back to article Tea Party activists accused of rigging Dancing vote to favour Palin

Flaws in the email voting system deployed by ABC for the talent show Dancing With the Stars are being credited with allowing Tea Party supporters to stuff the ballot in favour of Bristol Palin. dwts Palin junior and partner Mark Ballas qualified for Monday's final of the show despite consistently mediocre marks from expert …


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  1. Wibble

    Best strapline ever!

    Now how do I get that tune out of my head?!?

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      You should have listened...

      ... to the girl in the corner who, boy, tried to warn you, that it would turn into a Ballroom Blitz (Ballroom Blitz)!

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Hollerith 1

    The key principles of the Teabaggers...

    Honesty, personal integrity, iron commitment to probity, honour.


    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Key "principles?!?

      0 out of 4 ain't bad....

  4. hamsterjam


    Offspring of right-wing politician suspected of vote fraud? Wasn't that George H. W. Bush's son (allegedly)?

    And plus: Why would anyone believe that a vote on a TV show was honest? What would make it so? The audience is in dead last place in the order of things behind the management, the talent, the guests, the creatives and the advertisers. So much so that the likelihood of the game *not* being rigged is frankly incredible.

    Finally, not to put too fine a point on it, who gives a fsck?

    1. John I'm only dancing
      Thumb Up

      @ what

      Hanging chads abound. It isn't difficult to rig these types of vote...But why anyone would want to in this case is beyond me...Z-list celebrity wants to raise their profile on show with the lowest comon denominator...I'm a Celebrity, leave me in here with all the others and get the buggers off our screens.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Them Neo-Cons sure do love their ballot-stuffing

    The rest of the world will have the last laugh when Palin Sr is elected President...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "The rest of the world will have the last laugh when Palin Sr is elected President..."

      Laugh? I'll probably shit myself in terror!

    2. hplasm Silver badge

      Last laugh is probably right...

      Where's the mushroom cloud icon?

    3. MinionZero

      when Palin Sr is elected President ... Be afraid, be very afraid...

      @"laugh when Palin Sr is elected President"

      I won't be laughing, I will be digging my own fall out shelter!

      It doesn't surprise me to find her daughter trying to be a reality star (let alone corruption going on behind it). If Palin Sr wins, I will consider her to be the first truely 100% reality star President. Almost every time she opens her mouth, I fear for the future more. :(

    4. Kevin Bailey

      We're still dealing with the chaos...

      ...left behind by George W.

      * Fail to keep the Isreali's under a bit of control - you get 9/11.

      * Give $100,000 tax breaks for SUV's - you get foriegn oil dependency.

      * Allow an underling to sack the Iraqi police force and army - you get current 'Iraq'.

      * Persist with completely failed 'War on Drugs' - you get current 'Mexico' and all the other south american basket cases.

      * Fail to keep the banks under control - you get global financial problems.

      The very last thing the world needs is a self-important, airhead as US president. We're still dealing with legacy problems created when we had our own self-important, airhead prime minister - i.e. Thatcher.

      * Destroy coal industry on some sort of personal vendetta - end up with Russia having us by the balls cos we need their gas.

      * Destroy UK manufacturing - get a country which is now reliant on public jobs.

      * Sell off profitable state industries for short term gain - leave a basis for the country to run into debt.

      * Turn state monopolies into private monopolies - we have crappy BT, Railtrack etc etc

      * Allow the City to do what the hell they want - you get the current financial problems.

      We need strong, principled, intelligent leaders - please vote accordingly.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Hold on a sec...

    Multiple emails from a "single IP" are being barred...? Hello...?

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Why not?

      Why not? In most cases that would be one vote per household (although people could submit multiple votes from work, school, etc, at their own risks)

      Here, have my knicker untwister.

      Also, who cares?

      1. Oninoshiko

        I think you are mistaken.

        umm, you are mistaken. That would normally be one or two votes per ISP.

        (Most emails are sent to a email server for the isp and routed from there. Digital Forensics 101 says you can't trust anything in the header, so you can only trust that you know the precedining hop)

        We havent even brought up the concept of gmail/hotmail/yahoomail/FBmail/etc.

        I'll agree with you on one thing though, who cares?

