[N]o one interviewed here said that Mr. Wright had affected how they or anyone they knew would vote.
On the other hand, there are the actual polls, showing Obama tanking. Who you gonna believe? ... P.S.: A staple of cocooning journalism is the quickie poll showing that "Voters Say They Aren't Troubled by X," with X being an issue the polltakers don't want voters to be troubled by. Typically, these stories 1) ignore the tendency of voters to lie to pollsters, especially when it comes to admitting they might be influenced by thoughts of the sort that they suspect polltakers don't approve of; and 2) even if everyone's telling the truth, if only 10% of voters say they will vote against a candidate because of X--while fully 90% of the voters say they are untroubled--that means the candidate has been badly damaged by X. In most races a candidate can't afford to lose 10% of the vote on a single issue. ... In today's story, of course, the Times strikes a blow for transparency and cost-efficiency, dispensing with the expensive, scientific-sounding claptrap of polling and cutting right to the soothing BS, interviewing a handful of upscale Indianapolis shoppers who duly deny they would be influenced by the Wright flap (but who knows what those "less cosmopolitan" Hoosiers down South will do). ... 10:40 A.M. link
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Sid, Busted: If Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal wants to email around Manhattan Institute articles attacking William Ayers' education theories, that's OK with me. Peter Dreier's post is almost a parody of netrootsy Obamanoia--if you're going to ask voters to tolerate Obama associating with Ayers, don't trash Blumenthal for daring to read Fred Siegel. (Or for influencing Charles Krauthammer--"an arch conservative.") Webbische kopf!Sometimes even arch conservatives have things to say. ... Still, voters should know about Blumenthal's under-the-radar emailing because a) it's sometimes very effective (if not nearly as effective these days as Dreier, or arch conservative Sid enemies, pretend); b) it threatens to create a reality-distorting echo chamber (a point Dreier makes) and c) if we elect Hillary, we're going to get Sid as part of the package. ... P.S.: From the piece: "One of Blumenthal's associates scoffs at the notion that there's anything vaguely conspiratorial about these emails." Sid, conspiratorial? ... P.P.S.: Surprising name on Blumenthal's recipient list? Reza Aslan. Otherwise, it's people you'd expect. ... Backfill: Back in February, Blumenthal wrote (to Newhouse's Jonathan Tilove) that his emails were "not intended for you, or any other reporter." I count at least 5 reporters and 6 other more thumbsuckerish political journalists, plus three public-intellectual academic types, on the list Dreier gives. ... 2:30 P.M. link
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Bob Wright's apocalypse is bigger than mine. ... 10:46 A.M.