BREAKING FROM MADDOW: Fox News yes, Public Policy no!


Times say they butched Marco up:
Last night, amid the endless time-wasting, Rachel Maddow reported results from the latest New Hampshire poll.

If we might quote Maddow herself, "Woo-hoo!" She was reporting results from the latest Fox News poll. It showed Sanders ahead of Clinton in the great state of New Hampshire:
MADDOW (1/8/16): A new poll out from Fox News tonight says that the Democratic race for the nomination could be quite a contest in the early states.

Yes, Hillary Clinton is still far ahead in the national Democratic polling. A new Fox News national poll just out tonight puts her 15 points ahead nationwide.

But we don't vote nationwide to pick a nominee, we vote state by state. And look at this new poll, a new New Hampshire poll that Fox just published tonight.

Again, this is a poll done by Fox News but don't let that disturb you. It's a real poll, it's a scientific poll.

The last time Fox did this poll for the Democratic race in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by one point. That was in November.

As of tonight, Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by 13 points. Look! 50-37! He's a) at 50 percent, that's an important mark, that's an important threshold. And b), he's leading by 13 points in New Hampshire.

Huge margin! Fascinating!
That presentation is so dumb it squeaks.

As is the norm this year on "cable news," Maddow treated the new poll like a precise measure. There was no citation of "margin of error." There was no mention of other polls which might show different results.

As everyone surely understands, that's an extremely dumb way to treat a poll. That said, Maddow's failure last night was especially striking. Here's why:

A second new poll which appeared this week showed a different result in New Hampshire. For whatever reason, Maddow failed to cite that other Democratic poll this week, even as she spent oodles of time on its Republican results for New Hampshire.

We'll show you what we mean below. But first, let's see the New York Times complete a stupid, ugly hat trick concerning its latest confection, Bootgate.

To this day, the New York Times hasn't explained the crazy effects of Candidate Trump's crazy budget proposal. Our greatest newspaper no longer wastes time on topics like that.

Instead, our greatest newspapers reports on the candidates' senses of humor—and on the candidates' shoes. This penchant was already apparent in 1999, when reporter Frank Bruni gushed and flushed and suffered hot flashes over the preposterously charmed campaign of Candidate Bush.

When Bruni profiled this greatest of hopefuls, he of course began with the candidate's savvy selection of shoes:
BRUNI (9/14/99): When Gov. George W. Bush of Texas first hit the Presidential campaign trail in June, he wore monogrammed cowboy boots, the perfect accessory for his folksy affability and casual self-assurance.

But when he visited New Hampshire early last week, he was shod in a pair of conservative, shiny black loafers that seemed to reflect more than the pants cuffs above them.
They suggested an impulse by Mr. Bush to put at least a bit of a damper on his brash irreverence, which has earned him affection but is a less certain invitation for respect.

As Mr. Bush presses forward with his almost preposterously charmed quest for the Republican Presidential nomination, he has plenty of confidence, evident in his easy swagger...
First with the monogrammed cowboy boots, then with the shiny black loafers! And of course with the easy swagger! Just for the record, despite the candidate's savvy shoe selections, he swaggered on to a 19-point loss in the New Hampshire primary the following year.

The New York Times has always understood the importance of footwear selection! This week, our emptiest newspaper went there again, inventing the analytical episode now widely known as Bootgate.

It all began when Michael Barbaro tweeted a photo of Candidate Rubio's boots. Why would a campaign reporter do that?

(Because he's the world's dumbest known human? Because he's employed by the Times?)

We can't answer that question, and the Times hasn't explained. At any rate, the Times pushed the excitement along yesterday as fashion maven Vanessa Friedman penned a brain-dead, hard-copy news report about this important topic.

Last night, Times reporter Jeremy Peters completed the hat trick in an appearance on Hardball.

It was the standard format. Chris Matthews asked a panel of pundits to "tell me something I don't know."

No one decided to say, "You're a manifest personal fraud who shouldn't be allowed with a hundred miles of a TV camera." Instead, Peters offered the thoughtful remarks shown below as the appreciative panel guffawed.

The Rubio campaign had "butched him up," the thoughtful Timesman said:
MATTHEWS (1/8/16): Go ahead, Jeremy.