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Good enough

          >That would normally be one or two votes per ISP

          >you can't trust anything in the header

          Well, it IS significantly harder to spoof the path than the From: header.

          Keep in mind that we are most probably talking about non-technical people using a mail agent that allows to enter custom From: from the GUI. Not only do they watch stupid gameshows, they also VOTE in them.

          I'd say relying on the path in the headers would be more than enough in that case (we're not trying to thwart a Sino-Russian secret spy agency here, they're just lusers who put their hands on KMail or something similar).

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Another point

          >We havent even brought up the concept of gmail/hotmail/yahoomail/FBmail/etc.

          As it were, they do report the originating IP quite reliably, and filtering by IP adress looks like the only practical way to prevent _that_ sort of stuffing.

          Of course you could use proxies, but that's quite risky.

        3. Rob Dobs

          You think too highly of us

          When did you get the impression that packets were routed based on digital forensics rules?

          This is a very key example of where the real world is not a laboratory.

          To route a packet from network to another, you MUST trust the origin and destination in the header.

          To put it simply, you could not correspond through the regular post with a person, without you provide the return address. Likewise, webpages could not be fed to your computer, images could not be downloaded etc, unless they are being requested from your IP and being sent to your IP.

          The only case where this is not true, is with NAT behind a firewall. But in these cases the NAT/firewall device (SHOULD) be able to take care of this.

          ISP's are not given small blocks of IP address space, (most have at least a class B). Even the smallest ISP's would have to have a Class c (255 address) or lease IP addresses from a real ISP.

          Sure there will be some shared internet access sites (5 students sharing a house will only have 1 IP address, etc) but this does for the most part give one vote to each family home.

          Where there is more of a problem is with Dial-up access (which yes is still in use by a large chunk of the US). With the older Dial-up (and even some cable and other ISP's) when you power cycle your modem it will get a new IP address. With some you have to wait until the DHCP window times out for an hour or more (the time it takes to give out a new address, otherwise you get the same address over again.)

          Either way it would not take too much effort for someone on one of these systems to cycle through all the available IP addresses and get a few hundred votes. Of course with others on the network try to vote they will be denied (and should invalidate the original double vote as well)

          Really I understand the whole "how gives a F&*K" attitude about the whole article, Palin's living hypocrisy, oh I mean daughter and the whole TV show don't matter for jack-sh*t.

          What does matter is a rogue party is able to keep their 15 minutes going longer than allotted, plus if they are willing to cheat to win here, it proves they will cheat to win - so that means real elections as well.

          How did a party that has no real platform ever get this much credibility.

          Once people FORCE them to answer questions about what they stand for, they will see that these people are a bunch of crazy f*ck-wits that want to tell you how to run your life, but don't want any regulation on the things they enjoy. One of these snotty little jokes of a politician actually said they didn't need to answer questions about what they would do, we just elect them and see was their viewpoint - holyf*ck and then some stupid Americans actually did!

          1. Oninoshiko

            Re: You think too highly of us

            We aren't talking about routing PACKETS we are talking about routing EMAILs.

            Since you don't know how email works, allow me to explain it to you, here is an example email (with full headers (shamelessly stolen from

            Return-Path: []

            Received: from ( [])

            by (8.10.2/8.10.2) with ESMTP id NAA23597;

            Fri, 12 Jul 2002 16:11:20 -0400 (EDT)

            Received: from ( [])

            by; Fri, 12 Jul 2002 13:09:38 -0700 (PDT)

            Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 13:09:38 -0700 (PDT)

            From: Hot Summer Deals <>


            Subject: Just what you've been waiting for!!

            The only thing that you know for sure here is that (which is most likely a mail server, not an end user (although it could be an end user, but getting access to a domain would probibly be overkill, but not impossible)) sent this email to ANYTHING below that is AUTOMATICLY suspect. In this case is most-assuredly a forgery (as the reverse lookup went to, but even being sent by would be trivially easy to fake. This is because the receveing machine at just accepted (because it has no way to varify) whatever said happened before, so all one would have to do it type that as text into the header when it was sent. In the example that is probibly not the case, and is probibly an open relay. We know this because any one who was any good would have used an ip that actually corresponded to if (s)he was trying to fake a mail from there.

