Around 7:10EST, CNN's Wolf Blitzer continued to frame his coverage from a Democratic perspective, stating, "the Democrats need just 7 seats to become the majority party in the U.S. Senate" he did the same for the House as well.
That is the standard fare for the press, frame things from what the Democrats can do to get things going.
Update 19:20. CNN is highlighting its coverage of its blog party. Each time the network listed liberal bloggers first. Liberal bloggers interviewed: 1. Conservatives: 0.
Update 19:24. Paula Zahn and Bill Schneider surprised that Iraq was not the #1 issue. Schneider pronounces as well: "voters are not rewarding the Republicans for the economy."
19:31. CNN cuts to a live feed of Democratic National Committee. The TVs are tuned into CNN. Blitzer: "Which is encouraging that people are watching."
19:34. John King, asked if he was surprised by an apparent GOP loss of Ohio governorship "I'm not surprised because Ohio is a cesspool--this year. The current governor, the Republican incumbant Bob Taft, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, that's where Bob Ney the congressman pleaded guilty to corruption charges--"
Anderson Cooper: Bob Taft was term-limited though so he had to --
King: Yeah so he couldn't. Yeah but the whole environment is just horrible--anti-Republican.
20:23. CNN continues pushing things from Dem perspective in calling India House race for Dem Ellsworth. "One down fourteen more to go," Jeff Greenfield pronounces.
Michael Steele, the Republican candidate in Maryland's Senate race, victim of the Washington Post's desire to keep him out of the Senate tore into the liberal newspaper on "Fox News Sunday."
Transcript continues below the fold. Video available here.
Lieutenant Governor, the Washington Post endorsed your opponent, Ben
Cardin, over the weekend, and they had some very harsh words for you.
Let's put them up on the screen.
"Despite his efforts to construct an image as an independent-minded
newcomer, there is nothing in Michael Steele's past — no achievement,
no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues — to
The Post says that as lieutenant governor for the past four years, you have had marginal influence.
I know. Isn't it a shame? Well, you know, Chris, that is pitiful.
government leader in Iraq's Kurdistan region has told Gold Star
Families visiting U.S. troops in the Mideast that the news media's
coverage of the situation in Iraq is terribly biased.
International and Al Jazeera are equally bad in their coverage of the
situation in Iraq," said Nerchivan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraqi
I was in the United States recently and read the negative news in the
Washington Post, New York Times and in the network TV broadcasts, I
even wondered if things had gotten so bad since I had left that I
shouldn't return," he said.
Later today, NewsBusters will host its first ever live chat for the 2006 elections. To take part, you'll need to download and install a program capable of accessing IRC chat servers.
For Windows users, we recommend Trillian which can be downloaded here. Mac users should try Colloquy which can be downloaded here. Linux users likely already have a favorite so I won't suggest one immediately.
The goal here is to move as much of the discussion into an instant form that allows everyone to talk in real time about the election, and to shift a lot of the non-media bias chat into these places, thereby easing the load on our web server for everyone.
Election Day is upon us which means it's time for an official NewsBusters predictions thread.
Unlike other places, though, there's an actual prize for being correct. The commenter who most closely predicts the margin of both houses of congress will win a free Apple Ipod Nano. Entries must be submitted before 11:00 AM Eastern time. (Please do not post anything other than numeric predictions on this thread.)
Update 16:42. Comments are reenabled on this post. The chat server is also available at live.newsbusters.org.
Of late, we've been treated to the sound of careless political reporters and analysts tossing around figures of Democrats taking back the House by varying degrees of hugeness.
In many cases, these predictions are simply wishful thinking on the part of left-wingers eager to see Republican evil (the only kind there is) beat back by the forces of good. Some of our prognosticating pundits are basing their predictions on actual polling, however.
Trouble is, their math, based somewhat on faulty "generic ballot" polls and primarily on the work of political analysts Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook, is downright horrible.
With marketing decisions like this you have to wonder why MSNBC is even bothering to compete with Fox News: Left-wing commentators Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann will be anchoring the network's Election Night coverage.
What better way to get non-liberal viewers to tune in to your channel than to have an anchor duo headed up by a former Democratic staffer who couldn't stop smiling at the thought that his fellow party members will take Congress and a genuine leftist who routinely calls Republicans nazis, fascists, terrorists, liars, and everything in between?
As always, we'll be watching so you don't have to (Hat tip: Extreme Mortman).
