having a proper role, outside of which it should not exist, but inside of which it should be powerful and efficient.


This statist-leftist is presented by Sandalow as a neutral authority who “tried hard to come up with similar Democratic ‘horror stories’ to balance an editorial titled ‘Republicans behaving badly’,” but couldn’t think of any. As fellow honest-broker Lichtman puts it: “The Republican Party is on a mission and the Democratic Party isn’t.”


Clinton didn’t behave badly, it was the Republicans who behaved badly by caring that he lied under oath. Texas Democrats didn’t behave badly by trying to deny majority rule a quorum, Republicans behaved badly by caring about subversion of majority rule. Democrats aren’t behaving badly by obstructing majority rule on judicial nominations. That doesn’t even bear mentioning. Democrats didn’t behave badly for trying to steal the Florida election. Republicans behaved badly for stopping them. It isn’t the Democrats fault that most Californians despise Gray Davis. It is the Republicans fault for giving Californians the chance to express that majority opinion. Sandalow and his “neutral observers” buy it all.


The one other-side-of-the-story that Sandalow does allow is how the wielding of majority power to solidify power is the way politics has always worked. Republican use of such powers as redistricting is nothing new. Democrats did the same thing when they were in the majority. This modicum of balance does nothing to offset the bogus claim that all the current “bad behavior” is on the Republican side. Its role in Sandalow’s article is only to explain this bad behavior. Still, Sandalow’s one bit of balance does point us in the right direction: it is Republicans who are wielding majority power, and Democrats who are resisting it.


Redistricting is majority rule. Voting on judicial nominations is majority rule. Recall elections are majority rule. In fact, all the efforts to undermine majority rule are on the Democrat side, just as we should expect at a time when Democrats are in transition from the majority to the minority. This is the real story: it is not Republicans who are resisting the will of the people, it is the Democrats.


Democrat resistance to majority rule ought not necessarily to be considered perfidious. Our system affords minority protections and minority powers for a reason. American republicanism is designed to serve and protect minorities as well as majorities. But Sandalow gets the story backwards, accusing Republicans of being the ones who are (now that they are in the majority) resisting majority rule! He is able to support this absurd thesis only by blatantly misrepresenting every fact involved.


Sandalow’s mindset is one of practiced obliviousness to any inconvenient truth. He can see the punishment of Texas Democrats for breaking the law as ruthless, yet still scratch his head alongside the “stridently non-partisan” Ehrenhald in trying to come up with any transgression the Democrats might have committed. Think, Sandalow, think! Might Democrat lawbreaking, for the express purposes of obstructing majority rule, constitute an attempt to “overturn the will of the people”?


Sandalow has the mentality of a Palestinian terrorist. Every Israeli act of self-defense is seen as an act of aggression, while the Palestinian terror bombings that force Israelis to defend themselves are seen as wholly innocent. This from the man who filters Washington news for San Francisco readers. Sandalow is the perfect counterpart to the Chronicle’s editorial board, who smear Republicans every day while depicting Democrats as earnest and good. They are the West Coast’s Al-Jazeera, or rather, one of its four Al-Jazeeras.



2.   San Jose Mercury News, 9/9/03.   A Mercury News editorial on this date (“After bait-and-switch warmaking comes predictable attack on critics”) charges that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld “called critics un-American and disloyal for questioning the administration’s fumbled attempts at nation-building.”[8] This claim is belied by a same day news article on the Mercury’s own pages that carried Rumsfeld’s actual remarks. What Rumsfeld actually said was:


“We know for a fact . . . that terrorists studied Somalia and they studied instances where the United States was dealt a blow and tucked in, and [they] persuaded themselves they could, in fact, cause us to acquiesce in whatever it is they wanted us to do. The United States is not going to do that. President Bush is not going to do that. Now, to the extent terrorists are given reason to believe he might, or [that] if he is not willing to, [his] opponents might prevail in some way . . . and they [the terrorists] take heart in that, and that leads to more recruiting . . . that leads to more encouragement, or that leads to more staying power. Obviously that does make it more difficult.”[9]


Rumsfeld was not talking about those who “question the administration’s fumbled attempts at nation-building.” (Lie number 1.) He was talking about those faint-hearts who, like the editors at The Mercury News, want to cut and run. Neither was he calling them disloyal. (Lie number 2.) He was merely pointing out the strategic consequences of what they advocate. Weakness encourages attack.


