The Widdershins

CNN:  Contrived News Now

Posted on: September 7, 2016

Hello Widdershinners!

It’s after Labor Day and the media is almost giddy with the election vapors.  Try as they might, the invention of this election horse race meme is about as legitimate as the Yam’s skin tone occurring in nature.

Before we begin the deconstruction, let’s engage in a little narrative psychodrama therapy.  Imagine your worst boyfriend or girlfriend ever.  I mean your absolute worst. race-car-wreck

Let’s say that worst boyfriend or girlfriend decided to become a race car driver.  Wouldn’t you watch them on teevee?  Not necessarily wishing them ill will, but not exactly wishing them a milk bath at the checkered flag either.

That little psychodrama is the clamoring Yam’s candidacy.  We know he has no redeeming qualities, but his every breath just brings him closer to the next car wreck in which he will undoubtedly be involved.  The only question is:  Will he walk away this time?

Our good sense was assaulted yesterday morning when we awoke and heard the ballyhoo from CNN about the Yam taking the lead in their latest poll.  How could the orange Orangutan have taken the lead?

Two words:  He hasn’t.

First, a word about polling – a poll only counts those who are being counted.  To explain, if you took a poll of herpetologists asking them to rate snakes as pets, you would have a much different result than if you asked the entire country.  Your herpetology poll would not be wrong since the universe of measurement were reptile lovers.

That’s the story behind the CNN/ORC poll.  You won’t hear that explanation as Wolf Blitzer breathlessly drools into his beard.  In fact, you wouldn’t know that unless you go to page 21 of the innards of the poll and find this paragraph under Methodology:

A total of 1,001 adults were interviewed by telephone nationwide by live interviewers calling both landline and cell phones. Among the entire sample, 28% described themselves as Democrats, 32% described themselves as Republicans, and 40% described themselves as independents or members of another party.

In polling that is known as a +4 Republican sample.  No big deal unless you also know these things:polling-cartoon

  • 42% of Americans identify as independents, 29% as Democrats, 26% as Republicans
  • Democrats maintain edge over GOP in party identification and leaning

It also helps to know that the 26% identifying as Republicans is just one-percent above the record low of 25%.  Further, it helps to know the CNN/ORC poll was in the field September 1 through the 4th.

So what?

Few pollsters will put a poll in the field over a long holiday weekend because it skews the finishing sample.  What does that mean?

It means people with the wherewithal to be at the beach or in the mountains over a long weekend will not be answering a survey.  That fact alone skews this poll toward the Yam’s primary demographic – blue collar males.

Your first question is this:  Why didn’t CNN know this?  The answer is:  They did and it didn’t stop them.  They can say their poll is accurate because just like the herpetology poll, it is measuring those that were to be measured.  It holds no downside for them.  Two months out from the election, it is a horse race question with no consequences other than being sexy click bait for the Fox demographic CNN and MSNBC so desperately covet.

polling-cartoon-2This poll also benefits from the media’s double standard in reporting this campaign.  Just like a former bad paramour, the expectations for Trump are so low that his continued forbearance from peeling bananas with his feet makes him presidential.  Hillary on the other hand is held to some superhuman Athena-like standard never before attained by a mere mortal.

This double standard is being noticed.  Thoughtful observers are catching on and speaking up.  Professor Krugman talks about the “Goring of Hillary” in the vein of what happened to Al Gore.

Paul Waldman talks about the double standard by saying:

The big difference is that there are an enormous number of reporters who get assigned to write stories about those issues regarding Clinton… always with the insistence that questions are being raised and the implication that shady things are going on, even if there isn’t any evidence at a particular moment to support that idea.

When it comes to Trump, [h]ere’s what happens: A story about some kind of corrupt dealing emerges, usually from the dogged efforts of one or a few journalists; it gets discussed for a couple of days; and then it disappears. Someone might mention it now and again, but the news organizations don’t assign a squad of reporters to look into every aspect of it, so no new facts are brought to light and no new stories get written.

The end result of this process is that because of all that repeated examination of Clinton’s affairs, people become convinced that she must be corrupt to the core. It’s not that there isn’t plenty of negative coverage of Trump, because of course there is, but it’s focused mostly on the crazy things he says on any given day.

And Jonathan Allen has updated his five media rules for covering Hillary.  Read them all, but the second is illustrative of what Hillary has faced for 25 years and continues to face today:hillary-stronger-together

Every allegation, no matter how ludicrous, is believable until it can be proven completely and utterly false. And even then, it keeps a life of its own in the conservative media world.

