The shame of NBC.

A mostly political Weblog.
April 20 2007 4:24 PM

Brian Williams or Don Imus?

Who did more damage? It's not even close.

(Continued from Page 2)

[s]omething is systematically different about the Rasmussen surveys that has been showing a tighter Democratic race over the last three weeks.

But he likes Chris Bowers' explanation  of the difference better then my "Don't Tell Mama" Theory. ... P.S.: Either way, it's bad news for Hillary if (as MP suggests) the Rasmussen poll is more accurate. ... 10:10 P.M.

Glass Snobbery: I don't listen that much to This American Life--my impression has been that it's mainly subtly ironic nerd/hip anecdotes. Does it always feature tedious bits of propaganda like the recent segment (#4 on this link) from a "fellow at the New America Foundation"  crudely presenting one side of the argument for the DREAM Act? ("There is a very simple solution to all of this, a bill called the DREAM Act ..." concludes narrator Douglas McGray--as if he were talking to children and there were no arguments against rewarding "undocumented" immigrants by granting their children legal status, in-state tuition and citizenship.) You'd get a lot more useful information from a two-graf editorial in USA Today. But it wouldn't be told in that clipped, geeky, knowing fake-Ira-Glass voice. ... 8:43 P.M.

Parking spaces for rent at L.A. Times garage:Probably not because car-pooling's caught on. ... P.S.: I hear there we lots of spaces available in East Germany in 1988! [Cheap-ed Yet oddly satisfying.] 6:52 P.M.

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Barack the Hack: Barack Obama's misguided attempt to connect the Virgina Tech murders with the Imus slur  ("quiet violence") and, yes, loss of health care benefits due to layoffs and overseas competition, doesn't come off quite as obscene as you'd expect when you listen to it--because Obama's delivery is too fatigued and subdued, even depressive, to trigger the sense that he's manipulating anybody. Still, it's not exactly evidence of a fresh intelligence, or even basic common sense, at work--much less rising to the occasion. It suggests a mindset that tries to fit every event into a familiar, comforting framework he can spoon-feed his audience without disturbing them. ... Charitable explanation: Democratic primary campaigns will do that to you. ... [via Drudge  and Ben Smith] ... Backfill: Isaac Chotiner calls Obama's speech "obnoxious." ... See also Richard Baehr. ... Update: Matthew Yglesias  endorses the idea that this a "petty manufactured incident" (i.e., a speech before thousands that Obama himself compared to Robert Kennedy's famous post-MLK assassination address). It's also "gossip." [And you are a "right wing hack"-ed That hurt. Another oubreak of "quiet violence"!] ... P.S.: Matt, are you really going to elect a Democratic president by dismissing any criticism as the work of the Drudge conveyor belt? What about when Hillary and Edwards make it? Is there any mistake that couldn't be dismissed in this way? [Obama can't make mistakes--ed I forgot! Keep reminding me.] 2:47 A.M. link

Tuesday, Ap ril 17, 2007

Bill Clinton: "I’m tired. I’m not a kid anymore." ... Plus, he's photographed with three women, one of them standing at an angle to the camera. Take it away, Ann Althouse! ... 11:56 A.M.

Monday, Ap ril 16, 2007

Obama has climbed to within 2 points of Hillary in the latest Rasmussen robo-poll. Hillary has a big problem with men--Obama leads her by 11% among men. ... Inevitable robo-poll-based theory: Hillary leads by 8 in the most recent comparable CNN Poll (comparable meaning with Gore not included). The CNN Poll** appears to be a conventional telephone survey conducted by human interviewers. Why might Hillary do worse in a robo-poll, like Rasmussen's, where the pollee doesn't have to talk to an actual person but simply presses buttons? There's an obvious possible answer: Men don't like Hillary but they're reluctant to say so in public. They'll tell a robot. But they chicken out when they'd have to tell a human interviewer--especially, maybe, a female interviewer. They're scared of looking like sexist pigs. They don't want to get grief from female Hillary supporters. But in the privacy of the voting booth, they might be expected to vote as they vote in the robo-survey. ...

P.S.: It would help confirm the theory if I could find a breakdown of the CNN survey by gender. If the female vote in the two polls was similar, but the male vote for Hillary plummeted in the robo-poll, that would tend to support the "Don't Tell Mama" explanation.  ... Backup DTM theory: Of course (if it turns out the gender gap in the two polls is roughly comparable) it could be that many men and many women don't like Hillary but are reluctant to say so in public.  ... Bonus extra heavy duty nondisprovable gender-related DTM theory: Men and women don't like Hillary, and neither group wants to admit that to a human. The difference is that women, unlike men, don't dare admit it even to a robot. ...

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