In a May 29 article, Associated Press writer John Solomon reported that
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) had attended three Las Vegas boxing matches as the guest of the
Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) at a time when the agency "was trying to
influence him on federal regulation of boxing." But while Solomon
suggested that Reid might have been improperly influenced by his acceptance of
the free ringside tickets, he failed to inform readers that, rather than taking
any actions favorable to the NAC, Reid did just the opposite: Several months
after attending one such event, he voted in favor of the specific legislation that,
according to the article, the agency opposed.
A new behavior prediction tool is forecasting a landslide victory for former Democratic Vice President Al Gore in the 2008 presidential election. However, should Hillary Clinton gain the Democratic nomination, any potential Republican challenger will win the presidency.
These are among the surprising findings reported by Dr. James N. Herndon, a media psychologist with Media Psychology Affiliates. Using a new research tool called Affective Encryption Analysis, Dr. Herndon led an investigation into the likely outcome of the 2008 Presidential election.
“Affective Encryption Analysis is a new behavior forecasting tool that looks at how our feelings and emotions can influence our long-term actions,” explains Dr. Herndon. “Traditional survey techniques are not very good at predicting trends. Affective Encryption Analysis was developed to dig deeper into the emotional factors that control our future behaviors.”
Of the results, Dr. Herndon had this to say:
“Despite the widespread public dissatisfaction with the George W. Bush administration, our results showed even greater ill-feelings toward potential Democratic challengers,” says Dr. Herndon. “But there was one exception: Al Gore.”
“With a predictive accuracy of 93%, our results showed that Al Gore would easily defeat any Republican challenger in 2008. However, he is the only Democrat on the scene today who has the ability to defeat the likely Republican challengers, who we believe will be either John McCain or Jeb Bush.”
Results were not rosy for Hillary Clinton. “Hillary Clinton would suffer a disastrous defeat at the hands of any Republican who receives the nomination,” states Dr. Herndon.
Sorry for the excessive quoting, but I'm feeling fairly lazy today. As for the results from this predictor, I can't be to enthusiastic. Heck, a football game actually predicted the 17 presidential elections prior to 2004 correctly. Anyway, enjoy the rest of the holiday.
Greg Sargent's fine post over at the American Prospect's new blog focuses on Adam Nagourney's profile of Al Gore in today's New York Times and raises the question of the media's role in Gore's defeat in 2000. He notes that the obnoxious language the Times uses in describing Gore is reminiscent of the way he was covered during his presidential campaign.
Is it churlish to note that, while the piece was somewhat sympathetic to Gore, the paper was still straining to revive an old Gore chesnut -- Gore is a pompous ass -- by noting his "cluck-clucking" at a time when Gore was talking about what is quite literally the most important issue facing humankind, i.e., the fate of the earth? Maybe. It's also worth noting that the piece strained to imply that Gore had other motives -- worry over his image and legacy; fear of losing -- for devoting himself to issues instead of returning to politics.
Sargent references the archives of The Daily Howler from 2000, which contains plenty of coverage of the media's anti-Gore bias. It also might help to examine how the media covered the "last lap" of the 2000 presidential race. With thanks to Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, I found a report on just that. Pew Charitable Trusts Project for Excellence in Journalism recorded the tone of the coverage both Bush and Gore received. The results:
Tone of Coverage For Bush & Gore
Positive 13% 24%
Neutral 31 27
Negative 56 49
The media, like the country, didn't seem to like either candidate
very much, but Gore clearly was treated worse than Bush. Franken also
cites an article by Robert Parry in the Washington Monthly,
which debunks many of the lies the media spread about Gore. Even
professional Clinton/Gore hater Christopher Hitchens admitted that Gore
got ridiculously unfair coverage in the press. In a rare moment of
honesty in the campaign, here's what Chris Matthews (who later admitted
to voting for Bush in 2000) and Hitchens said about the debate coverage
on the October 4, 2000, edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Your review, sir, of that 90-minute spectacle?
