Reporting on President George W. Bush's efforts to win the support of Roman Catholics (who have historically favored Democrats), FOX News Channel White House correspondent Wendell Goler referred to the Supreme Court's 2000 decision as having "confirmed Mr. Bush's victory." Goler made this statement on the August 3 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume.
The Court's unsigned opinion did not, in fact, "confirm" Bush's victory. All the Court did was reverse the Florida Supreme Court, holding that the state court's order of a statewide ballot recount was unconstitutional because it did not provide, in the words of the five-justice majority, "adequate statewide standards for determining what is a legal vote."
Though the ruling had the practical effect of handing the White House to then-Governor Bush (R-TX), the "victory" that Goler described the Court as having "confirmed" was -- and is -- in no way clear. Indeed, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, under a 2001 study sponsored by numerous national news organizations and conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC), former Vice President Al Gore emerged the winner in at least four recount scenarios.
- Posted In