            So, allow me to restate my point. without crypographic techniques you have no way of knowing the source of an email, if it has be tampered with, and CERTAINLY no way of knowing if it has been read by a 3rd party. Email is inherently insecure.

            In the case of most spam this doesn't matter because the average use doesn't know how to read these headers anyway.

            One last point, after 2/3s of your responce was devoted to a technical responce which was so off base we couldn't even consider it wrong, you devoted a whole 1/3 to a political rambling when I didn't even make an assessment one way or the other (and frankly this has little to do with). All I can say is "wow."

            1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

              Aaah, so you didnt read my replies then.

              >So, allow me to restate my point. without crypographic techniques you have no way of knowing the source of an email, if it has be tampered with, and CERTAINLY no way of knowing if it has been read by a 3rd party. Email is inherently insecure.

              Yes it is, when you're dealing with tech-savy people and high-stakes fraud. Here were talking about a TV show that allows vottes for a ~1h timeframe. For the people who vote in these, the Intarwubs are a blue 'e', and while it might be politically interesting to spend a few thousand emails with spoofed 'From:' headers, anything more technical is most probably:

              1. far beyond the technical reach of the nutters involved, and

              2. not worth the hassle and risk to begin with.

              Also, as I said, filtering by IP is probably the only convenient way to avoid one single person voting through a hundred ad-hoc yahoo! or Gmail adresses (contrarily to what you seem to believe, yahoo! et al do report the originating IP.)

    2. John I'm only dancing


      A Palin botnet.. perish the thought.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Persih the though indeed but

        'tis likely more intelligent than the real Palin

  7. Antony King

    voting integrity

    Interesting that there's usually more fuss made about vote fraud on a reality TV show than there is during a presidential election.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Obi wan you're my only hope"

      Sadly it is the likes of xfactor and celebrity jungle cuisine (or whatever) that will motivate the unwashed masses into action over voting fraud and with any hope actual systems of power and governance will have to be kept up to date with 'the (pop) industry standard'.

    2. Tom 13

      And if El Reg had done even some cursory research instead of just linking to MSLSD,

      they might have stumbled upon this little posting and had a whole different take on Bristol's Pistols:

      It seems one of the organizers chose Palin and the show for precisely those reasons. Which would seem to mesh well with El Reg's typical concern about vote fraud in computerized systems with no backup paper trail. But hey, now that it's no longer possible to engage in BDS, I suppose PDS will have to suffice.

  8. Dazed and Confused

    But why?

    Why Tux,

    what has the tea party got to do with Linux?

  9. Peter 39

    Bristol will win

    If the rules are changed then they'll be challenged in Court, just like 2000.

    Bristol will win there 5-4 (or better), just like Dubya.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    ABC is reportedly considering changing the voting system

    "ABC is reportedly considering changing the voting system, placing more weight on the opinion of the judges, for Monday's final"

    Yeah, I can just imagine how Fox News would cover that.

    1. Jakeson

      Bristol has improved immensely and ABC may indeed change the rules.

      Yes, I can believe that is possible as liberals do like to use that method to win for their candidate by changing the rules during the contest.

      Lets face it. Bristol and her partner has improved more than ANY other of the contestants. If the liberals wanted to embarrass Bristol, they might have put more than two professional dancers into the lineup.

      Brandy stared in a Disney movie called Cinderella in which she danced a fine waltz. She danced no better and show no improvement during this competition over what she did in that movie.

      Jennifer, is a favorite of mine due solely to her performance as a professional in the movie "Dirty Dancing". She has injured knees evidently and has tried repeatedly to gain sympathy for that to improve her scores. I love her dancing, but no improvement during this competition.

      What is this, a show horse for professional dancers, or a competition between showing new ability and a willingness to improve and learn?

      Lets face it, these judges are not judging this as I would have expected from professional judges. I strongly believe the public vote is a better reading of the quality of improvement and dancing.

      1. Marvin the Martian


        What are you on about? You're seriously discussing on a UK site a tv programme nobody here can watch. Well -- the equivalent show is here of course (as it is in every country), but not yours.

        And nobody cares here; it's a tech site not a tv review. Why blabber about Palin improving much because there was (and is) so much room for improvement (or that's what I guess, TL;DR)?

        1. Rasczak



          What are you on about? You're seriously discussing on a UK site a tv programme nobody here can watch.


