Ethics Dunce: Prof. Jonathan Turley


Oh, fine. Now Professor Jonathan Turley, whom Ethics Alarms often relies on for sound, unbiased reasoning and constitutional expertise, is perpetuating an apparently unkillable progressive false narrative. And there is no excuse for it. Not for Turley, not for anyone.

I was going to reference his commentary regarding the idiotic and ignorant claim being pushed by deplorables—like Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, a real embarrassment to the legal profession—that Trump could be “reinstated” as President once it is proven that the 2020 election was stolen and he really won. As shouldn’t even need to be explained, not by Turley, not by a community college volunteer civics teacher with a losed head injury, that cannot happen. Never. Even if it could be shown that Trump won, which is also so close to impossible that it’s not worth discussing, there is still no way to undo a Presidential election. Then, right in the middle of Turley’s explanation, I read this:

“In Florida, later tallies indicated that Al Gore likely won that state. It did not matter. George Bush was already sworn in as president.”

Et tu, Turley? That’s something Trump might write, but he’s not a professor or a lawyer. It’s something Powell might write, but she’s an idiot. Hey, I know blogging takes a lot of time, and checking the accuracy of what you write when you just want to get a post up is a pain, but people trust you, damn it. You have an obligation not to be careless. You have an even greater obligation not to perpetuate Left-wing lies and propaganda.

I trust Turley to such an extent that I began to doubt my own knowledge and research. Wait, could that be true? How did I get that wrong for all these years? It took me 42 seconds to confirm that Turley repeated an easily-checked partisan falsehood, probably because so many of his leftist colleagues at the George Washington law school believe it. From that infamous conservative lie machine, PBS:

Media Recount: Bush Won the 2000 Election

In the first full study of Florida’s ballots since the election ended, The Miami Herald and USA Today reported George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue, using standards that would have allowed even faintly dimpled “undervotes” — ballots the voter has noticeably indented but had not punched all the way through — to be counted.

The study, conducted by the accounting firm of BDO Seidman, counted over 60,000 votes in Florida’s 67 counties, tabulating separate vote totals in several standards categories.

While the USA Today report focused on what would have happened had the Florida Supreme Court-ordered recount not been halted by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Herald pointed to one scenario under which Gore could have scored a narrow victory — a fresh recount in all counties using the most generous standards.

In their reports, the newspapers assumed counts already completed when the court-ordered recount was stopped would have been included in any official count. Thus, they allowed numbers from seven counties — Palm Beach, Volusia, Broward, Hamilton, Manatee, Escambia and Madison — to stand, but applied the most inclusive standards to votes in the rest of the state. If those numbers did not stand, the Herald reported, a more generous hypothetical revisited recount would have scored the White House for Gore — but with only a 393-vote margin.

Under most other scenarios, the papers reported, Bush would have retained his lead….

Here’s what the Associated Press reported: A vote-by-vote review of untallied ballots in the 2000 Florida presidential election indicates George W. Bush would have narrowly prevailed in the partial recounts sought by Al Gore, but Gore might have reversed the outcome – by the barest of margins – had he pursued and gained a complete statewide recount.”

FactCheck.Org, the best of a biased lot, explained that while some studies “indicated” that Gore “might” have won Florida “by a range of 42 to 171 votes out of 6 million cast, had there been a broad recount of all disputed ballots statewide. However, Gore never asked for such a recount. The Florida Supreme Court ordered only a recount of so-called “undervotes,” about 62,000 ballots where voting machines didn’t detect any vote for a presidential candidate.” Then it adds,

“None of these findings are certain…County officials were unable to deliver as many as 2,200 problem ballots to the investigators that news organizations hired to conduct the recount. There were also small but measurable differences in the way that the “neutral” investigators counted certain types of ballots, an indication that different counters might have come up with slightly different numbers. So it is possible that either candidate might have emerged the winner of an official recount, and nobody can say with exact certainty what the “true” Florida vote really was.

No mater how you slice the data, however, this is clear: “later tallies indicated that Al Gore likely won” is false. Wrong. Misinformation. Inexcusable.

I assume Turley’s commenters are taking him to task, but I don’t think he reads his blog’s comments. (I get flack, meanwhile, for responding to mine.) Ethics Alarms is giving him a month’s suspension, or until he fixes his error and apologizes.

5 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Prof. Jonathan Turley

  1. The media is responsible for people thinking ridiculous things like “Trump could be reinstated.” They spent 4 years pretending like the 2016 election could be overturned due to “Russian collusion,” and that Hillary could somehow be made president instead of Trump. They lie constantly, spout illogical things constantly, and generally seem to actively try to make the American people dumber.

    I cannot count the number of times I have seen lies about the pandemic, or the “insurrection” or election integrity reported as facts, then extrapolated from to justify even bigger lies.

    It isn’t surprising to me the Turley would be repeating a lie, but it is sad. People don’t know the difference between truth and lies anymore.

    When there is no source of truth that can be trusted, people start inventing their own version of the truth. Conspiracy theories flourish. Society fractures.

  2. I supported Trump but I would not want him reinstated even if he did actually win. Doing so would cause every losing candidate to litigate every election from here on out.

  3. I sent a message to Jonathan a this morning 4am after I caught wind of the error and he changed the sentence sometime after that to “In Florida, Democrats claims that later tallies showed that Al Gore likely won that state.”

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