To the editors of the Mercury, these remarks by Rumsfeld constitute a violation of what they allow, for augmentative purposes only, to be our purpose in Iraq: “to overthrow the enemies of freedom, including the freedom to debate the decisions of powerful men who don't like to be questioned.” In other words, Rumsfeld’s criticism of the moral and strategic incompetence of the Mercury’s editors and their ilk is a violation of their First Amendment rights. Do the editors actually think that the First Amendment gives them, not just the right to criticize, but also a right to be free from criticism in response? Of course not. They just think they have obscured the issue well enough that they can tell another lie (number 3).


The charge of a “bait-and-switch” is a double lie. The supposed “bait and switch” is that, while “Americans never understood the absence of evidence linking Al-Qaida and Iraq,” we are now having to fight Al-Qaida in Iraq. Thus the charge consists first of an assertion that the administration’s justification for war and Iraq was an Iraq-Al Qaida connection, which the administration actually refused to assert (lie number 4), even though it certainly could have. (Czech intelligence still insists that it survailled 9/11 pilot Mohammed Atta meeting with an Iraqi spymaster in April 2001, and A Manhattan District Court found the evidence of an Iraqi airline hijack training compound at Salman Pak outside of Baghdad compelling enough for the families of 9/ll victims to win a $104 million verdict against Saddam Hussein’s regime.[10]) The second half of the charge is that it is a bait-and-switch for us now to be fighting who, according to the editors, we said we were going to Iraq to fight. Where’s the switch? (Lie number 5.)


That is five partially hidden but undeniable lies in four short paragraphs, two of them belied in a nearby news story. This is the modus operandi at The San Jose Mercury News. They twist the truth as hard as they think they can get away with. Considering the damage that such relentless disinformation can do to otherwise unknown conservative candidates and positions, the 20% electoral advantage that the left-wing media monopoly appears to generate in state politics is not hard to understand.



3.   The San Jose Mercury News and The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/12/03.   The Mercury and the Chronicle were enthusiastic participants in the conspiracy of lying that swept the national media this summer, branding President Bush a liar for citing in his State-of-the-Union speech the British intelligence report of Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium ore from Niger.


The back-story in California is the same as it was for the national media. In March of 2003 the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that documents invoked by Secretary of State Colin Powell in his presentation to the U.N. Security Council on February 5th, supporting the Iraq-Niger uranium link, had turned out to be obvious forgeries. A likely source was the Iraqis themselves, in a successful effort to taint all evidence of an Iraq-Niger link.[11] In any event, whatever the source of the phony documents, the CIA was duped.


By summer it had come out that the CIA had earlier had other reasons to be skeptical of the Iraq-Niger link. In 2002, the CIA had asked Ambassador Joseph Wilson to visit Niger and try to confirm or deny the British claim of Iraqi attempts to buy uranium. Wilson had been unable to confirm the report. As CIA director George Tenant put it in his July 11th statement on the Iraq-Niger intelligence: “He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerian officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office.” But what evidence he did find was supportive: “The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss ‘expanding commercial relations’ between Iraq and Niger,” adding that “the former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales.”[12]


This qualified skepticism was taken by the national media as grounds for charging the Bush administration with lying. The administration hadn’t just been duped. They knew the intelligence was “false.” But by the time of Tenet’s speech, British Prime Minister Tony Blair had already stood by the intelligence estimate. In his July 8th testimony before the House of Commons, Blair asserted that: “The evidence that we had that the Iraqi Government had gone back to try to purchase further amounts of uranium from Niger did not come from these so-called "forged" documents, they came from separate intelligence.”[13] Further, it had already been reported by the BBC on July 9th that: “The British Government also says that, when it drew up its dossier, it had not even seen the documents later shown to be forged.” Nothing in what Tenet claimed to know contradicted these British claims in any way.


In other words, the claim that the intelligence report had been known by the CIA to be false was clearly false. Neither was there any reportorial grounds for asserting that the intelligence itself was false. Yet the entire national media, having come so close to having grounds for accusations of lying, was not about to let the opportunity slip through its grasp. For the next full week, major media across the nation were in full roar, labeling the intelligence as “false” in hundreds of news stories while accusing the Bush administration of knowingly lying about it. On July 15th, Newsmax ran a LexisNexis search that “turned up over 1,000 print and television reports containing the words ‘uranium’ and ‘false’ or ‘erroneous’ in the nine days since the story was first misreported in the New York Times.” [14]


The whole episode will go down as an unprecedented explosion of mass slander by a fully aware free press. The self-righteous evil here is gargantuan: the pretense of outrage at a lie, when one is starkly aware that it is oneself who is lying, perpetrated by an entire class of professionals who are paid to tell the truth. Yet even amidst this unprecedented evil, The San Jose Mercury News and The San Francisco Chronicle still warrant special condemnation.


Both ran above-the-fold news stories on July 12, four days after Tony Blair declared the British intelligence sound, that labeled the British intelligence “false.” [15] These stories were picked up from other sources, but not only did both papers choose to print them as they were, the Chronicle even repeated the false allegations in its choice of headline: “CIA director takes blame for false Iraq claim.” Tenet had not suggested that the British intelligence claim was false, and it had been front page news all across Europe for several days that the British were standing behind it.


Four days later, On July 16, the Mercury News took slander to the next level. Where any moral editors would have felt some compunction to correct the false allegations it had published in wire stories, perhaps admitting that they themselves had been duped, the editors of the Mercury threw another late hit on the pig-pile, publishing a “timeline” about the controversy that listed every negative assessment of the British intelligence while omitting Blair’s by then eight day old rebuttal.[16]  The timeline includes the discovery that some intelligence documents concerning the Iraq-Niger uranium link were forged, but omits the British government’s assertion that its intelligence assessment pre-dated any exposure to the forged documents.


Just for good measure, the timeline asserts that President Bush’s State of the Union claim that al-Qaida was running a training camp in Northeastern Iraq was “also not true.” This timeline was written months after intelligence discoveries in the Iraq war had proven beyond all doubt that Ansar al-Islam in Northeastern Iraq was linked to al-Qaida. In short, if the editors of the Mercury had a chance to tell a lie, either by omission or commission, they took it, with full confidence that California’s left-wing media monopoly would protect them from repercussions. What could expose them? A letter to the editor? Those go in the round file.


Incredibly, the Mercury still was not done. Yet another week later, on July 21st, ex-editorial page editor Rob Elder, who keeps his hand in at the Mercury, ran an entire high-toned opinion article taking the Bush Administration to task for its supposed lying.[17]  The editors who ran Elder’s article certainly knew by this time that the premises of Elder’s article were all false. In fact, I had sent them a Letter to the Editor on the 16th condemning these same lies when they appeared in the Mercury’s timeline on that date (unpublished, of course). Elder himself is guilty at least of an extraordinary failure of due diligence, but even this would be no accident. The truth is simply not a priority for these people. They are fully self-conscious about treating inconvenient truth as their enemy. Want proof?


When I sent a detailed letter exposing how every premise in Elder’s article was demonstrably false and opined that telling slanderous lies about the President in an effort to undermine our war effort is treasonous, the editors did not print my corrections. They did, however, remove Elder’s article from their on-line archive.[18] At least Mr. Elder and his ex-underlings at the Mercury knew enough at that point to be embarrassed, but if they know enough to be embarrassed, they know that they should run an editorial clearing the President of the many slanders that the Mercury published about him. Essentially, they have acknowledged their lies privately, but refuse to rectify them publicly, proving the self-consciousness of their lack of integrity. (Ironically, Elder is a senior fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.)


Having a media monopoly, California’s big four illiberal newspapers have become utterly bold with their disinformation. The editors of these papers do not look at merit or reason or evidence. To them, merit is race or other victim group identity, or it is party. Anything that does not support what they presume to be right or in their interest they are oblivious to, seeing it as their job to filter out contrary reason and evidence so that it does not taint the minds of their readers. These are not news people. They are propagandists.


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[1]   This Field poll is available online at: http://field.com/fieldpollonline/subscribers/RLS2089.pdf. (All footnoted links in this article verified as of 9/16/2003.)

[2]   Vote tallies on the license bill (SB 60, 2003) are posted by FreeRepublic.com at:

[3]   I was unable to track down Ryan’s initial opinion page SUV article, but she apparently reprised it in a vitriol spewing, anti-war, anti-Hummer article entitled “An all-American vehicle,” April 6th, 2003. (Available at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/04/06/ED273940.DTL.) Interestingly, anti-war activists vandalized 65 Hummers and other SUVs in Chronicle reading Santa Cruz five days later. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/04/11/BA36159.DTL&type=news.) How’s that for illiberal influence?

