Ignoring Reality to Analyze Politics

Joshua Holland (AlterNet, 11/10/08) offers “more evidence that much of the traditional media’s analysis of American politics is utterly worthless, and should probably just be ignored out of hand”:

Only moments after the networks declared Barack Obama the winner of a dramatic realignment election, William Bennett, the conservative icon, declared on CNN that “America is still a center-right nation, no matter what anybody says.”

Implied was that it also didn’t matter what exit polls, mountains of public opinion data, shifts in partisan identification and changes in the country’s demographics say. That stuff’s apparently for the “reality-based” community to worry about.

Reality: An Election Day poll by the Center for American Progress and the Campaign for America’s Future asked whether Republicans had lost because they were too conservative or not conservative enough. By a 20-point margin, voters chose “too conservative,” including independents who agreed by a 21-point margin. Seven out of 10 said they wanted the Republicans to work with Obama and “help him achieve his plans,” while fewer than a quarter of respondents thought the GOP should try to keep him from implementing a progressive agenda.

See FAIR Blog: “Center-Right Country? Center-Right Media” (10/19/08) by Jim Naureckas

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.