Posts from November 3, 2004

Exit the exit polls

Exit the exit polls

: I talked to a few reporters this afternoon who were asking about blogs and exit polls and all that.

I told them that there was nothing wrong with bloggers revealing exit polls. Oh, I was raised on the ethics of old, big media and I used to believe that was wrong … because everybody did. But blogging and this culture of transparency changed me. Now I believe there’s no reason to keep information from people.

Last night, blogs (other than this one) got bombarded with traffic (shutting down this host) for a simple reason: Bloggers were telling the public what they knew. Big media was not.

How absurd is that? When did journalists get into the business of not telling their public what they know?

To say that we should not share this information is essentially insulting and condescending to that public — as if they can’t handle it, as if knowing how Floridians allegedly voted would affect how an Oregonian will act. If you think you have to protect voters from information because they’re too fragile or stupid, then you don’t believe in democracy or the need for journalism. So tell the people what you know and let them decide what it means.

Besides… now that exit polls are utterly, laughably discredited, it won’t matter one bit when they’re revealed the next time. They are less informative than Vegas odds.

A letter to our President

A letter to our President

: Dear President Bush,

Now it’s about your legacy, not about the next election. Now is your chance to make history.

You can govern the entire nation and not play to your right fringe anymore. Oh, you can still have (prayer) breakfasts together, but you don’t have to kiss up to them for votes now. You can surprise everyone and become a President of the center with a vision of your own, not someone else’s: a Reagan or a Clinton.

You can bring stability and democracy to Iraq and set an example for the Middle East. I do (still) believe that is an honorable and necessary goal.

You need to do some hard work to build relationships — not with France, not with yesterday’s world, but with tomorrow’s.

You can make tough decisions about truly managing government and not cutting taxes while letting it grow.

You can bring together coalitions to find new solutions to health care, insurance, energy dependence, even the environment.

You can try.

Just one thing: Don’t even think about appoint John Ashcroft to the Supreme Court.

Thank you.

A letter to my fellow Democrats

A letter to my fellow Democrats

: Dear fellow losers,

He’s our President, too.

Come on, say it: He’s our President, too.

If you continue to treat him like the devil in a gray suit, you will only drive him to his fringe and drive his supporters toward their fringe and you will lose any hope of winning in four years. You will continue to divide America and give the other side license to do the same. So retract fangs and claws and empty the venom.

Treat him like your President and he might just act like it. Put country above party and we might even get somewhere. I don’t mean that you should suddenly start agreeing with him — ‘stem cells bad!’ — but that in this political process we hold so dear, you can push for what matters to you: You can get your congressmen, as many as we have, to drive the tax cuts down a little lower and improve the environment a little more and maybe even do something to fix health insurance. Compromise. Negotiate. Wheedle. Flies. Honey. You know the story.

Push him. Push him hard. That will accomplish more than angry attacks.

The alternative is to sit in a room and growl like the village nut. That won’t get us anywhere. And, in fact, it will damage the party and the worldview; it will push us toward our fringe so we get an even more unelectable candidate next time; it will let the Republicans grow. It’s a bad strategy.

So suck it up and repeat after me: He’s our President, too.

There, that didn’t hurt too much, did it?

Not a nation divided — a nation dissatisfied

Not a nation divided — a nation dissatisfied

: The NY Times ran red-v-blue electoral college maps from 1940 today and what screams out from that is that we are not a nation divided, we are a nation dissatisfied with our choice. Given a candidate to be enthusiastic about, most of the states go one way or another. The exception since 1964: Carter v. Ford. We liked Reagan, as a nation. We liked Clinton, as a nation. We didn’t like this choice, these last two elections. Give us somebody to get behind and watch the red-vs-blue civil war — and all the media blather about it — melt away.

Oh, Dan, you’re still hurt

Oh, Dan, you’re still hurt

: Rather Biased has a hilarious quote from Dan Rather trying to argue that blogs are an extension of Karl Rove’s brain. And you are an extension of whose brain, Dan?

“The secretary of state in Ohio says, we’re not going to have another Florida, we will count all of those votes no matter how long it takes. It might take as much as a week. We’ll simply have to wait and see. Ed Bradley, you did before saying clearly advantage Bush in Ohio, very hard to put the figures together and see how John Kerry can win.

“That being the case, one would expect that the blogging machine, which the White House and Bush-Kerry [sic] campaign have used to such strong advantage for any number of purposes over their four years will start, if it hasn’t started already, a campaign to say Kerry and Edwards for the good of the country need to concede.”

Dan Rather knows a thing or too about the collective power of blogs and the Internet but to make such a statement is preposterous. Looks like he’s still stuck in 1974.

Bradley all but agreed with Dan:

“I’m sure it started already.”

Rather agrees with Bradley’s assent: “Right.”

Pathetic blog basher’s cry for attention

Pathetic blog basher’s cry for attention

: Frank Barnako is trying to turn himself into John Dvorak or Andrew Orlowski: Desperate for attention and traffic, he decides to bash bloggers with the sure knowledge — this being the proof — that they will will link to the idiocy. So here’s your link, Frank. But you’re full of crap. If you think blogs are so damned worthless, why did you just start one? The worst of it is that it is a nonsequetorial headache:

Blogs were quick to publish real or made-up exit polls at midafternoon, showing Kerry strength. That killed a 60-point rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

At least some traders read blogs, then, and act on what they read. Not so, it would appear, young voters. Advertisers including Nike (NKE: news, chart, profile) and Audi think Weblogs are the medium to reach young consumers. So where was the youth and minority vote? Not reading political blogs, it appears. MSNBC says the percentage of young voters who cast ballots was the same as it was four years ago.

Huh? Whoever said that blogs were going to bring out the youth vote. Whoever said that blogs were young (see picture: right)? Makes no friggin sense. But you got your link, Frank.

Without boos

Without boos

: I like having the speeches the next day and not at the boozy victory/defeat parties on election night: No embarrassing boos. No danger of a Dean Scream. The Kerry event did look rather like a funeral with limo drivers pacing outside the door and old Uncle Ted hugging in condolence. Still, I like seeing this in daylight. Much classier.

The concession

The concession

: Good for you, Kerry, for conceding. Thank you.