Posts Tagged ‘Drudge Report’

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The Rightosphere’s Grand Finale

November 2, 2008

As a Brave Nomadic Warrior of the Political Web™, I’ve noticed some insanely desperate attempts to change the course of the race over the last year or so.  From the idea that it was Ayers who secretly wrote Obama’s book, to the elusive Michelle Obama “whitey” tape, to allegations that Barack forged his birth certificate, the width and breadth of the assertions seemed to be limited only to the boundaries of the human imagination (an absolutely hilarious rundown of these “greatest moments” was penned in a classic post by Jon Swift here). 

But now as we enter the final moments of this long campaign, the rightosphere is faced with the reality that McCain’s chances are slim.  So, I’m going to take the opportunity to use the end of a 4th of July fireworks production as a metaphor, and document the components of the flurry as I stumble upon them.  And believe me, there are some definite oohs and ahhs here (just in the last 24 hrs or so):

-Barack Obama Malcolm X’s secret love child?

Kidding!

….not:

Tom Mboya, and Philip Ochieng, all share common physical features of the Kenyan Luo tribe: Modest stature under six feet, round faces, small chins, wide set eyes, slanted back foreheads, and retracted hairlines…none of these features are shared by Malcolm X and Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

(That one earned Pamela a Countdown “worst person” award)

The Weather Underground and Obama’s campaign both feature a logo that is circular!

Do you see the connection?  I don’t.  Then again, I assumed that the Obama logo was designed by some outside group anyway.  As it turns out, I was right.  In any case, go ahead and click the link, as the other suggestions of Obama/WU correlation in the post are just as flimsy.

Update:  Good grief:

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OK, so they knew it was a dishonest smear.  I’m not sure if that makes them better or worse.

The Obamas have no pets!

That one may actually be fact, but the stab at spinning it into a game-changer earns a spot here.

DID VERA BAKER ABORT OBAMA’S BABY? IS OBAMA BEING BLACKMAILED BY HER? BY OTHERS? DID OBAMA RIDE HER DIRTY?

??????

-An Examination of Obama’s Use of Hidden Hypnosis Techniques in His Speeches

This one comes to us in the form of a 67-page pdf!

I’ll continue to highlight more eruptions as we march towards the finish line, since we still may have yet to witness the most spectacular example.  You can almost hear the groaning sound as these people grasp at straws, desperately hurling anything and everything they can think of, as soon as they think of it.   In a way, this is a more extreme shadow of what the McCain campaign has done, so I have to wonder that it never occurred to any of these people that all this crap might have done more harm than good. 

Oh well, let’s enjoy the fireworks!

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Update: I should probably rethink the title for this thread, as I totally forgot about the PUMA’s: *Breaking* Ayers Advises Obama on a Regular Basis (source)

Ah yes. *Breaking*, the day before the election.

Update:  Speaking of which, Drudge finds his inner PUMA:

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The screenshot of the middle finger scratch, again!  LOL

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Poll Wars

October 17, 2008

I haven’t commented much on the polls here in the Chamber as we march toward election day, mostly because I’ve seen the practice of touting Obama’s lead as something I might regret.  In other words, whatever the polls might say, I still think that this election is going to be very close.

I only bring it up now because I’ve noticed a couple of things on the web that reminded me of an old debate on whether these presidential opinion polls are less an attempt to gauge public opinion, and more of an attempt to influence it.    One such sighting came the other day, when Tex brought to my attention an interesting yet poorly-sourced and flawed essay by the enigmatic Zombie, in which he/she accuses Obama supporters of “stuffing” the post-debate polls in an effort to make the idea that Obama won the debates an accepted “fact”.  Like I said, an interesting theory, but unfortunately Zombie didn’t provide much of anything to back up the assertion, so I let him/her know.  (I had always assumed that the reputable and referenced post-debate polls weren’t internet-based anyway, although I always wonder how they determine who the “undecided” voters are)

The other sighting happened when I visited Drudge Report, and I obviously couldn’t miss this:

Drudge is right about one thing, in that a dramatic swing like that certainly would be considered a shock.  So, I decided to investigate a little on my own, and turned to fivethirtyeight.com (since they watch this stuff daily), and I came across this analysis:

Let me be clear: I don’t blame Drudge for trying to drive the narrative. Unlike certain other folks, it’s not as though he’s made any claim to being objective. With real news — which polls aren’t — he generally has excellent and entertaining instincts.

I do, however, blame those of who allow yourselves to have your day ruined when Drudge moonlights as some kind of polling analyst.

A fairer way to analyze tracking polls, in any event, is something like this: McCain gained ground in three of the seven trackers today (Gallup, Rasmussen, Battleground). He lost ground in one (Zogby). Three others (Research 2000, Hotline, IBD/TIPP) were unchanged.

So, what is Drudge doing here?  Is he cherry-picking the most McCain-favorable poll he could find in an effort to influence opinion?  After all, much has been said about Drudge’s uncanny ability to drive the national conversation.  Is he trying to exploit a variation of the principle of social proof and frame the narrative that McCain is making some sort of spectacular comeback?

My guess would be, yes.  Especially since he went for it again today.  This one appeared to be picked up by Lou Dobbs, as he repeated the Drudge headline almost verbatim on his show this evening.  

Of course, the only poll that really matters is the one taken on November 4th, but I think that a debate on how much the polls taken leading up to the big day influence the outcome is worth having.  Do the candidates alter their tactics based on the polls?   You bet.  Do those tactics then play a role in winning and losing?  Of course they do.    If the shift of tactics is transparent, and the voter assumes that the change is based solely on the polls, does it (the tactic) lose some of its effectiveness (i.e. “McCain’s just going negative because he’s behind in the polls”)?  Sure.  In fact, it would be interesting to get an idea what the change in the electoral dynamic would be if the poll results were kept privately within the campaigns, or if they did away with polling altogether.   Of course that would never happen, but when you think about it that way, one revisits the reasons why they are everywhere. 

Wait a second.  Why are they everywhere, anyway?

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