How accurate are polls at predicting a winner? Not too. So long as a candidate is within 10 points, most polls shouldn't be readily relied on as predictors for who will win. Charles Franklin, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin has an interesting post today about just how important the "margin of error" really is.
On a graph, Franklin compares poll results with actual election results, resulting in several observations, one of which is the importance of realizing that polls cannot reliably predict races that are less than 10 points apart.
One interesting feature is that a margin of zero (a tied poll) produces
a 50-50 split in wins with remarkable accuracy. There is nothing I did
statistically to force the black trend line to go through the
"crosshairs" at the (0, .5) point in the graph, but it comes awfully
close. So a tied poll really does predict a coin-flip outcome.
probability of a win rises or falls rapidly as the polls move away from
a margin of zero. By the time we see a 10 point lead in the poll for
the Dem, about 90% of the Dems win. When we see a 10 point margin for
the Rep, about 90% of Reps win. That symmetry is also not something I
forced with the statistics-- it represents the simple and symmetric
pattern in the data.
More practically, it means that polls rarely miss the winner with a 10 point lead, but they DO miss it 10% of the time.
5 point lead, on the other hand, turns out to be right only about
60-65% of the time. So bet on a candidate with a 5 point lead, but
don't give odds. And for 1 or 2 point leads (as in some of our closer
races tomorrow) the polls are only barely better than 50% right in
picking the winner. That should be a sobering thought to those enthused
by a narrow lead in the polls. Quite a few of those "leaders" will
lose. Of course, an equal proportion of those trailing in the polls
So read the polls-- they are a lot better than
nothing. But don't take that 2 point lead to the bank. That is a
failure to appreciate the practical consequences of the margin for
Today's Wall Street Journal online edition features an important essay by sociologist James Q. Wilson examining how the American press has turned into an unpatriotic and anti-war entity. He also explains why this matters: because educated people are likely to be swayed by the media's coverage of events, whether that coverage is accurate or not.
A few excerpts:
We are told by careful
pollsters that half of the American people believe that American troops
should be brought home from Iraq immediately. This news discourages
supporters of our efforts there. Not me, though: I am relieved. Given
press coverage of our efforts in Iraq, I am surprised that 90% of the
public do not want us out right now.
Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2005,
nearly 1,400 stories appeared on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news.
More than half focused on the costs and problems of the war, four times
as many as those that discussed the successes. About 40% of the stories
reported terrorist attacks; scarcely any reported the triumphs of
American soldiers and Marines. The few positive stories about progress
in Iraq were just a small fraction of all the broadcasts.
One of the side effects of the left's control of the media is that Democratic politicians often have trouble dealing with criticism because they aren't subjected to the 24/7 scrutiny that Republicans usually face. This leads them to fall apart when they come into contact with a reporter that doesn't defer to them like usual.
Minnesota's Democratic nominee for the governor's office, Mike Hatch, provided an example of this yesterday in the face of questioning about his running mate's apparent lack of knowledge about the subject of the gasoline additive ethanol.
Mike Hatch’s aggressive reputation showed through Thursday for one of the few times in this year’s heated gubernatorial race.
Writing at National Review, Byron York recounts the story behind the recent incident where a left-wing activist was tackled at a George Allen campaign event after asking a question about the senator's ex-wife:
The question might not make much sense to
anyone who hasn’t kept up with both the race between Allen and Democrat
James Webb and the commentary of the left-wing blogosphere. If you have
kept up, you know that left-wing bloggers have been agitating for the
release of the records from Allen’s divorce from his first wife, Anne.
There is a rumor among those bloggers that the records will reveal an
allegation that Allen spit on Anne Allen, and the bloggers have been
angry that press outlets have not reported the story.
week, when the Allen campaign pointed to sexually exotic passages in
Webb’s novels, some of those bloggers saw an opportunity. On Thursday,
Josh Marshall, of TalkingPointsMemo, wrote that Allen had crossed some sort of line by “mining Jim Webb’s novels for sex scenes.”
“If Allen really wants to play rough,” Marshall wrote, “maybe it’s time
for some Democrats to start going on the shows and asking about that
sealed divorce records of Allen’s. All those reporters have a pretty
good idea of what’s in there. But Sen. Allen (R-VA) just won’t agree to
let them see it.”
In his syndicated column, political demographer Michael Barone looks at some of the pratfalls of polling. He also makes some important points about how most media polls are overcounting Democrats:
In 2004, the electorate that went to the polls or voted absentee was,
according to the adjusted NEP exit poll, 37 percent Democratic and 37
percent Republican. In party identification, it was the most Republican
electorate since George Gallup conducted his first random sample poll
in October 1935.
