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Apolitical Journalism as Spin and Ideological Journalism as... Journalism

Are the New York Times' Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee-Brenan on some kind of Democratic spin mission (h/t to liberal blogger Jamelle Bouie)?  Do they actually think it is more relevant that Obama polls better than congressional Republicans and George W. Bush than Obama's sinking job approval and his even lower approval on the issues?  It is amazing that Nagourney and Thee-Brenan build three anti-Republican, anti-filibuster, pro-Obama paragraphs around cherry picked poll respondent quotes, but couldn't find room to mention Obama's horrible 35/55 approve/disapprove split on the issue of health care.  It reminds me of when Sean Hannity used to argue that Palin was a viable general election presidential candidate because she polled better than Nancy Pelosi.  Well part of Hannity's business is spinning things for his side and comforting his audience.  Nagourney and Thee-Brenan too I guess. 

Then there is Rich Lowry on how the polls might understate the problems of swing-district or swing-state Democrats.  Lowry notes that Obama's job approval numbers are worse among white voters than among the population in general and that Obama's approval numbers on policy are even worse than his job approval numbers.  Lowry correctly notes that this kind of data should give Democrats that represent constituencies with few nonwhite voters plenty of reason to worry.  Yea, Lowry is a political guy, but it is solid analysis and not spin.

I also note that the circumstances of Obama's fairly low job approval are also subject to change, and not in ways conservatives should like.  Lowry later publishes an email from a friend who argues that the economy will probably recover faster than most conservatives assume and that conservatives had better be ready for the changed circumstances.  I'm not optimistic.  I also think that Republicans should get back to reminding the voters in every speech about what was wrong with Obamacare (the tax increases, the premium increases, the mandates, the Medicare cuts) rather than process stuff.  If Obama's job approval were a stock, I would say that it might not have quite hit bottom, but it is a buy and hold. 

Then again, I'm one of the last people you should go to for stock advice on actual stocks. 

Categories > Journalism

Discussions - 2 Comments

If you want to buy and hold Obama you can do so at for around $5.80 (58%) a share, you can win/earn $10 if he is re-elected in 2012. The most interesting thing politically on intrade is of course the Sarah Palin contract for republican nomination for president. The volume is incredible for this far out! Since I think it is rather defeatist to believe that Obama will win(but likely) it might be more interesting to buy up Palin at $2.20(22%) and Mitt Romney at $2.30(23%) . That is I think that is about as likely that one of these two will win the republican nomination (and the amount of trade on Palin drowns out Romney a 100 fold) for $4.50 (45%) you can essentially buy the proposition that one of these two will be the republican nominee. While it is tempting to go with Romney(my opinion more likely) and short Palin...that type of volume and buzz can't be ignored(especially since the upside is small).

Pete, thanks for the sound and judicious analysis of the various pundits pundicity. Keep it up. I look forward to more.

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