Even with all the “Contrived News Now” hoopla, it is undeniable that Hillary is in the driver’s seat in this election.  Even if our worst orange-tinted nightmare continues to careen around the campaign trail, Hillary’s got this. We have known around these parts for the better part of eight years it wouldn’t be easy – we just have to believe in her since we are “Stronger Together”!

What’s on your mind?



79 Responses to "CNN:  Contrived News Now"

The BSNBC Commander-in-Chief forum begins at 8:00 p.m. EDT on your NBC and MSNBC channels. We will be around to live blog it for the hour if you are interested.

See you then.

@1: Oh yes, let’s live blog it.

Regarding the double standard and hysteria involved in dealing with anything regarding Hillary, I don’t believe any finer example could be found than the cough stuff put out by NBC/MSNBC. And thankfully they got called out on it here and here.

I thought the Gingrich thing where he starts coughing talking about Hillary’s coughing was just so rich.

“It lasted for four minutes and 20 seconds this weekend,” Hannity added. “I think we need to know if she’s healthy.”

And then, Gingrich coughed. Oh, the irony.

And then, he perfectly explains Clinton’s problem with the cough by talking about himself:

“That’s true,” Gingrich said, while adding that he travels so much and speaks so much that his “throat dries out.

So Newt: do you think that’s a possibility with Clinton also? I bet she’s traveling and speaking a hell of a lot more than you right now.

@3, the Newt coughing fit was delicious. I bet about 11:00 at night when Hannity and Newt finish the show, they oil each other up and do a little Gingrich-Greco wrestling.

Break out the eye bleach.

@4: Well perhaps something like this although it’s without the oiling up.

Live blog sounds like a plan! Um – any comments to get past the grappling wrestlers on my screen, lol

Gotta run out for a few minutes, but I should be back for the live blog. (Can’t wait to click on the links here especially Newt coughing)

@6: So you need those to disappear contrask? Actually, when I first saw that I thought they were going to do a cartwheel together.

Mrs. Greenspan, right out of the box, when asked about national security issues for tonight brought up emails. She doesn’t have a one track mind, it isn’t half a track.

I have another theory. Now that we know about Roger Ailes, I think he had a “Stepford operation” to fabricate thin, blonde females for his couches. Kellyanne Conway and Ann Coulter are two who got away.

I’m sure each night Ailes leaves the door on the reptile house unlocked hoping they will come home.

@9: Oh dear gawd! They really need to put her out to pasture. I know…pioneering woman in broadcasting, etc. but.

@10: I have a feeling Ann Coulter would have devoured Ailes, and not in a good way either.

@12, Ann Coulter has unhinged her jaw so many times, I don’t know how it still goes back in place.

@13: Sort of like this:

@14, she might have been the model for the creatures in The Strain.

Aw shit! If they are gonna have that old crone Mr.s Greenspan on here I swear I’m not watching it. And really, the same for Chuckles. (see I’m an equal opportunity critic here)

Oh please, not the damned emails again.

Geez, emails, emails, emails — are these people just stupid or can’t they can’t beyond what Fox News dwells on day in and day out.

You can’t tell me they didn’t screen these questions to get the subjects.

@20: Well this being done in coordination with the I.A.V.A. and I don’t think they’re supporting Trump.

This woman just now obviously a bernie supporter.

Matt Lauer is so ill-suited for a policy discussion. He is the human embodiment of click bait.

Can you believe that: Hillary asked about her plans for defeating ISIS, the biggest issue probably in the world and Lauer says, “As briefly as you can.”

This is a joke.

@22: He’s too used to that laid back stuff with Today and probably more concerned about his new digs in the Hamptons.

Matt Lauer ‘ as briefly as you can’. Sure Matt, she’s only talking about sending troops to defeat ISIS. Sorry if you don’t want the people to hear her answer.

Hell I thought they were going to do an hour for each of them. Checking TV guide just now, it’s only an hour total! That’s not enough time for squat!

Did he just say Senator Donald Trump? What an effin’ joke!

There is no telling what Trump will say in this format. He knows nothing and he will start his blathering. He may declare his love for Putin and declare war on Great Britain.

Wait… it’s already over? Half an hour to talk about foreign policy and our military in front of a group of vets? That was almost a waste of time. And Matt just proved he’s not worth a sh*t at this.

@28: I want to see Lauer try to stop Trump the way he tried with Hillary.

