CNS Rushes Out Op-Eds Defending AT&T-Time Warner Merger Topic: CNSNews.com
After the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner was announced last week, CNSNews.com quickly rushed out a pair of right-wing op-eds, both published Oct. 27, pre-emptively complaining that federal officials might block the merger.
In the first, the Cato Institute's Daniel Mitchell insisted that "monopoly power generally exists only when government intervenes," insisting that the feds shouldn't judge whether the merger raises any antitrust concerns:
In other words, let the merger proceed. It may be a wise business decision. Or it may be a foolish business decision.
But that outcome should be determined by the preferences of consumers in a competitive marketplace.
The heavy foot of government shouldn’t play a role. Especially since, as noted by this cartoon, antitrust laws are so broad and vague that companies can get in legal trouble for charging more than their competitors, less than their competitors, and the same as their competitors.
In the second, the Heritage Foundation's James Gattuso made a similar argument, insisting that "AT&T and Time Warner do not compete with each other" and "despite popular rhetoric to the contrary, there has been no general trend toward mergers in the telecom and media marketplaces."
He goes on to complain that "the knowledge that government may intervene in mergers without regard to their likely competitive effects will prompt wasteful expenditures by special interests opposing particular transactions, causing a further diminution in economic welfare," adding that "by arbitrarily intervening in proposed mergers that are not anti-competitive, government disincentivizes firms from acting boldly to seek out new opportunities to create wealth and enhance the welfare of consumers," and asserting that "Absent a strong showing of likely harm to the competitive process (which does not appear to be the case here), the government has no business interfering in corporate acquisitions."
We don't have an opinion on the merger -- we just found it interesting that CNS would rush out these op-eds making ideological snap judgments on the merger before the full ramifications have even been examined. That's another reminder that CNS is much more about pushing an ideology than reporting news, despite its pose as a "news" organization.
MRC's Graham Lashes Out Again At NPR Media Reporter Topic: Media Research Center
For some reason, the Media Resarch Center's Tim Graham loves to pickfights with NPR media reporter David Folkenflik. Graham got huffy with Folkenflik again in an Oct. 27 post:
NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik loves to report negative stories about Fox News, over and over again. Since July 6, he’s filed 16 negative reports on Fox News and the sexual-harassment lawsuits, leading to the departure of longtime boss Roger Ailes.
But try to find him mentioning anything about the media sucking up to the Clinton campaign in the Wikileaks emails. He skipped that, just like he skipped Gawker’s trove of suckup emails going to Hillary press aide Phillippe Reines back in February. One might rightly conclude bashing Fox News is a favorite pastime.
Those 16 reports on Fox News and Ailes are, as we've noted, approximately 16 more than the MRC has devoted to it. Fox News is the MRC's favorite news outlet, and Brent Bozell and crew appear there regularly, so they didn't want to jeopardize that by reporting such unpleasant things.
Graham went on to whine: "The least surprising story on Wednesday night’s All Things Considered was Folkenflik enjoying the Tuesday night Fox News fight between Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich. Like the other leftists, Folkenflik took the side of Kelly, scorning Gingrich as a finger-wagging old man who specialized in cheating on his wives losing voters for Trump."
But criticism of Gingrich was not coming solely from "leftists" (and Graham does not prove Folkenflik is one). For instance, Katie Pavlich and Cheri Jacobus -- no "leftists" they -- also criticized Trump.
Stranger than Graham's attempt to pick another bogus fight with Folkenflik is how the MRC promoted it. A post on its NewsBusters Twitter account carried the introduction "GEORGE SOROS GRANT NEWS."
Graham didn't even mention Soros in his post, nor did he engage in a "defund NPR" rant that is usually a staple whenever Graham writes about NPR.
The NewsBusters tweet was apparently a reference to a donation Soros' Open Society Institute made to NPR back in 2010 -- but that was earmarked for NPR's "Impact on Government" project and apparently not to Folkenflik's salary.
But, hey, when has anyone ever accused Graham and the MRC of caring about inconvenient facts?
What Is Joseph Farah Lying About Today? Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is an unrepentant liar -- one of the many, many reasons WND is going down the tubes. Farah demonstrates his disregard for the truth again in his Oct. 28 column, which is devoted to ranting about how "Hillary Clinton hates America and Americans." He adds:
However, thanks to the 2016 presidential campaign and WikiLeaks emails, we now know that even Hillary Clinton’s top aides agree that Hillary hates America and Americans – especially “average Americans.”
