Supplemental: Worms and the next GOP debate!

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015

Percentages can be hard:
Wednesday night, we got the word while watching the Maddow Show.

The next GOP debate, on October 28, will be run by CNBC. According to Rachel Maddow, here’s what Republican hopefuls will have to do to qualify for the main event:
MADDOW (9/30/15): They’re only looking at polls from NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN and Bloomberg...Anybody who averages 2 1/2 percent or more in all of the polls taken during that time period will get into the real debate. They'll get into the real prime time event which will start at 8 that night.
If you average 2 1/2 percent, you’re in the main debate! At least, that’s what we thought, until we read the next day’s New York Times:
RAPPEPORT (10/1/15): To make the cut in the later debate, candidates will need to be polling at 3 percent in an average of national polls conducted by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg that were released from Sept. 17 to Oct. 21.
The Times said three percent!

It was like a version of the old joke known as Goldberg’s Law: “The man with one watch always knows the time. The man with two watches is never quite sure.”

Who to believe? Later, checking the Hardball transcript, we were bollixed by this formulation:
MATTHEWS (9/30/15): Well, CNBC has released criteria now for their Republican presidential debate—Republican debate—on October 28th, at the end of this month. To make the primetime debate, candidates must have a polling average of 2.5 percent in certain polls—by the way, that rounds up to 3—conducted between September 17th and October 21st.
That seemed to make no obvious sense. Did we mention that this was Hardball?

Three news orgs, three different answers! The analysts said we had to go right to the horse’s mouth! And so, we clicked to CNBC.

Please ignore “criteria is.” Aside from that, this is what the press release said at the financial channel:
CNBC PRESS RELEASE (9/30/15): Candidate criteria for the October 28, 2015 CNBC Republican Debate is as follows:

National polls will be used to determine a candidate's eligibility and placement on the stage. To be eligible to appear in either segment, a candidate must have at least 1% in any one of the methodologically sound and recognized national polls conducted by: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg, released between September 17, 2015 and October 21, 2015.

To appear in the 8pm debate a candidate must have an average of 3% among these polls. The polls will be averaged and will be rounded up to 3% for any candidate with a standing of 2.5% or higher. Candidates who average below that will be invited to the 6pm debate.

No really—that’s what it said:

“A candidate must have an average of 3% among these polls. The polls will be averaged and will be rounded up to 3% for any candidate with a standing of 2.5% or higher.”

Have we mentioned our new leading theory? That worms have been quietly eating the brains of our “journalistic” elite?

Final points:

This may be the only post we’ve ever done where Maddow turned out to be right on the facts. Also this:

At three percent, we’d have to say that the New York Times got it wrong. But then, what else is new? In the world of elites, we mean.

43 comments:

  1. Well, at least you won't have to put up with Maddow's incessant whining about getting Snarly Fiorina in the varsity debate.

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    Replies
    1. @mm

      Hilarity Hillary will be on SNL. Who can resist that cackle?

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    2. I like that, Snarly Carly, the heartless plutocrat.

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    3. @ 9:36

      And HRC, the technology challenged bleeding-heart lib, quakes at the prospect of even debating the Palo Alto Palomino.

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  2. Why didn't MSNBC simply write, "A candidate must have an average of 2.5% among these polls"? Maybe MSNBC doesn't feel comfortable with fractions. Maybe MSNBC think either the media or their viewers don't feel comfortable with number that aren't whole numbers. Maybe this was a sort-of "compromise" between one faction that wanted an average of 2.5% and another faction that wanted an average of 3%. Anyhow it was an innumerate way for MSNBC to express their basis. And it was innumerate of the Times to fail to decipher it. Following the link, the Times hasn't yet been corrected.

    Maybe the Times would argue that 3% is correct, if one takes that to mean "rounded up to the nearest integer number of percentage points." That reminds me of the story about President Lincoln about what happens when you call a tail a leg.
    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin107482.html

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    1. A story? Weren't you or one of your relatives there at the time?

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    2. The Times are confused about the criterions.

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    3. Bob needs to do a chart with two decimals.

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  3. Slow news day for blogger. NOBODY got anything wrong, Blogger should have trotted out an "injustice to Gore" piece.

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    Replies
    1. How dare he critique the corporate media.

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    2. Nobody does the Gore story like Somerby. Nobody.

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    3. Ezra Klein, if you believe Somerby, told the whole story in just one sentenece.

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    4. "Ezra Klein, if you misread Somerby, told the whole story in just one sentence."

      There you go.

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    5. Ezra Klein's brief, but thrilling tale of the War on Gore has been retold time and time again. To Howler readers.

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  4. Today, over a photo of Bill and Hillary laughing together and thus obviously conspiring to do something evil, Huffington Post notes that one Clinton scandal that produced no misbehavior upon investigation, leads to another that does. It draws a parallel between Whitewater and Benghazi, but seems to think that the Lewinsky business was a scandal (because the Republicans said so) and that there is similar substance to the email investigation.

    " The Benghazi Investigation Is The 1990s All Over Again

    The GOP spends millions investigating a Clinton for one scandal, and ends up uncovering another. Sound familiar?"

    They think something wrong has been uncovered in the investigation of Clinton's email server. Like everyone else, they don't say what it is, but Clinton apologized, so obviously she did something wrong. Another Clinton hit piece by the Huffington Post. I hate this biased press -- a new attack every day.

