Thursday, November 01, 2012

The day after election day

There's no doubt in my mind that President Obama is winning this election on the ground at this point. I'm less certain the GOPers won't still find a way to steal it. Already seeing disturbing reports of trickery including voting machine "patching" in Ohio and 1000 early votes mysteriously lost in a predominatly black precinct in Florida. But if Obama does manage to overcome the GOP's thievery, I think Paul Waldman is right on in this assessment:
It might be easy to believe we're approaching Peak Trutherism, what with good old-fashioned birthers now being supplemented by BLS truthers and poll truthers. But just you wait—should Barack Obama win this election, we'll see an explosion of election trutherism that will be truly unprecedented in scope.
And unlike 2004, when it was liberal Democrats pointing out the obvious anomalies in the tallies, if this happens you can be certain the media will be taking it very seriously because, conservatives. If the "real Murkins" are wailing about fraud it's a very serious matter. No one will be sneeringly dismissive about crazy hippies then.

Waldman riffs off the great Nate Silver pile-on of 2012. Truer words than this were never spoken:
But Silver is only a threat to reporters if they see explaining who is going to win as their primary job. And if that's how they see their job, they really ought to apologize to the public and find another career. Because there are few things as useless to the citizenry as a reporter giving his or her opinion on who is going to win.
Yet for the last two years, (actually more like at least six) that's pretty much all we've received in the way of political coverage. I can't think of single critical policy issue the legacy media hasn't framed in terms of political advantage while mainly ignoring the nuts and bolts of the policies.

Ironically, while I respect his work, and hope he's right again, I blame Nate for creating the poll mania that's at the root of what's wrong with the media. Thinking his being so right in his predictions is what inspired all the hundreds of imitators that now muddy the discourse.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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