The Loneliest Number: 'Today' Sees Trend In Single Dissatisfied Republican
With rare exception, TV stories just don't happen - they're planned. So we can be quite sure that sometime in the last 24 hours or so, a producer at 'Today' sent out the word: "find me a Republican voter in a key state who has decided to vote Democrat this year."
NBC folks on the ground in Ohio obliged, dutifully disinterring Mr. John Gaylord to be trotted out on this morning's show. NBC's David Gregory offered this silk-purse-into-sow's-ear intro:
"For embattled Republicans, despite falling gas prices around the country, the economy might prove a tough sell. An important bellwether for this election is right here in Ohio, where a combination of an unpopular war in Iraq, a slow state economy, and scandal have set off alarm bells for Republicans. John Gaylord, a lifelong Republican, runs a bookstore in suburban Columbus. He may switch his vote this year."
Gaylord: "We've had a Republican congress for some time, and of course a Republican in the White House, and I just don't see us going in the right direction."
From Gaylord's statement, Gregory miraculously managed to divine a national trend : "For Republicans, analysts say, the malaise [hey, isn't that a copyrighted Dem term?] is national."
Quick switch to political analyst Stuart Rothenberg: "It is a mood where the public is sour, dissatisfied, wants to a change direction in the country. and just plain angry and ready to start over."
Of course, had that 'Today' producer so ordered, the staff could surely have found a Democrat who had decided to vote Republican. People can argue over the reliability of polls sampling 300 voters. The comment of a single hand-picked individual is less than meaningless - it's misleading.
The Army recently abandoned its advertising slogan "An Army of One." When it comes to forecasting trends, the MSM should likewise give up "a sample of one."
Aside: Wouldn't it be interesting to know the basis upon which NBC reported that Mr. Gaylord is "a lifelong Republican"? Did NBC do some independent investigation? The bare minimum would be ascertaining that he has always - and for many years - been a registered Republican, and perhaps a party volunteer, etc. Surely NBC didn't simply rely on an assertion by Mr. Gaylord, did it?