Friday, October 5, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Glynis Johns, 89. Mother of Diane Chambers. Also some other things.

The good stuff:

1. Brendan Nyhan on how the press constructs debates. I disagree with him on the raw material here (I think that Obama was clearly flat), but his overall points are solid. One additional point: I think the insta-polls, especially the CNN one, gave the press license to go with a totally one-sided story.

2. I think Andrew Sprung is right to say that insisting that Mitt Romney wants a $5T tax cut leaves him with an obvious out -- mainly because stated that way, it's not really true. Romney's numbers don't add up, but it's not accurate that he's advocated the rate cut as a stand-alone.

3. Jonathan Cohen asks whether the press will turn on Romney over the various factually-challenged statements he made during the debate.

4. Joseph Cera on how winning a debate can influence undecided voters.

5. And sure: Ann Friedman's "Debate in 17 GIFs."


  1. "The most obvious was Romney’s claim that “pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” No they aren't."

    Oh, did you think I meant "covered" as in insurance coverage? No, I meant that the topic was covered as in "mentioned in passing." Just a simple misunderstanding.

    Also, Cohen makes a good point about how is difficult to prove that the other debater is lying. To the average viewer, it will just be he-said/he-said. So the task falls at least in part to the press as an outside observer.

    1. "So the task falls at least in part to the press as an outside observer."

      I'm not holding my breath.

  2. Obama was off his game, but surely the media desperately wanted a late-inning Romney rally. Otherwise the fans would start heading for the exits.

    But I haven't heard how many people actually watched. And since there were few (really no) colorful snippets, I wonder how far the 'Romney won!' spin will really carry beyond junkiedom. Will 'low-information voters' even know that 'twas a famous victory?

    1. 67.2 million people, according to Nielsen, more than any of the 2008 debates.


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