Monday, November 08, 2004

Monday Musings

From Instapundit, As David Brooks pointed out the New York Times last week, everyone has a theory of why Bush won the election, and most are wrong.

Via Michael Totten, Andrew Coyne does a number on the Christian zealot theory. Also, Mindles H. Dreck over at Asymmetrical Information pulls together a number of useful articles on the topic of who elected George Bush.

With all of this swirling about, a glance at this Matthew Yglesias post, and specifically this comment, “Matt told us a few months ago that he'd been reliably advised that the reason the press feeds us crap is NOT because they don't recognize it as crap. They do it for some "other" reasons. What might those reasons be?” Now, perhaps the commenter was trolling, but the tone doesn’t exactly fit, at least not the way I read it. What it points out, is that it is easy to overlook the root causes. With all due respect to Bernie Goldberg, I’m not going to jump on the bias bandwagon because even Goldberg’s version of bias is far less active than the kind needed to fit this bill. This is a good example, as are the analyses of Bush’s election win, that KISS (keep it simple stupid) still rules the day.

The simplest explanation, obviously, is money. Sensationalism, ratings, ads, and revenue; the great pot from which news is brewed on a daily basis are the main ingredients of every story we are served. Since the hopelessly wonkish story of small gains in multiple demographic groups is far less interesting than hordes of religious zealots turning out to the polls, religion becomes the new storyline of the election.

If we were to end the story there, though, the picture would still be a little incomplete. Sure, the media operates under the profit motive and reports stories that the internal compass of the editor and past experience tell them will attract the most eye balls. The media also, I think case wants to look past the story that may sell better, but goes completely against their own sentimentalities. Two things (Rove on the numbers and Sullivan on Moral Values) demonstrate what is both driving the media’s coverage and driving the majority of those left of center crazy.

Over the past several elections, slowly the Republicans have been better than the Democrats at advancing their cause, of not giving up gains. The terms ground game for GOTV and air assault for radio and TV advertising strike me as extremely apropos of modern day politics. To that effect, the Democrats had better watch out because every election the Republican tent is getting bigger and the Democrat tent smaller.


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