PETERS: So we all caught a bit of the wind of Marco Rubio's boots controversy this week. "Boot-ghazi," "Bootgate," whatever you want to call it.

MATTHEWS: How tall is he?

PETERS: What is it? Five-eight, five-nine?

MATTHEWS: And how tall are his boots?

PETERS: They're a good like two-inch chunky heel. Anyway—

So there might have been a little bit of a thinking that that could have feminized him a bit. So today, what does the campaign release? An ad, butching him up, showing him tossing a football around.

MATTHEWS: Butching him up, what a phrase!


Go ahead, Molly.

BALL: I got to plug my—

MATTHEWS: Butching him up! That's never been used here before! Go ahead.

Peters completed the hat trick. The campaign thought that "Bootgate" may have feminized Rubio. So the campaign "butched him up," the thoughtful liberal explained.

In fairness, the New York Times has always had an eye for feminized hopefuls. In that same Campaign 2000, Candidate Gore was "so feminized he's practically lactating," one New York Times star explained.

(Gore had hired "a woman to teach him how to be a man," that same Times star disclosed.)

In Campaign 2004, Candidate Edwards was repeatedly described as "the Breck Girl." In Campaign 2008, Candidate Obama was persistently mocked with such descriptions as "Obambi, the diffident debutante."

The New York Times has always had an eye for this sort of thing. Last night, Peters completed the hat trick as his colleagues enjoyed a good laugh.

("Molly" was the Atlantic's Molly Ball. As someone cast in the role of a liberal within the structure of corporate pseudo-news, she might have said something about the sexual politics of Peters' designations. Dearest darlings, first things first! "Got to plug my big piece this week," she said as she continued, chuckling at Peters' masterful wit. "You can find it on")

Peters completed the Times' most recent brain-dead disgrace. The laughter helped us see the real shape of our pseudo-liberal politics.

Two hours later, Maddow was gushing about the latest poll from New Hampshire. "Woo-hoo!" as the trillionaire star kept saying throughout the hour.

According to the new Fox poll, Sanders was leading Clinton in New Hampshire by 13 points (see text above). Even for Maddow, we thought her report about this new poll was strange.

Here's why:

That new Fox poll is the second new poll from New Hampshire this week. On Wednesday, Public Policy Polling (PPP) released its own new poll from New Hampshire.

It showed Clinton leading Sanders in New Hampshire, 47-44. To review the whole thing, click here.

Which new poll is more accurate? There's no way to know! For that reason, intelligent journalists present results from a range of credible polls. Other people may pick and choose the results they want you to see.

Maddow's failure to cite the Democratic results from PPP was especially striking. On Wednesday night, she went on and on, at time-wasting length, discussing the Republican results in PPP's new poll from New Hampshire.

We join her blather in progress. It went on quite a while:
MADDOW (1/6/16): The latest national polling still has Mr. Donald Trump absolutely killing the rest of the field. That said, the nomination is not decided by a national vote.

The nomination is decided state by state. And the latest early-state poll, the first one of the New Year, in fact, came out today.

Turns out it's fascinating. These are the results from the new New Hampshire poll that just came out from Public Policy Polling. This new PPP New Hampshire poll shows Donald Trump nearly lapping the rest of the field. He's near 29 percent in New Hampshire. His nearest competitor is Marco Rubio at 15 percent.

So Donald Trump has a 14 percent lead in the only New Hampshire poll that's been taken so far this year. But what's fascinating here, what's totally new, is that the first time ever in this race, for the first time in this poll or any other poll out of New Hampshire, there are six different candidates who are in double digits. The field could not be more split.

Yes, Donald Trump is still leading, but look at the rest of the field! If Donald Trump is sort of the non-establishment candidate, and guys like Chris Christie and Marco Rubio and John Kasich and George Bush—sorry, Jeb Bush—if they're the establishment candidates, the more mainstream choices, right, well, New Hampshire's support for the mainstream/ establishment choices, it just couldn't be more evenly split.

It's like a five-way car crash of candidates getting between 10 percent and 15 percent there. You see Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, they're all bunched up there, all in double digits between 10 and 15 percent.

