Blog

  • Question for CNN: Is Minnesota really a toss-up state?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    CNN's John King, working his interactive map on Sunday, claimed if the election were held today Obama would win 221 electoral votes and McCain 189. King stressed that so many key states remain toss-ups. (That's good a narrative for the media.)

    King claimed one key toss-up state is Minnesota. Really? According to Pollster's trend estimates, Obama is up by seven points in Minnesota, and there's only one poll listed at Pollser that shows McCain ahead in the land of lakes. And that was from January. We get the feeling CNN is trying a bit too hard to push the, It's-a-tie! storyline.

    P.S. Pollster puts the current (albeit, hypothetical) electoral count at Obama 260, McCain 176. (That's a bad narrative for the media.)

  • On Fournier ...

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The basic problem with Ron Fournier's "analysis" of the Biden pick comes right up top: "In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy..."

    Well, wait a second. Why doesn't the Biden pick reinforce Obama's strength on foreign policy? Most people, after all, would say Barack Obama was right to oppose the Iraq war. Given how easy it is to argue the opposite of Fournier's premise, it seems his analysis tells us more about his own attitudes than about the meaning of Obama's decision.

    Steve Benen has something to say about Fournier's analysis. MoveOn has something to do about it.

    And Lindsay Beyerstein wonders who has been paying him up to $10,000 a pop for speeches.

    UPDATE: Want to write to your local newspaper about Fournier? Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake can help.

  • Did we mention the AP has a Ron Fournier problem?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Yes we did. And today it's back, big time, as Fournier claims Obama's VP choice highlights the candidate's lack of "self-confidence."

    Hey, everybody's got a right to their opinion and all the candidates takes their hits in the press. But with Fournier, his hits this year have never targeted McCain. The latest AP column is more proof of why McCain aides wanted to hire Fournier to spin for them.

    See TBogg, too. And MyDD is urging readers to contact AP.

  • Why "County Fair"?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Longtime Springsteen fans may have caught onto our new blogs's name; it's copped from the relatively obscure, Nebraska-era song of his. (Here's a nice analysis of the tune; here are the lyrics.) After running out of "media"-based name possibilities for the blog (we're pretty sure they've all been taken by now), we just liked the idea the song conveyed of a meeting place for folks to gather.

  • The New York Times has a footnote problem

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    In her rather unflattering review of Thomas Frank's The Wrecking Crew, a charged attack on the Republican's control of Washington, D.C., Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani not only decried the tone of the book (Frank was just too darn angry) but she complained that Frank sometimes didn't back up the factual claims found in his passages.

    But as Jonathan Schwarz at A Tiny Revolution points out, Frank often used something called footnotes to back up the factual claims in his passages. Footnotes that Kakutani didn't always read.