          See title

  11. JimC Silver badge

    Public Vote for high profile personality

    who is consistently given mediocre marks by expert judges...

    Of course it couldn't happn here...

  12. Bill Cumming

    So I'm blaming...

    ... The Tea-Party (Tea-Baggers) for Wagner's continuance in the xFactor...

    No one else I know vote for him. but he always gets through.....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You miserable lot

    Is it just possible that Bristol Palin has caught the imagination of the American viewing public?

    Her qualification to participate on DwtS is certainly down to who her mother is (though she has a profile as a "teen activist", also based on who her mother is). But she presents a wonderfully contradictory figure: a member of a neo-con family who has become a teenage mother yet eschewed the shotgun marriage and then gone on to promote sexual responsibility. And she came to DwtS with no dancing experience, and her dancing has developed and blossomed on the show.

    Yes, I'm sure that there is Tea Party support for her which would be there even if she did a John Sargent/Ann Widdicombe, but she hasn't: she's learned to dance well. I have to admit to being a SCD and DwtS addict, and I enjoy watching her dance even though her mother's politics are obnoxious.

    Give the girl a break.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But she's awful

      According to the contractor and chippe who have been doing some renovations in my apartment this last week.

      And they both then incidentally asked later why I don't have a tv .... to avoid rubbish like this. Anything good can be found on the interwebs and you avoid most advertising.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Short Answer:

      "Is it just possible that Bristol Palin has caught the imagination of the American viewing public?"

      Short answer: No.

      Next question?

    3. 42

      Nope impossible

      Devil spawn for the win? You MUST be joking!

  14. LawLessLessLaw

    We did this for lulz

    The first year "Stars in Their Eyes" had an online poll they had nothing to stop multi-voting. So we whipped up an auto-voting script. Was funny hearing Matthew Kelly say "we've had an amazing response to our Internet voting".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Because everyone knows...

    Because everyone knows that this is the first time in history that someone has stuffed a ballot box to favor someone... Our liberal friends seem to be forgetting the U.S. Presidential Election of 2008.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      It seems pretty rich for a group of nutcases claiming "voter fraud" in the 2008 election, while engaging in actual voter fraud on a reality show.

      You also seem to forget the Presidential Election of 2000 as well.

    2. Tom 13

      You mean the Minnesota Senatorial Race of 2008.

      While it is true the 2008 presidential election was corrupted, that occurred on a whole different level when the entire press corp abdicated their job of asking tough questions to ALL candidates. It was the 2008 Minnesota Senatorial race that seated Al Franken in which the vote stealing methods of the Democrat party were on display for anyone with eyes to see. To wit: One of the towns for which "new" votes were "found" for Franken had more ballots cast than the town had registered voters.

  16. BillG Silver badge

    Whining Crybabies

    I'm sick of the Bristol-bashing. (why no complaining the low-scoring Kyle Massey is in the finals?) Absolutely no evidence of fraud, right? Absolutely no evidence! And you're not happy that the rest of the country doesn't HATE like you do? O.K., so hallucinate a fantasy technical scenario about fraudulent votes and let's ignore the fact that ABC not only specifically blocks that technical scenario about fraudulent votes, but that' it's ridiculously easy to block those fraudulent votes as well.

    C'mon, does anyone doubt that when you vote online ABC records your IP address, user agent, proxy, and any and all info they can get about you? For crying out loud, ABC's own TOS spells out that they record all that information so they can profile who's voting and from where!

    And let's not forget that ABC WANTS to block fraud, they NEED to block fraud, it's ESSENTIAL to guarantee the ratings. Yes, ABC's Viewer Voting System *guarantees* them ratings by bringing back next week only the dancers people most want to see. Voting off the legitimately less popular dancer GUARANTEES maximum ratings for next week. Any other scenario brings in less ratings.

    There is one thing that all these whiners agree upon - they absolutely refuse to believe that the American people legitimately voted to keep Bristol Palin on every week. These whiners can't accept a world where everyone doesn't hate the same people they hate - if they don't get their way, there must be something underhanded going on. I pity those people.

    I can absolutely guarantee that Bristol is there because the voters want her there.

    1. 42

      Put your analyst on danger money baby

      You must be insane~!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Too dumb to vote..