But most recent national polls show Democrats with an advantage in
party identification in the vicinity of 5 percent to 12 percent. Party
identification usually changes slowly. Historically, voters have
switched from candidates of one party to candidates of the other more
readily than they have changed their party identification.
Just as we figured, a liberal was behind the first published leaks of the Mark Foley emails. The New York Times, amazingly enough, broke this story.
But the headline writers at the Times couldn't bring themselves to inform readers of the politics of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group that is very liberal on issues not pertaining to sexuality, and the former employer of the still-anonymous individual who started the blog stopsexpredators.blogspot.com.
It's also worth noting that not a single Republican or conservative media figure is quoted in the story denouncing Democrats for their personal attacks or gutter politics, something the Times certainly would have done had a Democrat been the victim. (HT: several readers.)
The national press corps is justifiably looked upon with suspicion by conservatives and in dire need of reform if it wishes to regain their confidence, especially since that's a sound business strategy.
Those are the words of ABC News political director Mark Halperin who on last night's "O'Reilly Factor" provided a resounding endorsement of the idea that the elite American media needs to stop being liberally biased. (Video available in WMV or Real. MP3 audio also available, transcript is after the jump.)
In a followup to an Oct. 19 internet posting in which he sarcastically implied that reporters take their cues from Democrats and liberal activists, Halperin stated that the press should use the 2006 elections as an opportunity to regain the public trust:
"In this country, we've got these old news organizations, the major networks, ABC, where you [O'Reilly] used to work, the New York Times, the Washington Post. These organizations have been around a long time, and for 40 years conservatives have looked with suspicion at them. I think we've got a chance in these last two weeks to prove to conservatives that we understand their grievances, we're going to try to do better, but these organizations still have incredible sway, and conservatives are certain that we're going to be out to get them. We've got to fix that."
This story from the PRC's propaganda wire, Xinhua won't likely get much play in the leftist world which believes that Chimpybushitlerhalliburtonfoleyisgay is the real threat to world-wide free speech. China is continuing its crackdown on opposing free speech, this time,
signaling that it will move toward forcing anyone who wants to make a
blog do so under their real names, making it easier to crack down on
NANCHANG -- With widespread online rumor saying China will implement a blog
real name system, the Internet Society of China (ISC) has clarified that so far
the Ministry of Information Industry has not officially made any related
However, a real name system will be an unavoidable choice if China wants to
standardize and develop its blog industry, Huang Chengqing, ISC secretary
general, told Xinhua on Sunday.
An official with the ISC confirmed on Thursday that the society is working on
a real name system for Chinese bloggers, which attested to netizens' longtime
guess about it and triggered a hot controversy.
Huang said some reports on the Internet about the implementation of the real
name system are not "very accurate."
The ISC, affiliated to the Ministry of Information Industry, was entrusted by
the ministry to form a blog research panel to provide solutions for the
development of China's blog industry.
"We suggest, in a recent report submitted to the ministry, that a real name
system be implemented in China's blog industry," Huang said.
Under such a system, a netizen has to register with his real name to open a
blog, but can still write under a pseudonym, according to Huang.
When media outlets publish militarily significant information and make it known to a wider audience (something they seem to do with more frequency during Republican administrations), they generally excuse their actions with claims that they are fulfilling an obligation to the public's "right to know."
Aside from the question of whether the public has a right not to know something, another question presents itself: are journalists obligated to be "neutral" observers, even to the point of endangering the lives of fellow Americans?
Marc Danziger raises that question in an editiorial at the D.C. Examiner:
I’ve blogged about the “journalist vs. citizen” thing. Let me explain through an anecdote:
1987, PBS sponsored a colloquium called “Under Orders, Under Fire” as a
part of their great Ethics in America series (many episodes can still
be found at www.learner.org/resources/series81.html). While the episode
was about military ethics, the bombshell was a sidebar on journalism
between Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace.
Jennings was asked what
he would do if he was embedded with forces fighting U.S. soldiers - and
became aware they had set an ambush for him. He replied, from a James
“If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came
upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn
“Even if it means losing the story?” he was
asked. “Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life,”
Mike Wallace, however, disagreed: “I think some
other reporters would have a different reaction,” he said, obviously
referring to himself. “They would regard it simply as a story they were
there to cover.”