And as long as all those establishment guys and sitting senators and governors keep splitting up all of that mainstream vote, then Ta-da! Donald Trump wins.

Donald Trump is winning. Donald Trump is winning nationally. He is winning in New Hampshire. He is trading the lead or tie with Ted Cruz even in Iowa, which is crazy. Iowa picked Rick Santorum the last time around.
On Wednesday night, Maddow went on and on about the Republican results of PPP's New Hampshire poll. It was "the only New Hampshire poll that's been taken so far this year," the corporate star explained.

At no point did Maddow report the Democratic results of the PPP poll, which showed Clinton ahead of Sanders.

Two nights later, Maddow spent considerable time, as shown above, noting that Sanders is far ahead in New Hampshire in the new poll from Fox. Once again, she didn't mention the contrary finding from PPP, which she has often cited as the best polling outfit around.

Is Maddow simply picking and choosing the results she wants us liberals to see? If Maddow was a competent political analyst, that would be an obvious conclusion.

That said, Maddow is utterly hopeless in the field of domestic politics. The staffers who write her text each night were surely aware of the PPP's Democratic numbers. The staffers knew, but how about Maddow? Did Maddow know about the dueling results from the two new polls?

Because we watch her program each night, we know of no reason to think so.

The way New Hampshire works: In New Hampshire, independents are allowed to vote in either party's primary.

This makes New Hampshire slightly harder to predict. Depending on the way various tides are turning, the state's many independents can decide, at the last minute, which party's ballot to select on primary election day. In Campaign 2000, independents tended to break for McCain, over on the GOP side. This helped produce a surprisingly large defeat for Bush, and a win for Gore on the Democratic side.

(Independents tended to favor Bradley and McCain that year. To the extent that they decided to vote for McCain, they couldn't vote for Bradley.)

In its latest New Hampshire poll, PPP broke the Democratic results apart. In its Democratic poll, PPP found two different races unfolding:
PUBLIC POLICY POLLING (1/6/16): Things remain extremely close on the Democratic side, with Hillary Clinton at 47% to 44% for Bernie Sanders, and 3% for Martin O'Malley. There's an incredible divide between the Democrats and independents planning to vote in the primary—Clinton leads Sanders 55/36 with Democrats, but Sanders almost completely cancels that out with a 59/29 advantage among non-Democrats planning to vote in the primary.
According to PPP, Clinton would be far ahead if only Democrats could vote. But Sanders is beating her two-to-one among independents who plan to vote in the Democratic race.

Given the massive time she wastes discussing trivia about the primaries, you'd almost think that Maddow would want to explain such things. That said, we've never seen anyone waste so much time on so much total nonsense as Maddow does in her endless pseudo-coverage of the campaign.

Maddow's campaign work is amazingly dumb. This week, it also seemed that it might be slightly dishonest, if only on the part of the staffers who tell her what to read.


  1. Is MSNBC working so hard to promote Trump because it is owned by Trump's billionaire buddies or do they think selecting a fellow plutocrat will benefit them financially?

    Sanders is practically running in his home state, given the overlap among the New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts (Connecticut leans toward New York). His support as a semi-favorite son should be much stronger in order to generate excitement. But why would Maddow say woo-hoo? Has she endorsed Sanders? That seems kind of biased for a journalist too.

    I am a long time Clinton supporter. I turn off any station that demonstrates a bias against Clinton. It is too painful hearing the garbage yet again, especially from people who should know better and should be supporting the party's best interests.

    Yesterday someone said something about why electability seems to no longer be a consideration during primary voting. They were talking about Ted Cruz and why it should be obvious he cannot win as the Republican nominee in a general election. The same could be said of Sanders and I find myself wondering why people don't recognize that he too is not a viable candidate. Given those circumstances, their efforts to knock down Clinton are hurting Democrats because they will weaken the chance of electing a Democrat in the general election. Yes, it serves Clinton's interests to mention this, but it is also true -- as true as the fact that we must hold the White House to protect against roll back of important advances made by Obama, to ensure a more liberal supreme court, and to prevent mounting frustration among those calling for reform on many fronts (financial, police and prison, energy policy).