HITCHENS: I can't believe what I'm reading this morning. I co--didn't
believe--could barely believe much of what I heard last night from the
supposed snap polls and the people who promulgate them. I mean, there
was no real contest. The vice president did everything but kiss
Governor Bush's wife for him, it seemed to me. It was--he didn't just
eat his lunch. He regurgitated his lunch, in the--that's probably
because they have many of the same policies on most of the crucial
things. There was absolutely no contest. And--and puzzling over the
stupidity, which I think is willful of the pundits this morning, the
only conclusion I can come to is this. You may remember, Christopher,
about five or so days ago--perhaps longer--there was a big story in The
New York Times, brow-furrowing, masochistic story: Is the press biased
in favor of Al Gore? Is there a liberal bias in the press? A lot of
people are saying that.
MATTHEWS: Right, I saw it.
HITCHENS: Well, I think that--that's the only conceivable answer. The
people are so determined to avoid that charge and to avoid a Republican
anti-press campaign at this point that they--that they--that...
MATTHEWS: It could be--could it be that the...
Mr. HITCHENS: ...they say that this--the--they're ridiculous.
HITCHENS: The--the ridiculous figure of Bush who didn't stray beyond
his stump speech remarks, and when he did, fell badly, had to have two
tries at saying Milosevic, couldn't keep a preposition under control...
Mr. HITCHENS: ...looked nervous, wimpish, weasel-like, was the equal of the vice president, o--of whom, as you know, I'm no fan.
MATTHEWS: Neither me. But let me ask you, could it be that the punditry...
Mr. HITCHENS: So I--I just really think it's--I think it's a--it's a negative masochistic media blitz.
I agree. Could it be that the punditry class is the only profession in
which you're allowed to simply take a pass and say, 'I'm not going to
be a pundit tonight'? I couldn't believe the number of people who
chickened out last night. It was clear to me--and I am no fan of either
of these guys entirely, and I can certainly say that about the one--the
one who I thought won last night, that's Al Gore. I thought he cleaned
the other guy's clock, and I said so last night and all four national
polls agreed with that. In fact, the ones with the--the one with the
largest sample, which was CBS, found a 14-point spread of those who
thought that the vice president really leveled the other guy. I don't
understand why people are afraid to say so.
added. We got a reminder of the negative bias that was so present
during the Clinton/Gore years again this week, when the press corps
went crazy over a gossip story about the 'state of the Clinton marriage' that appeared on the front page of the Times. Not to mention this week's right-wing comparisons
of Al Gore to Hitler and his new global warming documentary to Nazi
propaganda. It seems as though when the media hears the names "Gore"
and "Clinton" they shake off 6 years of sleep and go in for the kill.
We're back and ready to roll with today's news and insight:
National Journal has a long profile of DCCC chairman Rahm Emanuel as this week's cover story. Author Richard E. Cohen paints the picture of an incredibly dedicated and "hands-on" chairman. Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz says that Emanuel "lives and breathes this", referring to his work to create a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. This description pretty much matches up with that of a Democratic congressman I spoke to a couple of months ago, who thought that Emanuel's life consisted of little else but trying to succeed in the 2006 midterm elections.
Joe Conason writes in Salon that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) must resign from congress amid overwhelming evidence of corruption. Jefferson declined to answer when asked if he had ever taken a bribe, but has been videotaped as doing so, among various other unethical activities. Jefferson has refused House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's request to resign from the Ways and Means Committee.
Think Progress has a full rebuttal to an article by an Arizona State University professor, with ties to the oil industry, who has tried to refute claims made in Al Gore's new documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
With a recent article in the tabloid magazine Globe claiming that the Bushes' marriage is on the rocks and that the President has started drinking once more, Media Matterswonders when we can expect "The New York Times to assign a reporter to
tally the number of nights the Bushes spend together and to conduct 50
interviews with Republicans to assess their interest in the state of the Bush
marriage, or in President Bush's reported relapse -- and when it will run a
2,000-word front-page article on the topic."