Free Markets, Free People

Summary of election reporting by legacy media for the next seven months

I’m very busy these days*, so I doubt that I’ll have much time this summer to weigh in on the election. But I don’t think it matters much. We’ve seen enough of these elections, and we now have the measure of the legacy media. It’s not that hard to predict a trajectory in advance.

Insert usual disclaimers here: future is uncertain, who knows what will happen, blah, blah, blah – hey, if any of us could predict the future in detail, we’d be on the beach enjoying all the money we made in the stock market.

With those caveats, here, then, is my expected approximate trajectory of reporting, straight from my patented combination of cracked crystal ball, Ouija board, and leaky 8-ball. It includes short summaries of legacy media narratives at various points from roughly a month ago up until past the election. Along about December, we can see how close I came.

(April) Obama is almost certain to be re-elected. How could anyone think otherwise? Plus, did you know Romney has a weird religion and carries dogs on the top of his car?

(early May) Obama is very likely to be re-elected. Though he has challenges to meet as a result of the problems he inherited from Bush. Plus challenges from wingnuts who take things out of context from his books. Which we are absolutely not going to talk about, especially any stuff about eating dog meat.

(mid May) Romney is a strong candidate because he has so much money, but Obama has the hearts and minds of the people, so he’ll win. The economy is showing signs of improvement, which will help Obama.

(June) Romney’s well-funded right-wing henchmen are going all out, and according to polls this will be a close race, but Obama has the advantage because of his committed base. The economy is improving slowly, despite some negative indicators, and will probably peak just as Obama needs it to.

(early July) Romney’s rich buddies have spent millions to make this a toss up, but Obama’s incumbency and natural connection to voters still make him the likely winner. A lot depends on the continued improvement in the economy. By the way, doesn’t Obama look presidential at this 4th of July event?

(late July) The continuous unfair attacks on Obama have put him somewhat behind in the polls, but there’s still plenty of time for him to catch up as the voters realize who is behind the negative campaigning, and as hoped-for economic improvements kick in.

(early August) Obama seems to be losing his mojo, probably because he’s tired from fighting those nasty right-wing partisans who distort everything he says and denigrate his record by blaming him for things that were Bush’s fault. In other unrelated news, unemployment continues to be high because of the Bush recession and financial markets are jittery because of events in Europe, China, and the Middle East.

(mid-August) Obama has lost his mojo because he’s distracted with important matters of governance and frustrations of unfair right-wing attacks. Yes, we know it’s late summer and Congress is out. There are still important matters of governance. (Shift to tone of the guys at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark claiming “top men” were investigating the ark.) Important. Matters.

(late August) Polls show Romney ahead. Obama is fighting for his political life against great odds, as unscrupulous racist opponents level unceasing unfair attacks and as he continues to fight the Bush recession. By the way, did you know Romney believes in a weird, cult-like religion?

(end of August) Romney’s choice for VP at the GOP convention shows just how far right he is. Choosing such a far-right partisan for VP will benefit Obama. Voters will finally realize just how beholden Romney is to rich conservatives who own yachts. Pay no attention to the polls showing Romney with a large lead. It’s just a post-convention bounce.

(early Sept, after a mediocre speech done by Obama at the Democratic National Convention after a couple of days rest, in which he sounds a little like he did in 2008:) Obama has regained his mojo and is surging in the polls according to left-wing polling organization X, and a post-convention bounce has nothing to do with it. By the way, we have an exclusive, documented report that GOP VP candidate X once threw a candy wrapper out on the highway, and is therefore unfit to be vice president.

(late Sept) Obama has pulled almost even again or maybe a little ahead according to internal polls and has momentum that will eventually give him the edge. Due to the rapidly approaching election, we don’t have time to report anything about the economy. But here’s some more negative stuff about GOP VP candidate X.

(early Oct) Romney is a mean rich guy who hates dogs, with an uncaring wife who spends her money on expensive horses, and a VP candidate who is a litterer. We don’t understand how anyone with a brain could vote for him. Look at this thing we just dug up about him which is totally legit and makes him look really bad. Meanwhile, noble Obama is struggling with troubles in Europe and the Middle East, and continued economic problems inherited from Bush, and sure is doing a great job of acting presidential. The race is still very much in doubt. The polls suggesting that Romney has a large and growing lead don’t mean anything.

(late Oct) Obama has mismanaged his campaign by not attacking Romney strongly enough and exposing the fact that he’s a mean, rich guy from a weird cult who throws people out of work. As a result, he might lose the election, though it’s still a toss up according to some small-sample polls who over-sampled urban Democrats by thirty percent.

