In my first piece about this surprising Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Sunday indicating that the Republicans have been picking up ground on the Democrats in the past two weeks, I said that it would be interesting to see how this survey got reported. As compared to what ABC’s “This Week” did Sunday morning (i.e. beginning the program discussing it), CBS’s response was much more predictable. However, what was peculiar is the person CBS used to discredit the data given his pedigree and bona fides.
With that in mind, Bob Schieffer invited CBS political analyst Stuart Rothenberg on Sunday’s “Face the Nation.” Rothenberg made it clear that he sees a big Democrat victory in the House on Tuesday (up to 40 seats), and the Democrats picking up four to seven seats in the Senate (video here). As the discussion moved to who will actually turn out to vote, Rothenberg questioned the methodology of the Washington Post/ABC News poll:
This Thursday New York Times article slipped under the radar until Howard Kurtz referred to it Sunday morning on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Thanks for the hat tip, Howard. Anyway, it was rather shocking – even though it was buried on page A22 – to see a headline like “G.O.P. Ads Star Democratic Leader” at the Times. Even more amazing were the opening paragraphs (links to four of these ads follow):
Representative Melissa Bean of Illinois, a Democrat, has a Republican opponent in next week’s election, but he does not appear in the advertisement that skewers her. Instead, that role is being played by a fellow Democrat, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader.
Judging by some of the political name-calling in the final days before the elections, Ms. Pelosi seems to be in the thick of campaigns for Congress from Illinois to Georgia and several places in between. She is the unwitting star of at least a half-dozen television spots — and countless radio spots, direct-mail campaigns and candidate debates —warning voters that if they choose their local Democrat for Congress, they are also casting a vote for Ms. Pelosi.
After casting some doubt over whether this strategy will work given how little-known Pelosi is around the country, the article continued with a fairly anti-Nancy focus:
In a piece early Sunday morning concerning a new Washington Post/ABC News poll showing the Republicans gaining strength heading into Tuesday’s elections, I said that it would be interesting to see how this would be covered, “especially by ABC tomorrow on ‘This Week’ and ‘World News Tonight.’” Well, we have the answer on the former, and you better sit down because it’s quite shocking: “This Week” actually began its program this morning with this poll.
After the teaser, George Stephanopoulos introduced “World News Tonight” anchor Charles Gibson, and after some pleasantries said: “But first, a little election news this morning. We have a new poll out this morning, an ABC poll, it shows the race has tightened.”
On this morning's Meet The Press, Tim Russert tried to pass off the editorial in the "Army Times" and sister publications calling for Donald Rumsfeld's noggin as having some special significance. RNCC Chairman Tom Reynolds didn't let him get away with it. Reynolds exposed those so-called "military newspapers" as nothing more than cogs in the Gannett chain, a member-in-good-standing of the MSM whose flagship paper is the reliably-liberal USA Today.
Russert flashed the panel of the editorial shown here, and asked Reynolds:
Here's an antidote from an unlikely corner for all the Dem outrage at the 'November surprise' of the Saddam verdict. On this morning's 'Today,' none other than Chris Matthews just pronounced his considered opinion that the verdict actually helps . . . the Democrats.
According to Matthews, given the unpopularity of the war, anything that draws attention to Iraq hurts Republicans. Apparently that even extends to a good-news story such as the Saddam verdict. Opined Matthews to host Lester Holt:
"One general rule would be anything that brings attention to Iraq is bad for the Republicans. I think Iraq's become a four-letter word for the voter. And this trial and condemnation of Saddam Hussein is probably going to remind us of Iraq again. It's probably going to help the Democrats to some extent."
Without offering any contrary views AP reports that the drop in profits for US Citgo gas stations only hurts Americans.
This half-the-story report was buttressed with a quote from Vance McSpadden, executive director of the Oklahoma Petroleum Association. McSpadden wants to stop Americans from avoiding the Citgo chain of stations -- Citgo gets their imported product from Hugo Chavez' state owned and operated Venezuelan oil companies
Over the Summer, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez went on a world-wide tour of America's biggest enemies telling them and all who would listen how America is the Great Satan and that George Bush is the devil. His whirlwind tour of hate ended at a rostrum in the U.N. where he made himself look the fool in front of the world to the applause of rabid America haters everywhere.
I’ve had to check and double-check the link on this one, sports fans, and highly imagine you’ll do the same. Irrespective of how implausible this seems, the Washington Post has just published results of a new poll it did with ABC News, and the numbers show quite a tightening in the public’s preference for Democrats and Republicans in the upcoming elections (hat tip to Strata Sphere).