This story is just rich. After the efforts of Oklahoma Republican senator James Inhofe have brought greater public scrutiny to the media's global warming hysteria, Newsweek has finally admitted that, yes, it had played a big role in hyping "global cooling" back in the 1970s.
Despite this, though, you should believe the magazine and all the rest of the media who previously tried to scare up circulation numbers by predicting a global ice age because, well, this time they're right:
1975, in an issue mostly taken up with stories about the collapse of
the American-backed government of South Vietnam, NEWSWEEK published a
small back-page article about a very different kind of disaster. Citing
"ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change
dramatically," the magazine warned of an impending "drastic decline in
food production." Political disruptions stemming from food shortages
could affect "just about every nation on earth." Scientists urged
governments to consider emergency action to head off the terrible
threat of . . . well, if you had been following the climate-change
debates at the time, you'd have known that the threat was: global
If you've ever wondered who it is that seems to be getting polled, or how come questions always seem to understate support for Republicans and conservatives, read this posting from Freeper "MHT" which tells of his encounter with a pollster:
Twenty-five years after registering to vote, I finally got polled by
a national news group. And, as usual, Rush was right. However, there
are a few things which I want to share.
1. The interviewer
really wanted to talk to me. I was on another call and told them to
call me back in 10 minutes. They did, indicating to me that they are
having difficulty reaching people who wish to talk to them.
The questions were phrased in a very subtle way that focused on an
anti-Bush agenda. For example, "Do you think that Bush is responsible
for the situation in Iraq?" That's a yes/no question. They could have
made it multiple choice. At best, Bush gets a 50% chance of being
blamed for Iraq instead of insurgents, radical Islam, outside funding,
If the war in Iraq were solely a military engagement, it would have ended long ago. Al Qaeda and its ad hoc allies are militarily insignificant. In a standing battle, they'd be wiped out in a matter of minutes.
The enemy there realizes this and has moved to a strategy that emphasizes small skirmishes and targeting civilians, not in the hopes of winning the day, but in the hopes of intimidating Iraqis--and Americans. They've said as much repeatedly that their goal is to scare us and our allies into yielding.
With that fact in the public record, you'd think no American media outlets would play into this strategy. You'd be wrong, though. CNN continues to play al Qaeda's useful idiot by defending its airing of footage of American troops being sniped at by terrorists saying it's only interested in providing "the unvarnished truth:"
Oftentimes, many right-of-center folks just don't realize how powerful the media is at shaping public opinion. Usually, a media outlet's endorsement of a political person or point-of-view doesn't have that much of an impact. Where the media excel, however, is in creating negative perception.
Left-wingers are intimately aware of this ability, which is why so many of them choose to get into the media (why more conservatives don't is another question). Liberal journalists care very much about their objective pose and are loathe to admit this in most cases, which makes times like now all the more worth nothing as journalists talk about the "lesson" America learned during the Vietnam War and the Tet Offensive, a campaign mounted by the communist Vietnamese in which they failed to win militarily.
Here's a familiar scenario: new management comes in to a media company and decides it needs to find ways to "re-engage" the audience.
How serious are they? Unless they take my advice (after the cut), probably not too much.
Newspapers are all looking for ways to gain readers, and many have hired consultants to help them. In an unusual twist, The Los Angeles Times is looking to chart its
future by using its own reporters and editors, who rank among the best
investigators in the business.
The Times is dedicating three investigative reporters and half a
dozen editors to find ideas, at home and abroad, for re-engaging the
reader, both in print and online. The newspaper’s editor, Dean Baquet,
and its new publisher, David Hiller, plan to convene a meeting today to
start the effort, which is being called the Manhattan Project. A report
is expected in about two months.
The arrival of Katie Couric to the CBS anchor desk hasn't panned out like the suits had thought. It's really no surprise considering that she's made essentially no real editorial and staff changes to introduce ideological diversity to broadcast television. Last week, the CBS News staff nearly revolted when Couric and her producers dared to allow someone to say on the show that school violence is the product of people taking religion out of public schools.
Five weeks into her tenure at the "CBS Evening News," Katie Couric's
broadcast continues to slip in the ratings, falling into third place
last week for the second week in a row.
With an average of
7.04 million viewers, Couric's audience last week was the smallest
she'd had since taking over the evening news anchor desk, and it's
lower than the number that tuned in for her predecessor Bob Schieffer's
last week on the air in late August, according to Nielsen Media
On the very day YouTube's disproportionate censorship of conservative videos was splashed over the pages of the Drudge Report, the web site deleted another conservative blogger's video, Gateway Pundit tells how a 17-second clip he made of an AP video was deleted from YouTube for supposed copyright infringement.