(early Nov) With voters going to the polls in 48 hours, Obama is embarking on a marathon with twenty speeches a day to remind voters of how wonderful he is. The limited time for planning is the reason the venues are not full to overflowing. Photos of half empty auditoriums are distortions taken while the stage was setting up. Pay no attention to the ones in which Obama is actually speaking to a half-empty auditorium. Those are not from an official media photographer, and are probably Photoshopped.

(election day) As voters go to the polls today, Obama’s campaign staff are quietly confident that the marathon campaigning has turned the tide, and he’s back in the race. Nasty right-wing partisans who will stop at nothing are trying to block him with voter suppression efforts in key states that are probably illegal. Pay no attention to the noble Obama minions at polls bravely fighting back against the wingnuts, even though some get a bit over-enthusiastic and hold billy clubs while standing outside polling doors.

(election day plus two) Obama looks like he has lost a close election, though recounts in several states could still win it for him. Republicans are trying to block all recounts, probably to cover up their own illegal election tampering.

(election day plus seven) Obama is pinning his final hopes on recounts in large state X, where he is 100,000 votes behind, but his staff has expressed confidence that they know about missing ballots that will close that gap.

(election day plus nine) Some of the missing ballots put forth by Democrats turn out to be shredded newspapers in cardboard boxes, but Democratic election officials deny any attempts to manipulate election results.

(election day plus ten) Obama has conceded to Romney. As we long predicted, Romney’s money and right-wing meanness were enough to dupe the electorate into electing him over the noble Obama. Though some doubts remain as to whether the election really should gone the other way and was only decided by throwing out Obama votes that were slightly irregular but clearly indicated voters’ intent, and were certainly not votes from dead people and illegal aliens no matter what those right-wing hacks at Fox say.

(late Nov) Romney is now choosing his cabinet. We can only hope that Romney chooses wise and moderate Republicans who will reach across the aisle to the Democratic minority to craft bipartisan legislation to fix our financial crisis which is still left over from the Bush years, and exacerbated by problems in Europe and China, and definitely was not Obama’s fault. Obama and Michelle have been gracious during the transition, and rumors of broken vases in the White House after Obama’s concession speech are just more right-wing rumor-mongering. Michelle has been working so hard with Ann Romney that she hasn’t been seen in public in weeks.

(early Dec) Romney has chosen a cabinet of right-wing partisans, and is off to a bad start. With a questionable election behind him, instead of healing the nation, Romney chose hard-line GOP insiders like Mitch Daniels and Lamar Alexander as advisors. He’s probably going to be worse than Bush.


(*) If you’re a software developer and want to see what I’ve been up to lately, my first video training course for online training company Pluralsight went up a couple of weeks ago. More info here. The course is basically me droning on for four hours about user experience design principles, so I doubt that very many of you would be interested, but perhaps a few would be.

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24 Responses to Summary of election reporting by legacy media for the next seven months

  • “Insert usual disclaimers here:…”

    You realize, of course, that that is what separates the amateurs like you from the  highly trained and experienced professionals of the reality-based media. You will never make it to the big time and be a real journalist if you don’t use disclaimers and other filler. Real journalists have column-inches and airtime to fill, ya know, and not enough facts to fill it.

    Just trying to be helpful.

  • The old stories of “events” requires that we consider that the current trajectory of the campaigns will change when the SCOTUS rules on ACA.
    I’m sure that Team Obama knows that the ruling is most likely not going to be to their liking, else there wouldn’t be this ‘whisper campaign” going on now about how Chief Justice Roberts must uphold ACA in order to retain the legitimacy of the court .. which is a whole lot of hocum.  They have already pre-positioned themselves with those commercials about “Julia” and those mailers (mostly to women) from the DNC about the great benefits that they will get (and lose) with ACA.  They intend to fight a campaign of envy, about all those benefits that the evil Tea Party and the Republicans in concert with the SCOTUS have taken away from “us.”
    I hope Team Romney is ready for this.  It also explains why they are doing the lame “Bain” thing now.

  • Somewhere in this trajectory some rats will flee the sinking ship and start to tell all. Probably after the election is over. Either way, we will start to learn a lot more about how Obama runs things then. Possibly earlier if he looks like he’s going down in total flames.

  • uhm yeah you pretty much nailed it on the head.