[4]   See “UC admissions under fire again,” The San Francisco Chronicle, 10-10-2003, available at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/10/10/MN92829.DTL. Analysis of admissions discovered a group of 422 students admitted with markedly lower test scores and GPAs than other students. 378 were members of minority groups that had been favored under the earlier regime of racial preferences, now outlawed. One of the criteria mentioned by UC spokesmen for these preferential admissions is overcoming hardship.

                Interestingly, these research results, which became news immediately after the recall election, reveal how Prop. 54, had it passed, would have failed in its objective of keeping state functionaries from violating Prop. 209. Prop.54 would have banned even the collection of racial information by the state. But without this information, the surreptitious use of race by admissions officers at Berkeley never would have been caught. Essentially, Prop. 54 would have given them a free hand to use racial preferences, as the analyses necessary to catch them would be illegal! Turning out the lights tips the advantage to those who want to break the law and away from those who want to enforce it.

[5]   “Analysis: Widening cry against GOP election tactics,” The San Francisco Chronicle, 9/2/03, page A-1, available at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/09/02/MN25409.DTL.

[6]   For a history of the special prosecutor law, see http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/counsel/office/history.html.

[7]   See the Manhattan Institute brief: “Dissenting report on Florida finds no discrimination,” available at: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/dissenting_report_press_releas.htm. Thernstrom’s criticisms, and Lichtman’s association with Gore’s presidential campaign, are reviewed in this report.

[8]   San Jose Mercury News, 9/9/03, editorial page. Article is available at: http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/6727440.htm.

[9]   San Jose Mercury News, 9/9/03, page 8A, available at:  http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/6727376.htm.

[10]   Edward Jay Epstein has compiled a timeline on the Atta-Iraq story, available at: http://edwardjayepstein.com/2002question/prague.htm.  The Salman Pak evidence and the story of the Manhattan District Court case are reviewed in a 9/6/03 Newsmax article entitled: “Public's Belief in Iraq-9/11 Link Frustrates Prestige Press,” available at: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2003/9/6/170208.shtml. See also Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent remarks on this subject, available at: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2003/9/15/94839.shtml. On 9/17/03, President Bush denied that the United States has any evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. See “Bush: Sept. 11, Iraq not linked,” by Washington Post writer Dana Milbank, published in the Mercury News 9/18/03, available at: http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/special_packages/iraq/6800425.htm.  This statement, however, was apparently not based on any new intelligence assessments of the Atta-Iraq or Salman Pak-9/11 links. 

[11]        Newsmax reported on July 26th the suggestion by Sovietologist Herbert Romerstein that the forged documents are an example of a Soviet trick, taught to Iraqi intelligence, called “poisoning the well.” See http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/7/25/201107.shtml. Romerstein is quoted as saying: “The crude forgeries were designed to be exposed to discredit the truth about Saddam's nuclear program.”

[12]   The full text of Tenet’s July 11th statement can be found at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3060633.stm.

[13]   Blair quote is from the BBC article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3051709.stm. See also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3052453.stm.)

[14]    http://www.newsmax.com/archive/print.shtml?a=2003/7/15/143526

[15]   On July 12th, the Mercury’s top news story was a Knight Ridder article, “CIA takes blame for error,” that refers to “President Bush’s false assertion in his State of the Union address that Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa.” Also on the 12th, the lead news story in the Chronicle, “CIA director takes blame for false Iraq claim,” mis-described the British Iraq-Niger intelligence as a “baseless allegation” and a “false allegation.” The article was picked up from The Boston Globe.

[16]   See: “A timeline: who knew what and when? A tale of twisted ‘intelligence’,” Mercury News editorial page, 7/16/03.

[17]   “So few words, so many consequences,” by Rob Elder, The San Jose Mercury News, 7/21/03, editiorial page.

[18]   You can search the Mercury News archive yourself at: http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/. A search for Elder’s name brings up his other opinion pieces (including another slanderous one on June 11th titled “No evidence of weapons? Bush gets away with it”), but his July 12th opinion article can only be found on paper.