In this most recent poll, Democrats were preferred to win the House next Tuesday 51 percent to the Republican’s 45 percent amongst likely voters, a margin of 6 percent. Two weeks ago, it was 55 to 41 percent, a 14 point margin. This is a huge decrease in just two weeks.
On shows aired Friday and Saturday, the journalists and political pundits on the McLaughlin Group, FNC's Beltway Boys and Inside Washington, a local Washington, DC program, made predictions for what will occur in Tuesday's elections. All presumed that Democrats will win enough seats to takeover the House and most forecast that Democrats will win a majority of the most-contested Senate seats.
Below is a rundown of the specific predictions issued by columnist Pat Buchanan, Newsweek writer Eleanor Clift, Washington Times editorial page Editor Tony Blankley, Democratic political veteran and television producer Lawrence O'Donnell, John McLaughlin, Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes, Roll Call Executive Editor Morton Kondracke, columnist Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post editorial writer Colby King, columnist and PBS analyst Mark Shields and NPR reporter Nina Totenberg.
On NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, the network’s senior "news analyst," Daniel Schorr, offered a typical liberal pundit’s take that John Kerry’s remarks about bad students being "stuck in Iraq" wouldn’t harm the Democrats in the midterm elections, but somehow has a serious impact on his ambitions of running for president again. NPR also featured, on the last weekend before midterm elections, a novelist restating bitter charges that George Bush and the Republicans stole the 2000 election in Florida.
Substitute host Lynn Neary described the Kerry remarks: "But will these words have lasting effect on this congressional race, do you think? Or on his career?" Schorr replied:
Newsweek published an article at its website Saturday about last week’s John Kerry foot-in-mouth debacle. One couldn’t immediately tell the motives behind the piece from the title: “Botched; Assessing the damage done to Democrats—and his own chances in ’08—by John Kerry’s epically flubbed joke.” Nor could one glean the significance of the authors involved: Susannah Meadows with Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift. However, in the end, when taken in its entirety, it appears fairly obvious that this was the beginning of the assassination, and John Kerry’s chances of making a second run for president have been officially kyboshed.
The hit job started innocently: “Chuck Schumer got right to the point. On Thursday afternoon, the New York Senator, who’s leading the Democrats’ efforts to win back the Senate, called John Kerry and let him have it.”
The MSM has had a field day trumpeting an impending editorial in "military newspapers" calling for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation. But as NewsBusters John Stephenson and Michael Bates have documented here and here, here's what the liberal media didn't disclose:
Despite the official-sounding ring of "military newspapers," these are commercial, private-sector operations owned by Gannett, the chain whose leading outlet is the left-leaning USA Today. The editorial is roughly as representative of the official military view of the Secretary as an anti-Rumsfeld rant by the New York Times.
While the MSM tried to multiply the significance of the editorial by mentioning that it was carried in four separate papers, representing the various branches of the military, again they are all just fellow members of the Gannett stable. It's as misleading as claiming that an article published in the various regional editions of TV Guide appeared in "hundreds of magazines."
Now the Pentagon has weighed in. Staying above the fray as to just what those "military newspapers" are - and are not - the DoD has offered a systematic rebuttal of the various allegations contained in the editorial. Highlights:
Kerry received five Ds, including four in his freshman year, with a D in political science! Bush, during his time at Yale, got one D, in astronomy. Overall, Kerry finished Yale with a cumulative score of 76. Bush finished with a score of 77.
So if Bush who scored 77 might end up getting us stuck in a war, what would Kerry who scored a 76 end up getting us stuck in?
In the exhaustive search for WMDs in Iraq, CNN has left all stones unturned. These are the words right out of the mouth of CNN reporter Jane Arraf:
And if you had a bureau there, like we did, and it was a known bureau and a known company like CNN was, it was a beacon for everybody. It was a beacon for Iraqis who believed they had stories. Iraqis would show up, there would be Iraqis lined up outside the door. There... would be the Iraqis who told you they had nuclear documents in their basement and would you like to come and look [laughter]. You know, there was almost that pang when you turned somebody away, [you were] thinking, “Damn, maybe this guy really does have nuclear weapons in his basement, but I don’t have time.” So you never really knew.
[laughter]? Oh yeah, I'm really laughing about CNN ignoring nuclear evidence in Iraq. So many WMDs, so little time.
Sprinkled throughout the mainstream media today are news reports about the Army Times and similar periodicals running an editorial Monday calling on the President to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Typical was the story carried on NBC5.com, Chicago's NBC affiliate, "Military Newspapers Call For Rumsfeld Removal." The piece begins, "The Military Times Media Group, which publishes the influential Army Times and other military periodicals, said it will be running an editorial Monday urging President Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld."