  • In any normal election year I’d say you were spot on.  The one under-estimated event that will occur this Summer is the failure of the Euro.  The actual effects of that failure are entirely unclear at this point, but it will have far reaching influence into our (America’s) affairs.  One way it may change the calculus is that the Obama campaign may decide to run a “don’t change horses in midstream” campaign.  It seems silly right now, but the uncertainty after August (when I personally think the meltdown will occur) could lend Obama some undeserved gravitas.  Given a compliant, sycophantic media, Obama may have a better chance winning in the breach (as it were), than under normal circumstances.

    • I would bet on us dropping bombs on Iran instead of counting on the Euros.  Its more of a sure thing.  I think the Euros can kick that can a few more times enough to make it unreliable for Obama by November.

    • No. Europe failing will not make Americans want to become more European. It will be a warning. No longer will progressives be able to tell us how awesome socialism is.

      • “No longer will progressives be able to tell us how awesome socialism is.”

        And yet they continue to do so. Evidently the only case of American exceptionalism is that it will work here. Not that it matters. Lenin et al. didn’t think Communism would work in a backwards country like Russia, and we all know how that turned out. It just means they had to work a little harder.

        • Nevermind Europe. China’s economy is headed for a cliff, and it’s going to be fun watching the Friedman brigade who soiled themselves over China’s coming dominance of us backtrack.

  • Although, I do believe the recount thing is quite likely, I think Obama’s loss won’t be about Obama.  It will be targeted at discrediting the validity of the Romney’s Presidency.  Its how they were able to marshal so many zero integrity drones against Bush.  They convinced a sizable swath of Democrat’s that Bush had stolen the election.  Anything after that was “all fair”.
    They will more actively create chaos and mistrust in the election than stand outside with billyclubs.  Think OWS inside the polling station and more.  And although that chaos and mistrust will be caused by the pro-democrat forces, the media will not make the connection and pretend its an issue on both sides or some unidentified groups “and we just don’t know what is going on”?
    Its going to get ugly.  But not as ugly the narcissist in chief dealing with being rejected on a national level.  He will get his revenge.

  • you forgot one small thing, in late Nov, the real unemployment rate will be headlined in all print news, showing how Romney is already tanking the economy even before he is sworn in as president, along with derisive op eds on how he will ruin the recovery he “inherited” from Obama, then in 2013 as the consequences of Obama’s policies (obamacare, no drilling, epa shutting down elec providers) really start to kick in and destroy the economy Romney will be blamed daily in the press……just saying.

    • ” showing how Romney is already tanking the economy even before he is sworn in”

      Amazin, isn’t it? From Bush to Romney with nothing in between. It’s as if all Obama did was vote ‘Present’. 

    • And don’t forget the “Romney shouldn’t have an inaguration gala because the economy is in the dumps and people are hurting” canard sure to follow as well.

  • The course is basically me droning on for four hours about user experience design principles,

    You guys do DESIGN?
    Damn; when I was in the industry, we’d start coding THEN find out what they wanted. 🙂

    • …we’d start coding THEN find out what they wanted…

      Oh, there are plenty of people in the industry who still do that. But they disguise it these days. They call it “agile development”.

      • ONG – THANK YOU for saying it, I wondered where you stood on that bullshit storm of elitist meritocracy design on the fly punish the user “new and cool!” crap.
        And one of these days, I’ll sit on my deck and reflect on it, and come up with my true opinion on that subject.

      • Honestly though, let me know when the users get a system that wasn’t designed by one of the following two groups –
        Clueless senior and middle managers.
        Programmers who didn’t have a clue about how the users did their jobs, but wanted to use the latest cool tools and buzz worded ideas (like Agile….) in their development efforts.

      • After 22 years in the IT industry (the last twelve in Project Management) I started a home building business. I hate to imagine what things would have looked like if we built buildings the way IT built systems.
        When I “retired” from IT in 2001, the stats were the same as when I began: 50% of project never saw any form of daylight, 45% were over-budget, behind schedule and didn’t function worth crap, and 5% were done right.
        And like now, it was generally upper management that fouled things up. Many times those management (elite) had little/no IT background; mostly they were MBA types or from “Marketing”. 🙁

        • When I “retired” from IT in 2001, the stats were the same as when I began: 50% of project never saw any form of daylight, 45% were over-budget, behind schedule and didn’t function worth crap, and 5% were done right.
          Well, the “function worth crap” problem keeps getting overcome by faster engines, as for the rest….I doubt the numbers are drastically better in the 11 years since your departure.   After all, we have all those legacy systems that just HAVE to be re-written in whatever cool language was recently spawned to run on the latest cool hardware.
          The answer now is ‘the cloud’ you know…. Such a trusting collection of souls…

    • Ah, reminds me of my college days where they taught us cool theories that we would never use in real life (though we DID try….)