@29 Exactly! This was just a joke and totally pathetic. 👿

Yeah, Trump spent an hour in Mexico and that makes him “presidential”.

Trump – Barack ‘Obama’. He’s sitting in front of vets refusing to call him President. I would hope those vets will notice that.

The Generals have been reduced to rubble…

He’s giving Trump way more leeway than he did Hillary.

He’s not answering any questions. He’s just babbling.

Is anyone ever going to correct him on the Obama leaving Iraq thing? They’ve forgotten that the Iraqi’s disagreed with Bush’s plans so it was decided we pull out of there.

HAHA!! Take the oil. People don’t know this, but Iraq has a large reserve of oil. HAHA!

Not taking as many questions from the audience as he did with Hillary.

What’s the point of asking about the briefings when none of us know what they are? He didn’t ask Hillary that.

Yeah, Donald, we know about your relationship with Putin. Snort!

Circling our aircraft less than 10 feet away – somebody said.

@40: Good point!

OMG! Pollsters polling on Putin? GUFFAW!!


He has a great relationship with Vets even though he has stiffed veterans’ fundraising groups.

OMG – babbling baboon

everyone shaking their heads noooo…

The VA is a corrupt enterprise. He just said that.

He’s not saying anything. The JAG corps doesn’t exist. He just said that.

He had to drag out that list of people who he says support him.

He doesn’t need the generals because he has common sense.

You are talking death all over. He just said that.

20 minutes for Trump.

Well I’m done with that cuz I don’t want to take a chance on seeing/hearing Mrs. Greenspan flap her gums.

Rachel is filleting Trump.

@55: I just can’t do it. There’s a local channel that runs episodes of The Closer. I’ll watch that.

Let’s talk Taco Trucks!

Got this off WaPo about Hannity and Julian Assange:

You can’t make this up: In 2010, Hannity said Assange was “waging … war against the U.S.” by publishing leaked documents and attacked President Obama for not arresting him. Now that Assange is going after Clinton, Hannity praises him for doing “a lot of good.” (Never mind that the U.S. intelligence community believes the pilfered documents he’s posting most likely came from the Russians as part of an effort to meddle in our elections.) Hannity then applauded Assange some more and ended last night’s interview by saying, “I do hope you get free one day.” (Keep in mind that this guy is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid being extradited/prosecuted for alleged sex crimes…)

Colin Powell’s email to Hillary – thanks to Rep Cummings

@59: Three cheers for Elijah Cummings!!

@60: Lauer was beyond pathetic.

Here’s a good article about those generals and admirals who endorsed Trump.

A sampling:

Among the 88 generals and admirals who endorsed Donald Trump on Tuesday was a commander who once reportedly demanded President Obama produce his birth certificate, an Air Force general who was reprimanded for his role in a deadly 1996 crash, four commanders who were present at one of the biggest scandals in Navy history, and a special forces general known for spilling secrets and trying to turn military campaigns into religious crusades.

Great comments and links, guys and dolls. Sorry I couldn’t be here for the debacle last night.

Matt Lauer’s performance is getting panned everywhere. Even “Rotten Tomatoes” is giving him a 0% rating. ( Okay, I made that one up. )

Carry on.

Oh yes, Lauer is getting rightfully whipped for his performance. It’d be funny if it wasn’t scary because interviews like that have real consequences.

BTW, there’s also been a Gary Johnson campaign “oops” that hopefully will put an end to him.

And holy crap, that Colin Powell e-mail should be making front page news! It’s not…

Serious journalist Matt Lauer’s finest moments:

Matt’s Halloween costume this year will be Edward R. Murrow turning in his grave.

Hi, DYB! Good to see you!

Hi Beata!!! 🙂

@67 > HRC just tweeted: “Last night, Trump chose to talk about his deep admiration and support for Putin. Maybe he did it with a smile.”

Comey is now rethinking his pandering to the soft underbelly of the Republicans by saying, “The Clinton email case was NOT a cliffhanger.”

Methinks Comey would “lick the calf over again” if he could on this whole matter.

Comey really miscalculated the Republicans’ reaction to his press conference. How could he not predict the depth of their obsession? He tried to have it both ways, not press charges because there was nothing there, but appear all tough by smacking HRC down anyway. He found the hard way you can’t have your cake and eat it too in this political climate. Schmuck.

Some funny stuff about Gary Johnson asking “And, what is Aleppo?”

And the real tragedy that is Aleppo:

Ooh, there’s a twitter hashtag for Mattie:


He so deserves it.

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