[Brian] Kilmeade and two colleagues were discussing a study that, based on research done in Finland and Sweden, showed people who stay married are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s. Kilmeade questioned the results, though, saying, “We are — we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other …”
At this point, his co-host tried to — in that jokey morning show way — tell Kilmeade he needed to shut up, and quick, for his own sake. But he didn’t get the message, adding, “See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes …. Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society.”
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I wa scrolling through my RSS news reader a few minutes ago and I read this headline from Fox News: Obama Polling Blues. So, I click through to the article and here’s the leading paragraph:
Does Barack Obama have a problem with the polls? Is his campaign less effective than it should be? Is there legitimate cause for concern that Obama could lose in what appears to be the most favorable non-scandal (meaning non-Watergate) year for Democrats since 1932?
As I read this, I’m thinking to myself, “Wow, there must be some new polls out that show Obama losing. How did I miss that?” If I were a casual news scanner, that would be my takeaway: that Obama is losing. But, well, I’m more than a scanner. So I read on.
The article goes on to say that the average of 15 recent polls puts Obama up over McCain by 47.2 to 43 percent. Um, so… I’m confused, and I read on. Apparently at the same time four years ago, Kerry was only up by 45.9 to 43 over Bush. Okay, still confused. So, Obama is doing better than Kerry was four years ago. Where are the polling blues exactly?
It goes on to quote several unnamed democratic strategists who are worried. Unnamed. As in, “we probably just made this shit up.” Or, “we asked our employee in the mail room who has an Uncle in California who used to be a Democrat, and they said he said…” Such bullshit.
Then there’s some talk about how the real crux of the problem is that back in 2004 Bush enjoyed pretty favorable popularity ratings. Today, his numbers have plummeted. And, because people are so unhappy with him, Obama should be doing better. Little problem here Fox: Obama is running against McCain and Kerry ran against Bush. Hi, Apples meet Oranges.
And then amusingly, the article lists all the issues on which Obama trounces McCain:
The most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey of 914 registered voters from July 27-29 (MoE +/- 3%) shows the following issue advantages for Obama.
Health Care — 56 percent to 39 percent over McCain
Taxes — 51 percent to 45 percent over McCain
Jobs — 57 percent to 38 percent over McCain
Gas Prices — 51 percent to 40 percent over McCain
The problem, or so Fox says, is that Obama isn’t talking about these issues enough. That Obama isn’t exploiting these issues to widen his lead over McCain in the general poll numbers. Um, maybe, and bear with me here, it’s because Obama knows all he has to do is mention these topics in passing and he wins the hearts of Americans regarding these specific issues. These issues are in the bag, as the poll numbers shows. And maybe, just maybe, he’s trying to assert himself on policies and issues where he’s weaker, so he can shore himself up against the few areas where McCain is actually leading. Crazy talk, I know.
The article ends with this:
Democrats are always in a mood to fret and some wonder why Obama lets McCain off the hook for one-hour, one-day or one-week on issues fundamental to middle-class and lower-middle class voters, the very voters in the battleground states that hold the key to an Obama victory.
Okay, let me repeat: You didn’t actually prove that any Democrats are fretting. You didn’t show polls of registered Dems and you didn’t actually quote any Democrat insiders. You just speculated and then concluded your article with more speculation phrased as fact. This is the shoddiest example of news reporting. Not that I’m surprised since it’s coming out of Fox. But, it’s just so blatant: Lead with a headline and leading paragraph that are pure, unfounded, negative spin on Obama. Then quote a bunch of statistics that clearly refute your scurrilous claims. But, do it in a way that weakly suggests Obama isn’t doing as well as he could. Fail to quote anyone or anything that supports your supposition. And finally, end the article with more false claims that suggest Obama is flailing, even though he’s leading in the polls you just quoted.
Wow, what a piece of work!
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I really believe this was a masterful performance on Clinton’s part. She avoided digging Obama too deeply on the Wright issue. And, she reframed every one of the biased questions that FOX’s #1 Attack Dog pitched her way. And she did it all on the fly. She was nothing short of amazing here. The discussion was lively and animated, unlike the slightly less enthusiastic exchange between Wallace and Obama.
O’Reilly starts off the health care discussion with, “So, your health care plan is going to bankrupt America.” Clinton deftly responds and reframes the debate to be about keeping people healthy. O’Reilly asks why she wants to take more of his money away with her tax increases. And Clinton reframes the situation to be be about the rich’s patriotic duty to support the country they love. Amazing. This is the stuff Lakoff has written about. And Clinton does is expertly. Watch for yourself:
Here is a super-condensed and edited version of Obama’s interview on FOX News last Sunday. I watched this in real time on Sunday, and I feel the same now watching the replay. He didn’t perform poorly, but it wasn’t quite the vibrant interview performance I was hoping for. I know several of my friends feel differently. To each their own, I suppose.
Obama has been boycotting Fox for hundreds of days. With good reason too. It’s not like Fox News is known for its journalistic integrity. I watched the interview this morning. I was left thinking that while Obama answered the questions satisfactorily, he didn’t seem polished enough. I was annoyed at Chris Wallace for harping on some of the controversy crap, but he also asked a lot of good, hard-hitting questions about policy too. Read the transcript of this morning’s interview here.
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I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been watching Fox News Sunday mornings with Chris Wallace. I view it as a chance to see what the right wing is thinking (planning) about the Democratic candidates. I’ve been impressed with Chris Wallace’s tough questioning of both Left and Right guests on the show. This clip made me particularly happy. Is it possible someone on Fox News has some journalistic integrity? How long before Chris gets demoted for straying from the party line?
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