That deliciously and brutally honest email came from John Podesta, her campaign manager, in a moment of candor to another member of her campaign team. It said: “I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans.”
That is an incredible indictment and one that needs to be in the ears of every everyday American as he or she makes his or her way to the polls Nov. 8.
Actually, it's a lie. As we pointed out when WND first reported this claim, the words are taken out of context. The reference was to the "everyday Americans" slogan that Clinton used when she first launched her presidential campaign; when Podesta says "I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans," he's saying she hates the phrase in relation to her campaign.
But Farah doesn't let the facts get in the way of his Hillary-hating bile:
It’s so important.
Think of it.
Who in their right mind would vote for a president who hates everyday Americans?
What other qualification could possibly overcome such contempt for those she is supposed to serve?
Experience more of Joseph Farah’s no-nonsense truth-telling in his books, audio and video products, featured in the WND Superstore
That’s clearly not the kind of “first” we can afford in 2016 – electing a president who hates not just Republicans, not just conservatives, not just independents, not just Democrats who don’t vote for her, not just Bernie Sanders supporters, but plain, old “everyday Americans,” according to no less an authority than her own campaign manager – with tacit confirmation from her other staff, who understood exactly what he meant.
WND has made no impact whatsoever on the 2016 election -- even Jerome Corsi is resorting to lame mud-slinging since his anti-Hillary book is tanking (No. 21,850 at Amazon at this writing). That must be eating at Farah, since WND is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to get attention, rather like a petulant child (wacky tabloid editor claiming to be Hillary's "fixer," anyone?).
If this keeps up, expect to see another sad plea for money from Farah in the very near future.
Hollingsworth has to qualify by not only insisting on it being a "major hurricane" -- that is, category 3 and above -- but that it also has to make U.S. landfall at that strength. The recent Hurricane Matthew doesn't count, she insists in that last article, because "Matthew had weakened to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall near McClellanville, S.C. on October 8th with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph." Nor does thte storm best know as Superstorm Sandy, because "Hurricane Sandy had been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by the time it made landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012." She does concede those storm caused substantial damage in the U.S., though.
Since CNS is not normally interested in weather, there has to be a right-wing political angle to this. And there is, as Hollingsworth explains in that last article: "Many climate scientists have predicted that anthropogenic global warming caused by an increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere would result in an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes."
What Hollingsworth is much less likely to promote: the "hurricane drought" doesn't really mean anything. As Jason Samenow. the Washington Post Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist, explains:
The major-hurricane metric both leaves out significant storms because of its narrow definition and is misleading as an overall indicator of storm activity.
Climate-change doubters point to the lack of major-hurricane landfalls as evidence that global warming is not affecting the storms. But, in reality, nine of the last 11 Atlantic hurricane seasons have produced more storms than normal. It’s just that those with the strongest winds have remained over the ocean — something researchers have ascribed to dumb luck.
The major-hurricane-landfall drought is an interesting statistic, and that’s about it. It is a fine metric to track and report as a curiosity, but it cannot be used to say anything useful about how hurricanes are affecting society or how their behavior may or may not be changing over time.
Hollingsworth tried to play gotcha with a couple of climate scientists in that last article, but they both did a fact-slap on her:
“You and many other climate scientists have predicted an increase in hurricane activity due to anthropogenic global warming. But with carbon dioxide levels at a record high, why are we now seeing the longest major hurricane drought on record here in the U.S.?” CNSNews asked [MIT atmospheric science professor Kerry] Emanuel.
“One must be aware that the North Atlantic has only 11 percent of the world’s hurricanes, and that we do not expect the global warming signal to be seen in global statistics for several decades,” he replied. “By the time one drills down to major U.S. landfalls, a tiny percentage of total activity, it may be decades to detect a signal.
“As you know, Matthew was a very near miss. That would have ended the drought, but not solved the problem of trying to detect a climate signal in a very tiny subset of global hurricane activity,” Emanuel said.
CNSNews posed the same question to oceanographer and Climate Progress founding editor Joe Romm, who also predicted an increase in hurricane activity due to climate change, and who recently wrote that “Hurricane Matthew is super strong – because of climate change.”
“You have fallen into a mostly semantic trap,” he replied, referring to an article he wrote for ClimateProgress arguing that NOAA’s criteria for defining a major hurricane is flawed.
“The media should be reporting that in a world where storm surge is causing most of the devastation for the most destructive hurricanes, defining a ‘major’ hurricane around its wind speed (at landfall) is archaic at best and wildly misleading at worst,” Romm wrote.
For balance, Hollingsworth called in climate denier and non-scientist (and former CNS reporter) Marc Morano to assert that, in her words, "those who predicted more major hurricane activity due to climate change now want to change the definition of a major hurricane because their predictions have fallen short of reality."
MRC's Study of Media Bias On Trump Is Hypocritical And Narrow Topic: Media Research Center
Remember when the Media Research Center thought that media coverage wasn't negative enough? We do.
Remember when MRC chief Brent Bozell said it was irrelevant that most of Trump's media coverage was negative? We do.
Which is why the MRC's big report last week complaining about negative media coverage of Trump is a big, hypocritical nothingburger. Add to that the study's extremely narrow focus: a review of only the evening newscasts on NBC, CBS and ABC -- a tiny sliver of "the media. Nevertheless, report author Rich Noyes interchangably uses "the broadcast networks" and "the media," as if they were the same thing:
The results show neither candidate was celebrated by the media (as Obama was in 2008), but network reporters went out of their way to hammer Trump day after day, while Clinton was largely out of their line of fire.
Our analysts found 184 opinionated statements about Hillary Clinton, split between 39 positive statements (21%) vs. 145 negative (79%). Those same broadcasts included more than three times as many opinionated statements about Trump, 91 percent of which (623) were negative vs. just nine percent positive (63).
Noyes also played false equivalence with Trump's extensive record of falsehoods, complining that "Reporters also bluntly called out Trump for lying in his public remarks in a way they never did with Clinton, despite her own robust record of false statements." The MRC has long denied the obvious fact that Trump has told more falsehoods than Clinton, to the point that it attacks fact-checkers to deflect from that.
Further, the MRC's method of coming to its preordained conclusion (does anyone think the MRC would make this public if it wasn't?) seems suspect. Noyes writes:
Our measure of campaign spin was designed to isolate the networks’ own slant, not the back-and-forth of the campaign trail. Thus, our analysts ignored soundbites which merely showcased the traditional party line (Republicans supporting Trump and bashing Clinton, and vice versa), and instead tallied evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story. Such statements may have been presented as quotes from non-partisan talking heads such as experts or voters, quotes from partisans who broke ranks (Republicans attacking Trump or Democrats criticizing Clinton), or opinionated statements from the reporter themselves.
Additionally, we separated personal evaluations of each candidate from statements about their prospects in the campaign horse race (i.e., standings in the polls, chances to win, etc.).
Evaluating statements as either "positive" or "negtative" seems like a recipe to introduce bias; after all, since the MRC is pulling for Trump, it would be predisposed to mark more statements about Trump as "negative," which may skew its results. Since the MRC never posts the raw data from its "research," there's no way to independently evaluate those statements or the MRC's classification of them.
Most egregiously, Noyes ignores that one reason Trump received more negative coverage is because he has done more things that warrant it, having apparently decided to push the fiction that Trump is merely just another Republican.
Another example of Noyes' bias: he complains that stories about "Donald Trump’s treatment of women" are "alleged" and "unproven," while applies no qualifiers to "Bill Clinton’s past treatment of women, and Hillary Clinton’s role in covering up her husband’s wrongdoing."
In short: It's a biased report produced with biased intent, and all the uncritical coverage of it on Fox News -- whose election coverage the MRC conspicuously refused to study -- doesn't change that one bit.
Guy Who Exaggerates Brief Association With Obama In College Resurfaces One More Time Topic: WorldNetDaily
Look who's resurfaced just in time for the 2016 election!
John Drew wrote a Oct. 25 WorldNetDaily column touting the new anti-commie film by right-wing foreigner Trevor Loudon, in which he appears:
I was quite honored to be among those who were selected by Loudon to share their testimony in the film. As he informed me, I am the only one in the nation willing to verify that the young Barack Obama was looking forward to a communist-style, potentially violent revolution. Although my recollections represent only a very tiny part of the puzzle, they have been featured in a number of prominent books including Glenn Beck’s “Liars” (2016), Jack Cashill’s “Deconstructing Obama” (2011), Stanley Kurtz’s “Radical-In-Chief” (2010), Paul Kengor’s “Dupes” (2010) and “The Communist” (2012), and Michael Savages’ “Trickle Up Poverty” (2010).
For my part, I shared my story regarding what it was like to be a young man, committed to Marxist philosophy, who was not so secretly rooting for the victory of the USSR and China at the height of the Cold War. My story, I suppose, would not be in the slightest bit spectacular or interesting except for the fact that the young Barack Obama was among my circle of friends between 1980 and 1981. While he was attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, I got to know him closely enough to identify him as a fervent supporter of a communist-style revolution in the United States. I share this story in the movie. You can read it yourself in the first article I published on this topic in American Thinker.
As we've noted, Drew was not as close to Obama as he has suggested during his soon-to-end career as a right-wing Obama-basher. Contrary to Drew's current claim that Obama was among his "circle of friends" and knew him "closely enough" to see he was a commie, Drew is on record as saying he met Obama only twice, at least one of which was a social occasion, and he had graduated from Occidental before Obama started school there.
The headline of Drew's piece refers to "my old friend BHO -- Marxist revolutionary." Yes, a guy Drew met only twice is "my old friend." And if you believe that, you'll keep Drew's 15 minutes of right-wing fame going a bit longer.
MRC Tries The Gore Equivocation, And Fails Topic: Media Research Center
It seems the Media Research Center's Clinton Equivocation to deflect Donald Trump's sleazy behavior has sprouted a corollary: the Gore Equivocation. Again, it's in service of Trump.
As Trump faced increasing criticism for criticizing the legitimacy of tyhe entire election process by screaming "Rigged!" at every opportunity and refusing to state at the final debate that he would accept the election results, the MRC was eager to change the subject:
Nicholas Fondacaro criticized CNN commentator Van Jones' "frustration with Trump’s refusal to say that he would accept the results of the election, but went on to praise Al Gore for dragging the country through months of chaos," going on to huff: "Yet there are liberal [sic] to this day that refuse to accept the results of the 2000 election."
Kyle Drennen complained that Tom Brokaw " defended Gore’s refusal to concede to George W. Bush for two months after the 2000 presidential election."
Clay Waters huffed: "Democratic candidate Al Gore lost narrowly in Florida, and thus lost the election to George Bush. Yet that didn’t stop Democrats from trying to overturn the results until the Supreme Court ruled in Bush’s favor."
Trump-fluffer Jeffrey Lord declared: "While Trump is being criticized for saying he would keep the media and the nation in suspense as to whether he would accept the results of the election, the hard fact is that Al Gore spent two months not accepting the election results."
Fondacaro, Drennen and Lord are falsely overstating the amount of time Gore spent contesting the results of the 2000 eleciton. In fact, it was just 36 days between the Nov. 7 election and Gore's Dec. 12 announcement that he would accept the Supreme Court's ruling suspending recounts in Florida -- just over a month.
All of these MRC writers, however, ignored the fact Gore's challenging an extremely close election and Trump undermining the entire process beforehand are two different things. As New York magazine's Jonathan Chait explains, Gore did not challenged the validity of the process as Trump has, the 2000 recount exposed flaws in the voting process in Florida such as voters falsely disenfranchised because they were wrongly labeled as felons, and Trump's attempted deligitimization of the process is based in wacky right-wing conspiracy theories.
But the MRC is all in for Trump, and it won'tcorrect any falsehoods that interfere with that.
Birther Judge Who Represented WND Caught Being A Creep Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gary Kreep is a longtime birther and a friend of WorldNetDaily. We've noted how Kreep and his United States Justice Foundation represented WND in, among other legal matters, the Clark Jones lawsuit that WND ultimately settled out of court to avoid losing in the courtroom, ands how WND has avoided reporting on Kreep controversies such as his scammy PAC.
Now Kreep -- who is currently serving as a judge in San Diego -- is embroiled in more controversy that you won't read about at WND. The Washington Post reports:
After he became a judge, Kreep was known for insulting defendants, commenting on the physical appearance of female attorneys, and making unnecessary references to people’s ethnicity during court hearings, documents say.
The San Diego Superior Court judge, who is also a conservative activist, is facing possible removal from the bench. According to the California’s Commission on Judicial Performance, Kreep’s alleged conduct during his 2012 candidacy and his behavior during several hearings in 2013 violated the state’s rules on judicial ethics.
The 17-page document detailing the charges against Kreep also lists several instances in which he made crude remarks in his courtroom, where he presided over traffic and misdemeanor cases as well as civil lawsuits.
In 2013, for instance, Kreep asked a woman accused of prostitution if there was anything he could do to get her “out of the life.”
“Is it you like the money? Or you just like the action?” Kreep asked the woman during a plea hearing, documents say.
When the woman began talking about her plans for the future, Kreep asked if she would try to get a job at the Bunny Ranch, a Nevada brothel.
During another hearing that same year, according to the documents, Kreep said: “We got all sorts of very attractive, young [public defenders] around here, so.” In another instance, when speaking to a defendant, he referred to an attorney as “this lovely young lady standing next to you.”
He made comments about a deputy city attorney’s pregnancy, saying she “wants to go home and have her baby.” He also used nicknames and phrases such as “Bunhead,” “Dimples,” “Shorty” and “little boy” to refer to a public defender and a few interns.
Len Simon, one of the attorneys who filed the complaint, said they decided to investigate because they were unhappy with the way the judicial elections had worked.
“He was a combination of dishonest and sloppy,” Simon said. “We took him on. We like to have good judges. Good judges are good for the system. He’s a politician.”
Of course, given that WND is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, it may not see anything wrong, let alone newsworthy, with Kreep's creepy behavior.
Finally! Newsmax Admits Kessler Used To Work There Topic: Newsmax
For months, Newsmax has invited Ronald Kessler back to discuss various election matter, but the segments typicallyomit one crucial fact: Kessler worked for Newsmax from 2006 to 2012 as its chief Washington correspondent.
But, finally, Newsmax has acknowledged Kessler as a former employee. In promoting an Oct. 25 Kessler appearance on Newsmax TV, Todd Beamon concedes that Kessler is "a former chief Washington correspondent for Newsmax.com." Oddly, in the TV segment itself, host Steve Malzberg doesn't acknowledge this fact.
While Kessler's appearance was ostensibly about Kessler promoting his book on the Secret Service (which came out more than a year ago) in which he claims to quote anonymous agents trashing Hillary Clinton, but neither the article nor the segment mention the fact that Kessler's interest is not purely (if at all) journalistic: Kessler's a Trump supporter who has been boosting his presidential prospects since 2011, while still a Newsmax writer.
WND Tries to Play the Watergate Card on Hillary Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is somewhere between desperate and disengaged when it comes to the election -- its tired attacks on Hillary are like so much poo flung at the wall (i.e., tabloid trash, Corsi rants) and because nobody believes WND, none of what they're doing is sticking.
The latest attempt is to play the Watergate card. WND blitzed the issue earlier this week.
First came an article by Corsi claiming that "experts" say that "Watergate pales in comparison," citing right-wing activist Thomas Lipscomb (whom Corsi whitewashes by describing him as "the founder and publisher of New York Times Books") saying the undercover video investigation by James O’Keefe and the Wikileaks’ publication of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails provide “ample proof of criminal activity that would have made both Donald Segretti and G. Gordon Liddy blush.”
Corsi also cites "Democratic pollster Pat Caddell"; as we've noted, Caddell hasn't done any work for Democrats for decades and is best known these days for pretending to be one while spouting right-wing talking points on Fox News.
This was followed by an anonymously written article whining that "Hillary Clinton’s campaign is trying to frame the hacking of her campaign chairman’s email as a repeat of the most famous political scandal in American history – and to directly implicate Donald Trump," then asking, "Is Hillary Clinton the victim or the perpetrator of Watergate 2?Are her accusations about Watergate 2 part of the cover-up of what some, including Trump, are suggesting are 2016 political crimes bigger than the original Watergate scandal?"
Finally, WND editor is assuring us that, yes, whatever it is Hillary is doing is bigger than Watergate:
I can assure those who were not conscious at that time, those not yet born, that what is taking place in 2016 is indeed bigger and more shocking than this mythical scandal of all American political scandals. The only thing missing is any attempt at justice, prosecution of guilty parties, accountability.
There is no special prosecutor. There isn’t even any national discussion about the possibility of naming one.
There are no House and Senate hearings. Instead, many Republicans are denying there is any widespread or systematic attempt at “rigging” the election.
There are, however, some Woodward and Bernstein upstarts exposing what’s going on. That would be James O’Keefe and his compatriots at Project Veritas.
If James O’Keefe wanted to be rich and famous, author of a bestselling book, seeing himself portrayed on the big screen, all he would have to do is switch his focus and point of view. Unfortunately, for this courageous and intrepid young man, he’s taking on a much bigger and more powerful conspiracy than did Woodward and Bernstein.
Are the “dirty tricks” of the Hillary campaign, the DNC, the White House and their allied organizations that served as black ops “plumbers” equivalent to the scandals of Watergate?
Even without the benefit of House and Senate hearings, special prosecutors and a press eager to ferret out corruption by one party in a presidential election, what we know about the fraud perpetrated by the Hillary team indeed rivals, in many ways, the seriousness and impact of Watergate.
Farah takes the opportunity to repeat his claim that Hillary, while working on the Watergate committee in the 1970s, "was fired by her boss, lifetime Democrat Jerry Zeifman, general counsel and chief of staff, for being a 'liar' and 'an unethical, dishonest lawyer.'" As we documented the last time Farah told this lie, Zeifman has admitted he didn't have the power to fire Hillary at the time, and there's no evidence she even was fired.
But, hey, nobody's ever accused Farah and WND of putting the facts before their right-wing, Hillary-hating agenda. Hating Hillary is always Job 1 at WND.
CNS reporter Penny Starr once again served as the docile vessel of oil interests for an Oct. 26 article in which she uncritically reported the results of a study by the oil industry-funded conservative Heritage Foundation:
President Barack Obama has said many times that we cannot “drill our way to lower gas prices.” But according to a Heritage Foundation report on the vast oil and gas resources in the United States, that is simply not true.
“Can we drill our way to lower gas prices? Yes, we can,” Kevin Dayaratna, senior statistician with the Heritage Foundation said on Tuesday of the report he co-authored with David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris.
“The U.S. did drill its way to lower gas prices over the past several years, for both natural gas and gasoline, and broke the back of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the process,” the abstract of the report, Time to Unlock America's Vast Oil and Gas Resources, states.
“The doubling of U.S. oil production between 2008 and 2015 is an amazing story of American ingenuity, persistence, and, of course, drilling,” the abstract states. “The story is made more amazing by the fact that federal energy policy actively hindered this energy renaissance as it was taking place.
Of course, Starr can't be bothered to seek out any commentary from any renewable-fuels interests on Heritage's study -- that's not what a "news" organization whose parent, the Media Research Center, has a fellowship position endowed by T. Boone Pickens does, and that's not what Starr is being paid to do. And she's certainly not going to report Heritage's oil money, let alone the MRC's.
As we've documented, Starr is CNS' most prolific spinner for fossil fuel interests.
MRC Pushes Another Bogus Hillary WikiLeaks 'Scandal' Topic: Media Research Center
The story of a political donation to the wife of an FBI agent who, months later, headed the FBI's Hillary Clinton email investigation isn't the only bogus WikiLeaks-based story the Media Research Center has been pushing in recent days. Here's NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer in an Oct. 24 post:
Among the WikiLeaks documents recently released is a 2008 email with an attachment running to dozens of pages telling Democrats how to "maximize what we get out of our media polling."
Fox & Friends covered this story Monday morning. Very few other online and broadcast outlets have.
Whenever the strategies identified above are used — even oversampling, which when properly employed can be a valid polling practice — the routine standard line from pollsters about getting a "random sample" is obviously no longer true. Does that stop pollsters from claiming that their samples are random? Apparently not. If you're filling up quotas, it's not genuinely random.
What is going on here at the very least is an attempt to sway people who support Trump to rethink their choice before they actually cast their ballots. What could also be happening — anyone ruling this out hasn't been in the market research trenches, as yours truly has — is that some respondents might ask if they can change their previously expressed presidential preference for Trump, or that the survey taker may even ask such respondents if they wish to change their presidential preference.
Finally, there are many polls which don't reveal the detailed makeup of those polled, and they make reverse engineering the results to figure that out all but impossible. In these cases, deliberate oversampling of key groups without weighting to fit a representative demographic mix skews the results, and will go undetected.
Naturally, none of what's in this damning e-mail and its attached detailed instructions is news at the Associated Press or the New York Times. The only attention it's getting from establishment is from a few outlets like The Atlantic which claim that there's nothing to see here. Oh yes, there is — and plenty of it.
Um, nope, Tom, there really is nothing to see here. The Washington Post's Philip Bump explains:
First of all, [Democratic consultant Tom] Matzzie [who wrote the stolen WikiLeaks email in question] doesn't appear to be talking about public polling — nor does it make sense that he would be, since public polls from media outlets are developed by pollsters who work for or with those outlets. Matzzie's talking about polling that's done by campaigns and political action committees to inform media buys. In other words, before campaigns spend $200,000 on a flight of TV spots, they'll poll on the messages in those ads and figure out what to say to whom and then target that ad to those people as best they can.
The problem is that it can be hard to find enough people to get robust enough sample sizes to offer the necessary information. Normal polling in a state will usually have no problem getting enough white people in the mix to evaluate where they stand, but you may need to specifically target more black or Hispanic voters to get a statistically relevant sample size.
They recommend an oversample from Native Americans and Democrat-leaning independents and moderate Republican women. Those are all groups that are fairly small parts of the electorate, so to get statistically accurate data, you'd need to make sure you include more of those voters in your poll sample. This increases the cost of the polling substantially, but if you're spending hundreds of thousands on TV ads, it's worth spending an extra $20,000 up front to make sure that you're targeting the ads right.
So why do pollsters include more Democrats in their samples than Republicans? Well, because there is a secret national conspiracy in which there actually are more Democrats than Republicans. Gallup tracks party identification over time; in its most recent summary, 32 percent of Americans identify as Democrats to 27 percent who identify as Republicans. (Analysis from Pew Research has it at 30 percent to 24 percent.) The vagaries of polling and identifying poll respondents mean that there can be some fluctuations in the gap between the parties, but overall a national poll would be expected to include more Democrats than Republicans. And note that this is party identity, not party registration.
In short, then: This is an eight-year-old email talking about a common polling technique for ensuring accuracy among demographic subgroups from a guy who was not working for or representative of a media outlet.
It is not, in other words, an explanation of why Trump is losing.
So, the reason nobody else is reporting about this email is because it's a nothingburger -- except in the eyes of folks like Blumer and Fox News who are desperate to read into it things that simply aren't there.
And just as Brent Bozell and the MRC will never apologize for pushing the false donation story -- Bozell ludicrously called it "bribery" -- Blumer is highly unlikely to correct the record.
WND Censors Wacky Tabloid Link to Self-Proclaimed Hillary 'Fixer' Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WorldNetDaily promoted the claim, published in the National Enquirer, of an anonymous "fixer" who did various nefarious things for Hillary Clinton in the 1990s (while hiding the fact that the supermarket tabloid with an less-than-stellar factual reputation is buddy-buddy with Donald Trump). Well, the self-proclaimed "fixer" appeared earlier this week on Fox News (of course), and WND was on top of that too:
A man claiming to be Bill and Hillary Clinton’s “fixer” – hired to cover up their “dirtiest schemes,” including steamy sex romps and a major scandal involving former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster – says the Clintons have an open marriage, patronize hookers, buy off news reporters and coordinated a scheme to destroy White House intern Monica Lewinsky after her affair with the president.
The “fixer,” novelist Jeff Rovin, provided ledgers and faxed documents with time stamps to document some of his claims.
“I was fixing something for an actor who was in their inner circle,” Rovin explained to Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday evening. “That’s how I was engaged.”
But WND was still censoring pertinent information. As actual news operations have reported, Rovin is a former editor of the now-defunct-but-revived-online Weekly World News, a sister publication to the Enquirer (reminding us that this is, once again, a Trump-driven hit job) best known for not even bothering with the truth, what with its stories about Bat Boy and Hillary having affairs with aliens.
WND doesn't seem to understand that promoting less-than-credible tabloid claims by someone who used to run an even-less-credible tabloid -- and treating those claims as completely factual -- is not the way one tries to rebuild lost credibility.
NEW ARTICLE: The Debate Double Standard at the MRC, Part 2 Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center did the same thing it did during the primaries, attacking debate moderators for not being sufficiently right-wing-friendly -- except for Chris Wallace of conservative-friendly Fox News. Read more >>
WorldNetDaily asked its readers in a poll earlier this week: "Will YOU accept the outcome of presidential race?" The answers are, perhaps, unsurprising:
As you can see, nearly three-fourths of WND readers either won't accept the election results at all or will accept them only if Donald Trump is declared the winner.
That doesn't bode will for the future of democracy in America. Then again, if these are WND readers, they are being served by a dying website that doesn't care about the truth, so these results are unsurprising.