Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Reality of the Situation Dawns on the Fourth Estate

I remember traffic jams
Motor boys and girls with tans
Nearly was and almost rans
I remember this

History is made
History is made to seem unfair
--REM, "I Remember California"

After the recent New Hampshire primary, I was surprised and irked to read in the AP story in the morning's Journal-Star that Hillary Clinton's victory over Barack Obama was a "startling comeback." An upset victory in the second primary? Is Iowa really that powerful? The piece went on to say that the polling numbers showed before the primary that Clinton was behind significantly in all of the important demographic groups. The article made it seem completely startling that those numbers didn't hold. What, the article asked, did Clinton do to reverse her disastrous position with the voters? Hmmmm.

Maybe, she didn't do too much. I imagine that some of her tactics (emotional openness in speeches (the sincerity of which the article slyly and slightly questioned), spending a lot of time in town hall-type meetings with actual voters, etc.) had something to do with it, but maybe, just maybe, the media's "polls" were wrong. Sure, they are conducted "scientifically," and people pay a lot of money for professional pollsters to do their stuff. But, isn't it slightly possible that, in a small state, during a primary, that the numbers just might not have been worth much?

At any rate, miracle of reversed numbers or not, since when did anybody really think that this was a one horse race? After Iowa's caucus (IOWA, people), Obama was practically anointed. That is wrong. And maybe it shows, a little bit, just how much the media want to see Ol' Hill go down in flames. That's sad.

And, of course, we haven't even gotten into the media's spin on McCain, Huckabee, and Romney. But, let's say just a few more words about the Dems and the media. I don't want to sound like I am anti-Obama or pro-Hillary. To be honest, I have yet to make up my mind. Maybe, since I haven't committed, I am seeing more objectively the subtext of this recent reporting. I don't know. I will tell you one thing: aside from the biased media coverage, I think that the campaigns have, so far, been the most cordial we've had in a long time. This could change at any moment, of course, but let's keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't. Now, if we could get everybody to talk about real issues, instead of concepts like "experience" and "change," we might have ourselves a real live political debate in this country. Of course, the media might not report it as such, but a boy can dream, can't he?


La Fashionista said...

Yesterday I spent some time talking to a colleague who is an ardent (strident?) Giuliani supporter. It was weird.

I'm tired. I don't have much else to say about this right now. Perhaps more later.


ATR said...

Ardent is a health system, Strident is a computer system. I hope this lesson in free-market branding vocabulary helps.