Update 9:06. Some commenters are wondering with whom, if anyone, lies the fault. I would place it primarily on the AP for a) lodging a copyright complaint against a 17-second clip, which if that were consistently followed would essentially destroy almost all non-original video on the internet, and b) excercising a double-standard going after Jim Hoft and not the thousands of others who have "stolen" its material on YouTube and elsewhere.
Ted Kennedy can get away with leaving a campaign staffer to die in his car in the eyes of the media, but apparently a disputed and expunged arrest record of a Republican congressional candidate is worth blasting to the public. At least according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Scott Johnson at Power Line has the details:
I find Sunday's Star Tribune story
by Paul McEnroe and Rochelle Olson on the expunged 1995 arrest of
Republican Fifth District congressional candidate Alan Fine to be
reprehensible. We posted the rationale offered by Star Tribune
"reader's representative" Kate Parry for the Star Tribune's publication
of the story here.
Parry conteded that the story had "news value" because "Fine was
arrested by the police, charged with domestic assault and spent a few
hours in jail" and that "the allegations raised in the court documents
were corroborated by the ex-wife in interviews with Star Tribune
reporters." Parry did not mention or comment on the expungement of the
At the Star Tribune's online site, editor Anders Gyllenhaal has also offered his rationale
for the publication of the story. Anyone who suspects that the Star
Tribune offices are something of an echo chamber won't be disabused of
the notion by Gyllenhaal's comments:
Oklahoma Republican senator James Inhofe is continuing his campaign to educate Americans about the media's tendency to listen and repeat alarmist rhetoric about the environment. His latest Senate speech focused on the New York Times and its prepostrous flipping back and forth between believing in massive global cooling/warming:
My recent speeches detailing the embarrassing 100 year history of the media’s relentless climate hype and its flip flopping between global cooling and warming scares must have struck a nerve in the old gray lady of the New York Times. A significant portion of my 50 minute Senate floor speech on September 25th was devoted to the New York Times history of swinging between promoting fears of a coming ice age to promoting fears of global warming. Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods.
The New York Times October 12, 2006 editorial accused me of possessing “a hysteria of doubt” about human caused catastrophic global warming. But in reality, there is no doubt that it is the New York Times that possesses a hysterical and erroneous history of climate alarmism.
Here is a quote from the February 24, 1895 edition of the New York Times reporting on fears of an approaching ice age: “Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again.” But on March 27, 1933, the New York Times reported: “America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-year Rise” Then in 1952, the New York Times was back on the global warming bandwagon declaring that the “trump card” of global warming “has been the melting glaciers.” And a 1975 New York Times headline trumpeting fear of a coming ice age read: “Climate Changes Endanger World’s Food Output.”
You have to hand it to the liberal media. The American government is prosecuting its first treason case in 50 years, but the press has managed to maintain its focus on more important issues. You know, like the Mark Foley email scandal. Such dedication in the face of silly distractions is truly admirable.
Justice Department officials denied the case was timed to
deflect attention from the fallout over lewd computer messages
sent by a former Republican congressman to young male aides, a
scandal that may help Democrats seize control of Congress in
the November 7 elections.
Hat tip to James Taranto who adds: "To our knowledge, Reuters has not denied that this is intended to deflect
attention from the fallout over Reuters' Ann
Last time I checked, DOJ officials haven't commented on whether they've stopped beating their spouses. I'll be waiting for Vicini's followup on this.
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
Barry Hess, the Libertarian candidate for governor in Arizona is so upset with the "blatant and shameless" bias of his state's biggest newspaper, the Arizona Republic that he's embarking on a new effort to run ads--against the newspaper.
Judging from Hess's media bias section on his site, it seems his biggest complaint isn't necessarily about issues and more about that the paper's refusal to give coverage to other candidates besides the Democrat Janet Janet Napolitano and Republican Len Munsil. Still, this is the first time I've ever seen a candidate of any party want to run advertisements against a media outlet.
There is another interesting item in this story as well. Hess had an email exchange with Ken Western, the Republic's editorial page editor. In a reply to Hess after the candidate has expressed frustration with being called a "spoiler" by a Republic reporter, Western explicitly states that Hess should refrain from criticizing reporters since doing so will result in bad publicity for himself. Here's the relevant part of the page: