Democracy Now! February 18, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! February 18, 2002
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The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A look at Enron and Argentina and George Bushs theft of the presidential elections of 2000 with investigative journalist Greg Palast. A Presidents Day special.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY: A LOOK AT ENRON, ARGENTINA, AND GEORGE BUSHS THEFT OF THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS The taint of the Enron scandal keeps spreading, implicating an ever-wider array of Washington politicos. Among the latest to fall within its shadow are Army Secretary Thomas White and former Christian Coalition director, Ralph Reed. According to todays Washington Post, Reed sent a memo to Enron just weeks before the 2000 Presidential Election in which he offered to help the company deregulate the electricity industry by working his "good friends" in Washington. At the time, Reed was serving as a campaign adviser to Bush. For a hefty 6-figure fee, the conservative political strategist proposed a broad lobbying strategy that included using major campaign contributors, conservative talk shows and, yes, Washington connections. As Reed explained in his memo to Enron: In public policy, it matters less who has the best arguments and more who gets heard and by whom." The memo offers a glimpse into the relationship between Enron and the ultra-conservative, who was first recommended to the company in 1997 by Karl Rove, now a senior adviser to President Bush. Enlisting Reed's aid would have been in character with Enron's strategy of aligning itself with high-visibility political figures and pundits. Others who have accepted pay from Enron for their advice and other help include Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, economist Paul Krugman, CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and incoming Republican National Committee chairman Marc Racicot. Well, we are going to turn now to investigative reporter Greg Palast, who has been examining Enrons influence pedaling for years. The British tabloid the Mirror calls him "The Liar" and British Prime Minister Tony Blair says his reports contain "Not one shred of evidence." Palast's undercover investigations of corruption within the Blair Government for Britain's Observer have made him "New Labour's Public Enemy Number One". He was named the BBC's Guerilla News Networks Reporter of the Year this year for his work on the World Bank and the IMF. Well, I spoke to Greg Palast two weeks ago, just days after a scathing report was released placing the blame for Enrons collapse directly on top executives like Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. During our conversation, we also spoke of Argentina and the stealing of the 2000 Election. But first, heres what Greg Palast had to say about Enron. GUEST: GREG PALAST, investigative reporter who writes for the BBC, the British Guardian, and the British Observer. His latest book is The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY CONTD 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 A PRESIDENTS DAY SPECIAL: ON THE DAY THE NATION HONORS ALL ITS PRESIDENTS, DEMOCRACY NOW ASKS, WHO REALLY WON THE 2000 ELECTION? Today is Presidents Day, the national holiday honoring all presidents of the United States. Good presidents, bad presidents, long-dead presidents, recent presidents. It even honors impeached presidents. But what about illegitimate presidents? Does a person who was selected rather than elected get to bask in the glow of this holiday? Well, today, in recognition of Presidents Day, we continue our discussion of the stolen election of 2000. Several months ago, in mid-November, a review of uncounted ballots in the Bush-Gore election revealed that George W. Bush would have lost Florida and therefore the Presidency if there had been a complete statewide recount. The data, compiled by Associated Press and seven other news organizations, suggests that Gore would have won if all of Floridas votes had been counted. Ironically, Bush would only have won if Gore had gotten what he wanted a selective recount of only four counties.But this is not how the major media reported it several months ago. Virtually every newspaper in the country said the opposite - that the recount study showed Bush carried Florida. The results of a study indicating that the wrong person is in the White House would be incredible under any circumstances, but even more so considering the fact that the man in power has declared war on the world. We go now to an interview I conducted in mid-November with author, Jeffrey Toobin. As a staff-writer for the New Yorker, Toobin spent much of the fall of 2000 in Florida, reporting on the battle for the presidency. At the time of the interview, he had just published his own book about the infamous election. I began by asking him about the book and why, despite his argument that Gore had won the election, it had been titled, Too close to Call: The Thirty-Six Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election. GUEST: Jeffrey Toobin, writes for the New Yorker, and is the author of "Too Close To Call: The Thirty-Six Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election." 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS MUSIC 6 - REVOLUTION POSTPONED by Brooklyn Funk Essentials 20 - RETROGRADE by Rachelle Garniez & the Fortunate Few 40 - OLD DEVIL MOON by Yip Harburg End - RETROGRADE by Rachelle Garniez & the Fortunate Few

Date Recorded on: 
February 18, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
February 18, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. February 18, 2002
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