    It isn't just the Republicans who seem to have gone off the deep end.

    1. Clinton supporters get it, it's called the "Democratic Party" as kind of a joke.

    2. @1:44. The people who don't recognize that Sanders can't win a general election are low-information Americans. I hesitate to even call them voters, because who knows if they will vote? They aren't the people who vote religiously in every election, every primary, all the way down the ballot. They probably couldn't tell you who their Senators or their congressional rep are. I see Trump and Sanders supporters (most of them at least) the same way. Low information. They don't study history (the blowout losses of McGovern and Adlai Stevenson demonstrating some candidates are just too liberal for the general public).

    3. I sure hope Trump fades, I don't want him as President, but this column suggests that he's a heck of a campaigner.

    4. What a total shock that David in Cal would cite Mark Steyn in David's concern-troll gnashing of teeth.

      Steyn is (a) a climate-change skeptic; (b) a longstanding Roger Ailes fluffer; (c) a Muslim hater; (c) a feminist hater; (d) a President Obama hater; (e) a Bill and Hillary Clinton hater; (f) a proponent of invading Iraq as late as 2007: and (g) a despicable tribal wingbat.

      To all the CMikes out there that believe that David in Cal is a truth-seeking conservative, I have some swampland in Florida that you might be interested in buying.

      Google "Mark Appel" sometime and find out what a consummate fraud and partisan zealot David in Cal is.

      The fact that he (?) nests here in the Daily Howler comments box does not speak well for Bob Somerby.

    5. Before you try selling any swampland in Florida Soapy you might read over the fine print again. CMike doesn't believe David in Cal is a truth-seeking conservative. In a recent thread what CMike said was [LINK]:

      ...The change in David in Cal's tone the last couple of weeks has been odd. He's gone from having consistently expressed himself over the years as a wonk Republican in his party's libertarian-wing to now as a humble seeker of the truth whose affiliation seems to be with fellow befuddled independents....

    6. What does Mark Appel have to do with David in Cal?

    7. Soapy -- Even the IPCC are skeptics. Read the recent 5th IPCC report. They don't know how big an impact CO2 has on warming. The impact is measured by climate sensitivity. The IPCC says the true value of climate sensitivity is probably somewhere in the wide range of 1.5 to 4.5 deg C, but they admit that for all they know the true value might be less than 1.5 or greater than 4.5. Thus, they're skeptical about whether global warming is a minor, long-term problem, or immediate disaster facing the world.

    8. In terms of the effects on agriculture, it doesn't matter whether this is short or long term. If we can improve lives through changes in energy consumption we should be doing it. These arguments are a distraction.

  2. I agree with Bob's disapproval of Maddow's failure to cite the "margin of error." However, the so-called "margin of error" is an big understatement. It's really only the piece of the uncertainty due to sample size. A possibly larger source of uncertainty is the difficulty of getting a sample that's truly random, that is, not biased. Bias can come from how the survey people are selected or which ones choose to respond.

    1. Does your wife wear earplugs a lot?

    2. David's right.

  3. Henceforth, Marco shall be known as "Puss in Boots."

    1. Go return to your seat at the kiddie table. The adults are talking.

    2. Braindead reportage by the fashion chief. Headbanging 70's heaviosity. RIP Lemmy.

  4. Bob's obsessive jealousy of Maddow strikes again. Joe Scarborough lied about Hillary Clinton yesterday but Bob would never call out a fellow conservative white guy. Much easier to attack a woman.

    1. Uh, right. Not familiar with this blog, I take it?

    2. ...Bob would never call out a fellow conservative white guy.

      Somerby's not a conservative white guy so in a very clever sense you're correct.


    3. Maddow is beyond criticism because Joe Scarborough lies about Clinton and Bob is male?

    4. 5:49 PM I'm very familiar with this blog. And BS spends ten times as much space bashing Maddow than anyone else.

      CMike "Somerby's not a conservative white guy so in a very clever sense you're correct."

      Yes I am correct. But Bob is an old conservative white guy. And it is interesting that you had to go back 12 years to find three examples of BS criticizing Joe. So that for proving my point for me.

