Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hyman's "Voter Fraud" Fraud

With election day coming up, Mark Hyman wonders, “why on Earth would the government print foreign language ballots when naturalized citizens are supposed to speak English?”

We’ll tell you why in a moment, Mark, but first, let’s correct a few things.

You say “foreign language ballots reward those who choose not to assimilate into the melting pot of America.”

Is providing a document in someone’s native language that they will see likely no more than once or twice every few years actually going to disincline them to learn English?

And even if it did, it’s their right as an American citizen not to assimilate. We might not like it, but then again, I don’t like your insistence on not assimilating yourself into the reality-based community. Yet, it’s certainly your right not to. Moreover, if it would actually help you to better understand your ballot on election day by having leprechauns, unicorns, a photo of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden shaking hands, and other bits of fantasy in the margins, I’d support your right to have such a specialized ballot.

You say, “Foreign language ballots are ripe for election fraud.”

Why? What evidence do you have that such ballots have been particularly susceptible to fraud? What reasonable explanation do you have for why they might be problems in the future? Perhaps there is such supporting evidence, but you don’t provide it (I suspect because it doesn’t exist).

This is a sloppy bit of argumentation, one that, if it appeared on freshman composition essay, I’d immediately annotate with the words “WHERE’S YOUR EVIDENCE?!” scrawled in the margins in red ink.

Your final argument is that someone has to be “fluent” in English in order to become a citizen, and therefore its silly and wasteful to print up ballots in alternate languages.
But as you yourself note, the requirement is simply that a potential citizen have a basic working knowledge of typical, everyday words and phrases. I doubt “County Comptroller” or the niceties of

a voter recall of a governor are words and phrases that come up in daily conversation, yet they appear on ballots all the time. Heck, most native speakers of English could probably use a translation of some of the gobbledygook that appears on ballots.

The reason we print ballots in other languages in voting areas with a high density of non-native speakers of English is because voting is the most fundamental of rights in a democracy. Everyone, whether their ancestors stepped off the boat at Plymouth Rock centuries ago or at Miami a couple of decades ago, deserves the right to make an informed choice on election day. Printing a handful of ballots in other languages for those areas where languages other than English are still the norm, even for longtime U.S. citizens, is a small price to pay to ensure that right.

Not that the actual price, or even the supposed rewarding of non-assimilation, is your goal. Like unconstitutional voter ID bills, your proposal for all-English ballots is a transparent attempt to turn the clock back by discouraging or preventing people from voting—particularly people whom you suspect won’t vote the way you want them to.

Jim Crow attempts to disenfranchise voters were ugly in the past, and they are no less ugly now, even when gussied up in the vestments of “common sense.”

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.38


At 9:26 AM, Anonymous St. L. P. said...

Hi Ted. I've enjoyed your blog for the past several months. I'm a former Sinclair employee from a station in Florida whose news operation was funded, but not fully owned, by Sinclair. We never ran The Point on our news shows, but knew very well about what Hyman was spewing on less-fortunate Sinclair stations.

Anyhow, I couldn't find your direct E-mail address, but I wanted to pass the following article along, from the TV insider Website "Newsblues" ( Perhaps your days of rebuttal against Hyman's verbal sewage may be limited!

Keep up the good work!


An anonymous tipster reports that Sinclair Broadcast Group will part ways, effective December 1, with Mark Hyman, Sinclair's VP of corporate communications, whose politically-skewed "The Point" commentaries angered liberals and paved the way for the collapse reorganization of Sinclair's coveted "Newscentral" experiment earlier this year.

It was Hyman, as corporate spokesman and Washington lobbyist, who called the French "cheese eating surrender monkeys" and labeled antiwar Congressman "unpatriotic politicians who hate our military." And it was Hyman who insisted that "Newscentral" stories have a clear ideological bent....positive for conservatives and Republicans, negative for Democrats and liberals.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous St. L. P. said...

Press release from Sinclair re: the upcoming hiatus of The Point:

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, what a loss. What a terrible, terrible loss.

Perhaps Ted-blog viewers can pitch in and buy Mark a retirement gift.

But what?

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's more in the Baltimore Sun,0,1302733.story

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Wow! Thanks for the news.

What's interesting is the different versions of how/why Hyman's leaving that come up in the newsblues piece, the official press release from Sinclair, and the newspaper article.

I asked my wife, a former public relations pro, to decipher the PR-ese of the Sinclair statement, and what she said is that whenever you see your name associated with the phrase "important strategic issues," in a press release of this sort, you're screwed.

My own personal fantasy of what happened is that George Soros got wind of Hyman's slander of him a few weeks ago (slanders that have been taken down from the Sinclair website), called up David Smith, and said, "either you get that schmuck off the air, or I sue your ass into the stoneage for slander and defamation of character."

I'm going to choose to believe that until proven otherwise. :-)


At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got it! Let's all pitch in and buy Mark Hyman a lifetime membership in the ACLU! What a great going-away gift that would be for Herr Hyman!

Mike B. in SC

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Herbert Birdsfoot said...

I was thinking a good gift for Hyman would be something like a record player, a YoYo, or maybe a gyroscope, but I like the ACLU membership idea.

Ted, any thoughts on what direction your blog will take if Hyman actually does go away?


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