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    1. Today, in an opening description of a photo showing paranoid fantasy, @ 9:06 contimues the regular monitoring of anti-Hillary bias in the Huff Po, complaining about an article buried 33 headlines down on the Front page, 23 headlines down on the Polics page, located in the center of three column with 58 and 41 articles more prominently place in the columns on either side.

      The headline rotates, by the way. When I went there it was "Republicans cannot get enough Clinton controversy." Headlines are designed both to describe something of the content and to serve as click bait for readers.

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    2. When headlines express a misleading or unfair characterization of a candidate, then are neither describing nor serving merely as click bait. They are propagandizing. HuffPost is supposed to be a news venue not a partisan campaign site.

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    3. So how is either headline decribed unfair and/or misleading?

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  5. Math always confuses Bob.

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    Replies
    1. Somerby always confuses @9:51

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    2. 10:15 did Matthews statement make no "obvious sense" to you? if so, you too are math illiterate.

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    3. It makes no sense to state that a cutoff is 2.5 or 3 unless some polls report in whole numbers while others do not. If all polls report in decimals, you don't need both numbers. You can use simply 2.5. Even if some polls were to report in whole numbers, a candidate with a percentage of 2 wouldn't meet the cutoff even with rounding off.

      So, Matthews statement makes no sense, even to those who are math literate. It is right for Somerby to point that out and to note the fact that Matthews didn't see anything wrong with what he reported.

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    4. Even if some or all of the polls report in whole numbers, the average of the six polls would be a decimal.

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  6. The first rule of Beat Hillary Fight Club -- you don't talk about Beat Hillary Fight Club.

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    1. Today, over at HuffPo they are still featuring a column by Earl Ofari Hutchinson headlined:

      "In Spite of Political Assaults, Hillary Won't Fail"

      As he notes "Given the massive and relentless political assault on Clinton, she should be, as much of the media giddily taunts, a political dead duck. This isn't and has never been even remotely the case. Polls now show that Clinton has a commanding lead over Bernie Sanders and would have an equally commanding lead over Biden if, despite the near hysterical begging and pleading for him to jump in the race, he ever did."

      Given all these assaults it is a wonder Hillary is doing so well. But, as people have noted her standing in the polls has diminished somewhat. Bill Clinton, OTOH, seemed to go up in the polls when he was impeached. Which of course was caused by Whitewater.

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    2. This is like claiming that the NY Times is unbiased because an occasional op-ed contradicts the prevailing slant.

      Whether these continuous attacks hurt her or not, they are wrong. The press should not be attempting to select our candidates for us in the guise of supposedly neutral reporting.

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    3. No. It is not like claiming anything. It is like noting a column.

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  7. "This may be the only post we’ve ever done where Maddow turned out to be right on the facts. Also this:" Bob Somerby 10/2/15

    Well, Bob and Bobfans, there was also this other time:

    (In our view, Rachel Maddow became Human Being of the Year Tuesday night. Just click here; we’ll discuss this tomorrow.) 1/10/2008

    WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND: Sorry. We’d planned to name Rachel Maddow our Human Being of the Year. Last Tuesday night, she did something unheard of; she went on cable and didn’t self-edit! (Note to Peter Fenn: Please check Rachel’s tape, in which she doesn’t pretend it was Fox.) But we got interrupted, and we ran out of time. We’ll name her Top Human next week." 1/11/2008

    "Oh. Our. God. Last Tuesday night, Maddow seemed to tell the truth to Matthews—and she gained the acclaim of many Dems. But within a few days, she had walked it back. If Bauder is right, Maddow was soon calling Matthews the greatest TV star in the world.

    Let’s be fair: We don’t have a transcript of what Maddow told Bauder.

    ....Maddow has a lot of explaining to do. Last week, Maddow told the truth. And then, she said something quite different." 1/15/08

    " On the evening of the New Hampshire primary, Maddow broke every rule in the book; she told Matthews, to his face, right on the air, that liberals were saying that he was the cause of Hillary Clinton’s win in New Hampshire—that his gender-based trashing of Hillary Clinton had made people very mad. This broke every rule of On-Air Pundit Conduct—and we at THE HOWLER joined many liberals in praising Maddow for it. ....we’ll ask Maddow, one more time, to explain her peculiar comments. Until she does, we’ll assume the worst—that Maddow is the latest self-dealer to trade the truth for her own success. We’ll treat her with the contempt she has earned until she explains why she said what she did—why she praised this overt woman-hater on her way to her big career prize." 1/21/2008

    Bob has kept his word. Maddow never explained things as demanded by Bob. And he has treated her with contempt ever since.

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    Replies
    1. anon 12:36, you're pathetic

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    2. Quoting Bob Somerby is a pathetic act AC/MA seems to say.

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    3. "...treated her with well-deserved contempt ever since."

      That's what that should have said. Sorry!

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    4. I like the part where Bob applauds Maddow for giving Chris Matthews credit for Hillary's win in New Hampshire.

      Bob is always on track with his electoral analysis.

      Chris Matthews almost got somebody killed and he resurrected the floundering Clinton campaign in '08.

      Delete
  8. And seven years later we're left with a very wealthy host, and an unwatchable and useless current events television program.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank heavens Somerby watches it closely and keeps us informed.

      Delete
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