But wait a minute. Are these publications actually "military newspapers?" The average reader might well interpret that term to mean that they're produced by active duty military personnel. They're not. Although the newspapers are targeted for service members, the Army Times and all the others are private, independent operations. They are subsidiaries of the Gannett Co., which also publishes USA Today.
Thanks, Bob Kuttner. You might doubt my sincerity. But really, I mean it. With Nancy AWOL, and Charley Rangel coyly claiming at his age he doesn't buy green bananas let alone speculate what he would do as Way & Means Chairman, perhaps Americans have lost sight of what the Dems have up their sleeve if they get back the majority. So in all sincerity, thanks for telling it like it is.
"We are about to get something all too rare in Democratic politics lately -- some progressive leadership . . . With a little gumption on the Democratic side, the lopsided distribution of wealth, security, and opportunity in America could come roaring back."
A friend pointed out to me Julia Duin's report in Thursday's Washington Times on the Saturday consecration of Episcopalian presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at Washington's grand National Cathedral, and wonders how Katie Couric and the others who disdain orthodox religion will greet her formal acceptance. Duin brings a more traditional understanding of religion in her article:
Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, a former oceanographer who still pilots her own plane, will be consecrated the world's first female presiding bishop Saturday morning at the Washington National Cathedral. Since her election June 18 at the Episcopal General Convention in Ohio, an unprecedented seven Episcopal dioceses have declared that they will not accept her leadership because she allowed same-sex blessings during her 2001-06 tenure as bishop of Nevada. Her 2003 vote in favor of V. Gene Robinson, the denomination's first openly homosexual bishop, and her statement that "our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation" in a sermon three days after her election, elicited protest as well. But that expression "was thoroughly orthodox," she said in an interview Tuesday. "I was surprised at the reaction. I was simply using an image that seemed most appropriate to the text."
Via the Sixers blog on NRO, we learn that the George Stephanopoulos pledge that the Mark Foley scandal would resonate in every congressional race sometimes comes true. Consider that in upstate New York, the shoe is on other foot, the Democratic foot, embarrassing the challenger to first-term Congressman Randy Kuhl. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports:
(November 2, 2006) — CORNING — Democratic congressional candidate Eric Massa fired his campaign manager in June and has accused him of providing alcohol to underage boys and inviting a teenage boy to spend the night with him.
Karmic balance? The Dow Jones hits a new high. The 'Dowd' Jones hits a new low. In her pay-to-read column this morning, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times analogizes the relationship of Vice-President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to that of preacher Ted Haggard and a male prostitute.
Setting the titillating tone with her headline, "A Wartime Love Story", Dowd writes:
At the heart of every administration, there is one relationship above all others that shapes history . . . W. is the hood ornament, but Cheney & Rummy are the chitty chitty bang bang engine of this administration.
It’s a beautiful love story, really, even more touching than Ted Haggard, the evangelical preacher and Bush White House adviser, asking a male prostitute for crystal meth, or Borat putting a bag over the head of a squealing Pamela Anderson and carrying her off.
A new book has hit the stands that has been a "filler" topic for many talk radio programs this week. Called 101 most influential people who never lived, the book is penned by three authors who rate fictional characters of literature and film who they feel had the greatest influence on society.
The book is being treated as light, amusing reading, with USA Today quoting author Lazar as saying, "The point of the book is to entertain". Most radio interviews I have heard have treated it as a "fun" topic.
But, a recent interview of one of the authors, Dr. Alan Lazar, was aired on Nick Digilio's WLS, Chicago radio program that was quite revealing of the "real purpose" of this book, however.
To the delight of his Los Angeles audience which heartily applauded his every barb at President Bush, such as denigrating Bush as “a retarded child emperor,” left-wing comedian Bill Maher closed his HBO show Friday night with his recommended talking points for Democrats to use to fight back against Republicans and win on Tuesday. [Be warned, this item quotes a vulgar term for feces] He started his list, on Real Time with Bill Maher aired live at 11pm EST, with how “when they say 'Democrats will raise taxes,' you say 'we have to because someone spent all the money in the world cutting Paris Hilton's taxes and not killing Osama bin Laden.'” Second, “when they say the 'terrorists want the Democrats to win,' you say 'are you insane? George Bush has been a terrorist's wet dream.' He inflames radical hatred against America and then runs on offering to protect us from it. It's like a guy throwing shit on you and then selling you relief from the flies.”
Third, “when they say 'cut and run' or 'defeatocrat,' you say 'Bush lost the war, period.'” Fourth, “when they say that actual combat veterans like John Kerry are 'denigrating the troops,' you say 'you're completely full of shit.'” And finally, “vote Republican and you vote to enable George Bush to keep ruling as an emperor -- a retarded child emperor, but an emperor.” (Transcript follows)