      Wow, just WOW, you really are naive aren't you.

      Keeping a dreadful contestant and a good contestant or causing some sort of rift between fans of different contestants guarantees ratings, it also guarantees that the morons who watch that sort of shite fill the coffers with the proceeds of 'phone votes, that they buy merchandise and newspapers that cover it favourably.

      Never, ever forget that the business of entertainment is exactly the same as every other business, to make maximum ROI, to do that they will use every trick in the book, if it means manipulating a vote, then so be it. It happens and often.

      Paris, plastic reality at it's very best

    3. Lottie


      You didn't have your caps lock on, but it still felt like shouting!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sh te

        I always thought that shouting was raising your voice.

        Having your CAPS lock on is no more than typing in capital letters.

        Caps or not, I still think your daft!

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Sh te


    4. Tom 38 Silver badge

      """I'm sick of the Bristol-bashing. """

      fnar fnar

      Actually, Bill, also completely wrong facts in your comment. Controversy doesn't bring in ratings? I think you will find it does!

    5. Tom 13

      You're doing well up to the last line.

      There are certainly people out there who claim, and probably are trying to rig the vote for her. The point they are trying to make is that vote by mail, vote by internet, and anything else except some system where you must physically present yourself and you have a clear and unbreakable chain for forensic examination later is subject to tampering and fraud.

      I do suspect Bristol might actually be winning without the manipulation. Someone on a radio show tonight noted her three daughters keep voting for her because she wears modest costumes unlike other contestants. Her back story (normal kid unexpected thrown into the spotlight, makes a mistake, tries to do the right thing after making the mistake) pulls at the heart strings of all but the most hate-filled libtards. And unlike a presidential election, there isn't really anything of import at stake in the voting for this show, so why not vote your heart?

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    A failure in ABC's systems?

    "a failure in ABC's systems to validate whether an email address submitting a vote is real or not"

    Er, is that a failure? I think if you could figure out a way to determine the validity of an email address then quite a lot of spammers and anti-spammers would like to hear from you.

    No, the real failure in ABC's systems is using an internet poll and then actually caring about the final result. Internet polls can be fun, but only a complete idiot would use an electronic voting system for something that mattered.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    "possible Presidential candidate Sarah Palin"

    You owe me a new heart, I think mine just stopped

  19. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge


    The Presidential Election in _not_ a TV show?


  20. jake Silver badge

    Who the hell cares?

    Does anyone, anywhere, with more than two working brain cells honestly think that PrimeTimeTelevision's so-called "reality TV" is anything but pre-scripted, with the outcomes known long in advance of production? How else could they massively overproduce it the way that they do? Check out the lighting & camera angles sometime ... It's all scripted. Badly.

    Kinda like Mrs. Palin.

  21. Charles Manning

    Who cares?

    Dancing with the stars and tea partiers deserve each other.

  22. The Brave Sir Robin
    Thumb Up

    Now the man at the back is...

    ...ready to crack as he raises his hands to the sky.

    And the girl in the corner is everyone's mourner

    She could kill you with a wink of her eye.

    Ohhh yeaah...

    What happy memories from my youth. An excellent song from a much underrated band.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Same IP Address means a lot of people will be disenfranchised

    Multi-National corporations with 30,000+ employees now get 1 vote! LOL!

    Oh, you have to love it, disenfranchise the employed, virtual, and night-shift people.

    Better not be voting from a Pub, Starbucks, Hotel, or Restaurant - people who pay money may be disenfranchised.

    If someone really cares about this, one might have a party at their house to watch, and everyone in the home (on the WiFi) may get disenfranchised, with the exception of one person.

  24. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    this is supposed to serve Ma how?

    Most US politicians have waited till winning an election to be embarrassed by their relatives.

  25. NogginTheNog

    Can't believe no-one's mentioned

    She's called Bristol, and is making a bit of a tit of herself :-D

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the Palin...

    That had the sprog out of wedlock? And was (apparently) caught using illegal substances? Thereby showing the true nature of American values (do as we say, not as we do). And why has Palin Dr escaped censure for using Yahoo mail for official business?

    If the...err...individual Palin Sr ever gets elected then you can kiss world peace (such as it is) goodbye. It'll be like Dubya^Cheney*Nixon, and look at the ka-ka those landed us all in!