      10:59 AM Never said that Maddow is beyond criticism. But there are far worse offenders out there that Bob ignores because of his obsessive hatred and jealousy of Maddow.

    5. Many is the time I would agree but this is Maddow at her indefeasible worst and Bob is right.

    6. ...And it is interesting that you had to go back 12 years to find three examples of BS criticizing Joe....

      Oh, so when you said "Bob would never call out" Scarborough or any other white male conservative you meant that in the sense that Somerby has not been constantly criticizing Scarborough and the rest of that legion (each of them by name, also?) over the course of the last few weeks. You're a slippery one.

      As for my going back to an eleven year old post for my first example, that's because I was just coming up with a quick list of posts where Somerby bashed Scarborough in the post headings, themselves. I wanted to keep it simple for you.

      And don't thank me for playing this string out. I get it, you're lonely, so think nothing of it.

    7. 5:23

      Your logic is: Maddow shouldn't be criticised when there are worse offenders? There is some sort objective pecking order which must be followed before a blogger criticises Maddow?

      And your logic is: Bob's criticism is invalid because he is a man and she is a woman?

      Women can't be criticised by men? What are you saying about her being a woman exactly? Your post is unclear and just a little illogical. Did you thunk it through?

    8. I think 5:23 is saying that Somerby cannot criticize Maddow because they are both white.

    9. Greg Even when Maddow is at her "indefensible worst" she is still 10x better than O'Reilly or Scarborough who BS ignores.

      CMike I see that you've decided to resort to semantics games and cheap insults. But you did prove my point for me. You had to go back over 10 years to find 3 examples of BS criticizing Scarborough. Proof that he rarely does so.

      10:24 AM That is not my logic as all. But I guess you have to dishonestly put words in the other guy's mouth when you don't have a real argument. I'm just pointing out Bob's dishonestly in calling himself a liberal when all he does is attack liberals while giving conservatives a pass.

    10. If a police officer gives speeding tickets, does that mean he is giving bank robbers a pass?

    11. 3:22 PM Yes if he's ignoring the bank robbers and let's them get away while pursuing someone that went a mile over the speed limit instead.

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  6. "The fact that he (?) nests here in the Daily Howler comments box does not speak well for Bob Somerby. "

    Somerby can be held accountable for his failure to moderate his comments, but not for who is attracted by that lack of moderation. David in CA is no more representative of Somerby's quality of blogging than KZ or the Maddow defenders or the Zimmerman defenders or the Men's Rights commenter who pops up here occasionally. When you don't moderate your comments, people come because they can say what they want and it seems to have nothing to do with the blog content.

    There are liberals here but there have always been conservatives too. I find that makes the discussion less one-note and more interesting, but it always means there is a lot of crap. Witness 9:48 and 6:40.

    The relentless criticism of Somerby based on specious nonsense is tiresome. Criticizing him for his commenters is just ridiculous.

    1. Thank heavens Bob never criticizes other publications for their reader commentary.

  7. Bob might have also pointed out that even if Saunders were to upset in a few tiny states he has little hope of taking a big one, so, Rachel
    is arguing a pretty idiotic point.

    Then there is the whole "using a Fox News poll" thing. As if such polls could be trusted to do anything but attempt to damage Clinton.

  8. I wrote
    Does anyone at the Times edit her columns?
    Is she obligated to prove out sources and references?
    Has she done any actual reporting in the past 15 years?
    How much is she paid?
    Has the Times considered having an actual liberal columnist, not a pretend liberal columnist? Why not Katrina vanden Heuvel?
    Perhaps Maureen Dowd does not realize that her irrational animus towards Bill and Hillary Clinton is destructive to political discussions?
    Would someone internally at the Times restrain her from writing columns against the Clintons?
    Also, can the Times tell Dowd to stop calling Barack Obama arrogant?
    Let her call Obama an “uppity nigger” in print, so her firing can be justified, please?
    Is any thought employed by you to respond to an email like this, or does an assistant of yours just send out an email form letter to people like me?
    Has anyone working with you told Pete Wells that his review of Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant was on point?

  9. Fine letter, Big guy. I have had a fair amount of correspondance with the Times Public Editor. I have been told that the Public Editor is not allowed to comment on the opinion pages.