In his August 20 column, nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz joined other conservatives in misrepresenting the 2000 presidential election by claiming that “every single recount in Florida, even a recount handled by a media consortium unfriendly to [George W.] Bush, showed Al Gore lost.”
Boortz is not alone: FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly, radio host Rush Limbaugh, nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck, National Review Online contributor Peter N. Kirsanow, and The Wall Street Journal's editorial page have all been documented by Media Matters for America repeating this inaccurate claim in recent months.
As MMFA has noted on each occasion, the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC) conducted a study which concluded that in at least four different recount scenarios, Gore emerged the winner of the disputed election. The NORC study was sponsored by news organizations including the Associated Press, The New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, Co., Tribune Publishing (which owns the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, and South Florida Sun-Sentinel), and The Wall Street Journal itself. According to a November 12, 2001, Washington Post article on NORC's findings, "[I]f Gore had found a way to trigger a statewide recount of all disputed ballots, or if the courts had required it, the result likely would have been different. An examination of uncounted ballots throughout Florida found enough where voter intent was clear to give Gore the narrowest of margins."