    The world thought the USA had seen sense and grown up a little when the voted in Obama. Now we know that was just a glitch and the USA will be back to its old self soon enough (hogging the world's resources, exploiting the third world, and causing wars/supporting military dictators/oppressing democracy/funding terrorism).

    Yes, I know that last one is a shock, but it's hard to forget who Osama; isn't it?

  27. Scott 19


    Should be more like us here in Blighty, everyone knows the shows rigged, the presenters say its rigged continually and yet they still get large viewing figures and money rolling in through the voting lines.

    Strictly come X-jungle factor, i've found my gold fish more intresting.

  28. Number6

    Practice Run

    It's just a trial run for a couple of years time when the big one takes place.

  29. theSensibleGeek


    When it's an altogether meaningless vote on a game show that benefits the daughter of a conservative, OMG SHOCK HORROR!!!

    When dead people elect a half-black liberal president, meh, no big deal.

  30. Someone Else Silver badge

    I call

    "I can absolutely guarantee that Bristol is there because the voters want her there."

    So you work for the American Broadcasting Company, then? Or for one of its myriad subs? And in either of the above cases, you work DIRECTLY in the department that tabulates all the votes for Dancing With The Stars, do you? And are in a position to have tabulated all the votes yourself, and have those tabulations verified by an independent auditor? Unless you can meet all these requirements, then I call bullshit on you and your "guarantee".

  31. bugalugs
    Thumb Up

    Loved the photo-montage

    Dancing with the Baars indeed !

  32. Anonymous Coward

    In the United States, Voter Fraud historically leans Left

    -- Offspring of right-wing politician suspected of vote fraud?

    Not really.

    Hand re-counts, funded by news papers, completed months after the election certification, showed G.W. Bush won by the standard left-leaning Al-Gore sued for, by triple the margin of the certified vote, as well as by most other standards.

    It was during the Bush-Gore election that Left-leaning Al Gore supporters moved to disqualify over 1,500 Florida military votes. (The assumption made is that the Military would vote for a center-leaning candidate who put them in harm's way instead of a candy-arsed leftie.)

    In the United States, Voter Fraud historically leans Left

    Left-Wing ACORN Activists were historically involved in voter fraud.

    Ballot boxes turn up in floating in water ways in Left leaning strongholds.

    Voting machine glitches seem to routinely favor Liberals in Conservative leaning states.

    The ironies in the close elections where Liberals win in the United States are always littered with irregularities, favoring Liberals.

    Democracies - mobs remember the controversies, but seldom the truth.

  33. Rather Notsay

    Why is this technews exactly?

    The facts of the matter are:

    1) A talentless almost nobody goes on a TV competition show with judges and an audience vote.

    2) The judges did not like them

    3) The public voting system keeps them on the show

    4) A couple of people on some blog somewhere want try to rig the voting

    This is the case for ALL TV shows like this (Big Brother, X-Factor). Talentless idiots get returned week after week, and inexplicably, they have fans who do their best to rig the voting in order to keep them on TV.

    Would if be news if it was some pinko, tree hugging, tie-dyed, late sipping, dole bludging, basket weaving, muslim, lesbian, death-panneling, Obama-loving, hipster douchebag marxist was the subject instead of Bristol Palin? Of course not.

    5 years of U.S. DWTS and no-one gives a tinker's cuss, but when it looks like Bristol Palin might win, El Reg figures something must be 'wrong' with the voting, and ABC is looking at changing the format of the show to ensure she doesn't win. The only thing wrong with reality TV is reality TV. The "winners" have always been losers.

  34. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    This is news why?

    Found it. It might come as a shock but the Rs like that show more than the Ds.

    They also like American Idol and long walks on the beach with desperate housewives. According to the list, the Ds are more Kourtney and Khloe take Miami and the Good Wife. So we get... crap on both sides really. Kinda sums up each party really, sure you get different crap but does it really matter if it's being served in a waffle cone or a sugar cup? The stench is the same.

  35. James Woods

    what upsets me is

    people that watch these shows are voting in our elections.

    we have a generation of mindless goofballs living off unemployment benefits and welfare sitting around watching television.

    those on the opposite side of the tea party (democrats) shouldn't have a problem with stuffing ballots; they've been doing it in elections for years.

