The Corner

Arguing With Rob Reiner & Co.

Forgot to mention an episode from last week. I was doing a Fox show and Rob Reiner and some hanger-ons were in the green room. We chatted pleasantly, and I did my hit, then I come back and Reiner and this other guy practically leap out of their chairs to say what I had just said was untrue. I was reacting to the Sharpton speech and had said it was playing on Democratic mythology–that the fact was that Gore asked for a recount only in those counties where he thought it would benefit him and in almost every scenario recounted by the media afterward, Bush had won. Now, both of these things happen to be flat out true. But we immediately got into the arcana of Florida. Reiner was very civil and well-informed, but eventually had to leave to get make-up. I was left with one of his sidekicks, a former Gore aide who was so raging mad that his hands were visibly shaking–really shaking–as he made his points. Now, it is kind of ridiculous how people on political shows pretend to be best of friends in green rooms, but, on the other hand, it is very, very bad form to raise your voice in a green room and shake with anger. It reminded me of dorm-room arguments I had in college. Anyway, this guy apparently forgot about the New York Times story that ran on November 12, 2001 titled, “Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote.” The Times reported that, “Contrary to what many partisans of former Vice President Al Gore have charged, the United States Supreme Court did not award an election to Mr. Bush that otherwise would have been won by Mr. Gore. A close examination of the ballots found that Mr. Bush would have retained a slender margin over Mr. Gore if the Florida court’s order to recount more than 43,000 ballots had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court.” The lesson I took away from it all is that Democrats are so used to plying nonsense on Florida, they can’t take it when someone calls them on it.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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