- The close outcome of Tuesday's presidential election was remarkable, but one liberal reporter - Newsweek writer and NBC talking head Jonathan Alter - urged that Gore be "certified" as the winner whether or not he has met the Constitutional burden of securing a majority of Electoral College votes. Here's what Alter told NBC viewers at approximately 3:30 Eastern Time this morning:

- "If it turns out that Al Gore wins the popular vote nationally, there will be intense pressure in this country to have him become the President. Most people think the guy with the most votes wins. Recounts are as much an art as a science. You have experts, consultants, who go around the country doing recounts. If the recount came out on behalf of Bush and Bush had lost the popular vote nationally they would go to court, there'd be another recount. It would become endless. And the political pressure would mount very quickly to, to certify Al Gore as, as the winner. Especially since you have a potential conflict of interest here with the Governor of the state that is handling the recount being the brother of Governor Bush."

- That's not what the rules say, of course. Liberals like Alter have a long history of trying to use their journalistic perches to push for liberal policies and create positive auras around liberal politicians. But it's outrageous for a liberal journalist to act as if the Constitution doesn't matter, and that "political pressure" (read: media spin) can get their guy a job that the voters didn't lawfully give him.

- Both Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert told Alter he was wrong. Russert retorted: "You can't change the rules just because people don't like the outcome whether it's resolved by a court of law or a board of elections or whatever?"