    "look we just found this trunk full of ballots, and they just happen to be all for the democrat!"

    When will the idiots wakeup to the fact that corporate america has thrown you under the bus, ran you over, and for good measure ran you over again?

    Your jobs are gone, your pay is slashed, your buying chinese goods for which the prices are rising now that they've wiped out any US competition.

    I guess this cycle will continue until the 100 week unemployment benefits stop and/or the government(s) are finally forced to balance a checkbook.

    This comment is sponsored by Fox.

  36. Rogerborg

    Ob John Sergeant

    Is it possible that the audience is just enjoying watching the train wreck?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Obama/whipping-boy, rigged elections etc.

    "The world thought the USA had seen sense and grown up a little when the voted in Obama. Now we know that was just a glitch"

    Nah, Obama was only 'allowed' to win in order to serve as a whipping-boy, a Democrat who everyone can blame for the predictable slooooooow economic progress.

    So by next pres election people will be fed up with Democrats, resulting in a Republican pres next time. All part of the plan?

    OTOH, that assumes there's an actual difference between Dem and Repub. Maybe they're two sides of the same coin nowadays, pigs lined up at the trough to suck up whatever money they can get from the big corporations. It's become kind of a false myth that Dems support the "little guy" because they don't much.

    Big Bro icon because this is goofy speculative conspiracy theory stuff with absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support it - although it wouldn't be too surprising if it happened to be true.

    Hey, what would the Reg be without a little old-fashioned conspiracy theory now and then :)

  38. BillG Silver badge

    You Bet!

    @someone else - when I wrote wrote:

    "I can absolutely guarantee that Bristol is there because the voters want her there."

    You wrote: "So you work for the American Broadcasting Company, then? Or for one of its myriad subs?"

    No, I've worked in online media since 1996. I've also worked for/with large (5,000+ employees) corporations. Everybody talks, everybody gossips. EVERYBODY TALKS. Everything leaks. Everything. Just look at how all the "secret" late-night talk show negotiations from last year leaked and that was just seven people. These people are sloppy and cannot keep a secret.

    Also, they are frightened of changing anything that works. The DWTS voting system works. They even explained it last night - all Bristol needed was 5% more votes than the leader to not be in last.

    To change the system, to rig the system, would require a bureaucratic nightmare. It would require a conspiracy of all the technicians and support personell working on the voting system.. Let's choose a low number and say that's 25 people (I'm including QC). No one could keep that secret.

    I know, you're going to claim that 25 people is too high. You obviously don't understand how bureaucracies work. This isn't technical, this is bureaucratic.

    I know, I know, you're going to say "it's all secret and only one or two people need to lie". That proves how ignorant you are of how the world really works. Self-Important people in huge corporations - people who consider themselves important - will insist on having access to the raw voting data, real-time. They want this not out of a sense of fairness, but because they are self-absorbed and arrogant and it makes them feel important. Welcome to the bureaucratic nightmare. That's going to be about 12 of the 25 people.

    Now, to ignore a voting system that has guaranteed them high ratings over 11 seasons in place of a theory of 'hey, if we rig it so Palin stays on, we'll get higher ratings' has absolutely no merit UNLESS you can show metrics. It can't just be presented as a cool idea, you need to show hard, psycho-socio metrics that PROVES that a rigged voting system would bring in SIGNIFICANTLY more viewers than an honest voting system, AND you need to make sure that all 25 people stay silent (IOW you have the balance it against the risk of a leak).

    This is a fantasy that is more outrageous than Star Wars.

    Look, I know one large company that fell apart six years ago simply because the board kept a merger secret from top management until the last minute. Everyone out of the loop because paranoid and territorial and later stopped cooperating with each other. Internal politics soard and sales plummeted. This is because self-important people are territorial cowards.

    To all you whiners here about a rigged voting system, let me ask you this: would you accept an honest voting system where Bristol stays on? No? Then you are biased liars.

    You all remind me of the motto of Dilbert's pointy-haired boss: anything you don't understand must be easy.

    Not all the comments you read on The Reg are written by small fishes.

    1. 42

      Not all the comments you read on The Reg are written by small fishes.

      N, in your case it is written by someone with a very small brain.

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