The wages of the press corps’ games!


A punishing bit of history from our White House debates: Last week, the pundit corps decided to run with Joe Biden’s troubling smiles.

In the same way, they ran with Al Gore’s alleged sighs after his first debate with George Bush.

In truth, the press corps made a bigger deal about Gore’s alleged lies after that first debate. By now, they have disappeared those bogus old claims.

Today, they pimp Gore’s “loud,” “perpetual” sighs. They have craftily disappeared their bogus old claims about lying.

Debate bullshit is all around us today. This latest report by Jeremy Peters is just this side of batshit insane, especially the “lessons from history” outlined in its graphic. (Good God! It's sourced to Michael Beschloss!)

As the pundit corps clowns about Biden’s smiles, we thought you might want to see the price that was paid for their campaign in October 2000 about Gore’s alleged lies and sighs.

A quick bit of background:

Gore emerged from that summer’s conventions with a large, solid lead in the polls. By mid-September, official Washington had largely decided that the race was over.

Result: In mid-September, the press corps invented two new “lies” by Gore. (One of his “lies” was an obvious joke. In the other “lie,” he repeated accurate data Democratic pols had been citing for years.) Brutally, they flogged these new claims—and Gore’s lead in the polls vanished.

Incredibly, Howard Fineman told Brian Williams that his colleagues had done this deed to keep the race close. In fact, the new lies by Gore weren’t lies at all; his statements weren’t even inaccurate. But after a month in which Gore held a solid lead, the race went back to even near the end of September.

As the October 3 debate approached, Gore was starting to recover from these press corps attacks. He was inching back to a significant lead in the polls. And then, on October 3, he won the first Bush-Gore debate, according to all five overnight/next day surveys.

At this point, the press corps acted again. They flogged several more “lies” by Gore, and they ran tapes of his troubling sighs—volume jacked, of course. We thought you might want to see what this campaign did to the polling.

Two major tracking polls were being conducted that year. Below, you see the way the Gallup poll looked, before and after that first debate on October 3.

Each figure was the result of three days of polling. According to Gallup, Gore was gaining ground as the debate approached. According to Gallup, he gained more ground the next day, then the bottom fell out.

All figures involve likely voters:
Gallup tracking poll, three-day samples:
September 28-30: even
September 29-October 1: even
September 30-October 2: Gore by 2
October 1-3: Gore by 8
October 2-4: Gore by 11
October 3-5: Gore by 1
October 4-6: Bush by 7
October 5-7: Bush by 8
October 6-8: Bush by 8
October 7-9: Bush by 3
October 8-10: even
October 9-11: Gore by 1
October 10-12: even
According to Gallup, Gore was decimated by the debate—by the debate he had won! According to Gallup, he went from eight points up to eight points down in the wake of the press corps attack.

By October 12, he had fought his way back to even.

This is the way the MSNBC/Reuters tracking poll had it:
Reuters/MSNBC tracking poll, three-day samples:
September 28-30: Gore by 2
September 29-October 1: Gore by 4
September 30-October 2: Gore by 6
October 1-3: Gore by 5
October 2-4: Gore by 6
October 3-5: Gore by 5
October 4-6: Gore by 4
October 5-7: Gore by 2
October 6-8: Gore by 1
October 7-9: Bush by 1
October 8-10: Bush by 1
October 9-11: even
October 10-12: Bush by 1
Reuters also saw Gore gaining ground—until the press corps attack. According to Reuters, Gore went from six points up to one point down after a debate he won on all five overnight surveys! (Average margin, ten points.)

There’s no such thing as a perfect survey; those were the two major tracking polls. Gallup recorded larger jumps in the data. But each survey showed Gore gaining, then losing major ground after he won that first debate—after the press corps attacked.

Our view? Almost surely, the press corps’ disgraceful campaign about lies and sighs decided the 2000 race.

As of today, they have disappeared their tortured claims about Gore’s “lies” at that first debate. They continue to clown about Gore’s alleged sighs.

People are dead all over the world because of what they did. Your liberal heroes have always been willing to act like this never happened.

Last week, they focused on Biden’s smiles. ABC News even counted them up! Once again, they clowned and gamboled and joked and played, toying with the fate of the world.

These are just extremely bad people. In fairness, Jesus Christ would have said they don’t know what they do.

He probably would have been right.


  1. The Anonymous IdiotOctober 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    If you love Al Gore so much why don't you marry him?

    1. Wow! Idiot, that is truly stultifying.

      Horace Feathers

    2. Naturally Bob Somerby feels close to Gore. They were college roommates.

  2. Gore's sighing was only made an issue gradually by the media. Biden's antics, on the other hand, were too blatant to be ignored. Bob, you're trying to fit this narrative into the 2000 election shell, and it doesn't work.

    1. Too blatant to be ignored -- or too blatant to allow the actual content of what happened to be trumped, as always, by the dominant importance of style?