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10 Reasons For The False Media Narrative of A "Tied Campaign"

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 03:46 PM
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10 Reasons For The False Media Narrative of A "Tied Campaign"
10 Reasons For The False Media Narrative of A "Tied Campaign"
by: Paul Rosenberg
Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 14:45

snip//

(1) The belief that "this is a center-right country," and hence a solid Democratic lead is unthinkable, and thus, unreportable. The belief that "this is a center-right country" is one of the key narratives supporting the conservative Republican takeover of elite politics. This belief, long promoted by the right, is based on self-identification as "moderate," "liberal," or "conservative." It overlooks the fact that a large plurality--and near majority--of self-identified "conservatives" are actually liberal in their political attitudes toward New Deal spending programs and liberal internationalist foreign policy, as first observed by pioneering researchers Lloyd Free and Hadley Cantril in their 1967 book, The Political Beliefs of Americans: A Study of Public Opinion. Their findings have been supported by decades of puiblic opinion research, most notably that carried out by General Social Survey, as I've discussed on various occasions, such as "The Myth Of A Polarized Public" and "Center-Left America--Vast Support For the Welfare State". The dominance of liberal policy attitudes is an enduring fact of American political life, though subject to fluctuations in strength. It has been growing stronger for some time now.

More particularly, the belief that "this is a center-right country" is often used to dismiss consideration of views that are demonstrably majoritarian, such as support for withdrawal from Iraq, increased social spending , or warrantless wiretapping. Even if the claim were true, it would simply be sloppy reasoning to argue from a general premise ("this is a center-right country") to a specific conclusion ("public opinion on this issue is center-right") when there is specific polling data to the contrary.

(2) Belief in a static, narrowly-divided electorate, precluding the possibility of a decisive Democratic victory. The Versailles media cannot even bring itself to admit how deeply unpopular Bush is, how high the "wrong track" numbers are, how bad the Republican prospects in Congress are this year. If all this is beyond their ken, then how can we expect them to know about shifts in party ID? It's not like they know how to use Google. Nonetheless, polling from both Pew, and Rasmussen clearly shows that the partisan balance between Democrats and Republicans has shifted dramatically from near-parity in the early 2000s back toward the traditional dominance of Democratic self-identification.

(3) Belief in the conservative framing of "character" as the bedrock of politics has multiple implications that inhibit accurate reporting of the race. This framing of "character" as central has long been the secret for how conservatives manage to win elections despite the fact that most people are liberal on most policy issues. It provides an easy framework for pundits to blather on endlessly without ever needing to expend any intellectual effort whatsoever. No need to know any facts or figures, much less be able to reason about them. Polling data? That's nerdsville, baby! All you have to do is gossip, call it "political analysis" and collect your paycheck. But the simple fact is that politics is about the enactment of public policy. It makes no difference whatsoever if those passing such policies and implementing them are saints or sinners in their private lives. The politics of "character" is a red herring so big, it could swallow the whale that swallowed Jonah.

(4) Belief in the conservative narrative that conservative leaders are heroic figures and Democrats are depraved. This builds directly on the point above, and is its single most powerful mode of influencing coverage of the race. Glenn Greenwald's book, Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics (reviewed here, interview here) dissects in detail how this narrative framing is used to defeat Democrats and elect conservative Republicans, and how false it is. But so long as it is taken seriously, it seriously impares the ability to see what is directly in front of their faces--including a race that has not been tied for a very long time now.

more...

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7436
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Shine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Cool. Thanks for posting this. We're not the only ones who think this:
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 03:58 PM
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2. Thanks For This
I had a thread earlier saying that this, 'the candidates are tied' business is nonsense, but this says it so much better. McSame has reached his ceiling at 40 some % but Obama is at his floor with nearly 50%.
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 04:01 PM
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3. Excellent article, but missed one point (which may be point #1)
The need to maintain the perception of a generally close election so that specific stolen state contests won't be noticed.
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Benhurst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bingo!
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. That was a big one that came to mind for me. n/t
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Indeedy. But what really scares me is when that tactic no longer works, and they realize it. nt
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kaygore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 04:56 PM
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6. In all fairness: There is a rhetoric to what is broadcast in the media
For example, listen to the rhetoric for a football game, even if the game is between the number one team in all of the NFL and the team in last place. The commentators build up the game as if it will be a real struggle between the two teams. If they didn't, then only the most die-hard fans would watch.

That is what may be going on now with the election. The broadcast stations, in fact, probably all of the media have invested huge amounts in reporting this election. They need to make it seem like a real contest. Thus, the myth of the closeness of the two candidates in the polls.

Just a thought. However, I vote for the reason being that then when the election is once again stolen, they can say, "Oh, my, oh, my...it was SUCH a close race!"
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-10-08 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R ...
:kick:
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