Patterico's Pontifications


When Is a 19-Point Gap “Narrow” and a 12-Point Gap “Sizable”? When It’s the L.A. Times Doing the Measuring!

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:41 pm

The L.A. Times is reporting that Barack Obama leads John McCain by 12 points in a national poll. (If you toss in Ralph Nader and Bob Barr it’s a 15-point lead.)

Guess how they describe that margin?

Wait! Don’t answer yet.

First, recall that, when a poll found a much larger 19-point lead for opponents of gay marriage, this very newspaper told us:

  • voters “slimly reject” gay marriage
  • voters “narrowly reject” gay marriage
  • voters reject gay marriage by
    • a “small margin”
    • a “narrow margin”
    • “a bit”
  • a “bare majority” opposes gay marriage

Remembering that, how do you think the L.A. Times is describing Obama’s much smaller 12-point lead?

A “teensy-tiny margin”? A “wafer-thin gap”? “Not even a majority”?

You guessed it:

Buoyed by enthusiasm among Democrats and public concern over the economy, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has captured a sizable lead over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the opening of the general election campaign for president, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.

Sounds like the country is “in play” for McCain!

UPDATE: Another McCain — Robert Stacy McCain — argues that the L.A. Times has oversampled young voters and undersampled the geezers who are more likely to vote for the “older than dirt” McCain. He supports his argument by reference to exit polls from 2004.

McCain Adviser: You Know What’d Really Help? A Terror Attack

Filed under: 2008 Election,General,Morons — Patterico @ 8:07 am

The Washington Post reports:

A top adviser to Sen. John McCain said that a terrorist attack in the United States would be a political benefit to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a comment that was immediately disputed by the candidate and denounced by his Democratic rival.

Charles R. Black Jr., one of McCain’s most senior political advisers, said in an interview with Fortune magazine that a fresh terrorist attack “certainly would be a big advantage to him.

Brilliant. But why stop there?

Why, it would be even more beneficial if the attack hit a blue state, wouldn’t it? As long as Mr. Black is on the subject, why not provide the list of states where a huge terror attack would be most beneficial to John McCain?

Oh, and hey — it seems like it would be beneficial to John McCain if the attack took out Barack Obama. Wouldn’t it? It would be even more beneficial to John McCain if it also took out other likely replacements for Obama, like Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

In all this talk about what would be beneficial to John McCain, I just thought of something that would not be beneficial to John McCain.

Saying this kind of stuff to Fortune Magazine.

I can see that — and I’m not even a top political adviser!

L.A. Times Distortion of Kozinski’s Material “In Many Ways More Disturbing Than Anything Kozinski Had In His Stash”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Kozinski — Patterico @ 6:21 am

A publication called GayWired reviews the facts of the Kozinski debacle and finds misconduct — by the Los Angeles Times:

[L.A. Times reporter Scott] Glover’s articles are inflammatory, but they are at best misleading.

Kozinski’s self-imposed removal from the Isaacs case is a chilling result of the power of the press, and the subsequent revelations of the actual content of his site and how greatly it differs from what Glover describes is in many ways more disturbing than anything Kozinski had in his stash.

Investigative journalism has brought about many great things in the past—consider the Watergate scandal and Deep Throat, as well as the Pentagon Papers and leaked elements of the 9/11 report. But this is the second time in only a few months that the Los Angeles Times has printed a story that is either blatantly false (its theory that rapper Sean Combs was involved in the shooting of Tupac Shakur) or, in this case, irresponsibly misleading.

The Los Angeles Times editorial says that it makes sense for Kozinski to recuse himself from the obscenity case because “the website controversy has become a distraction and will undermine public trust in the verdict.” Indeed, the Isaacs trial has the potential to be of great importance in the struggle for first amendment rights: Rights, incidentally, that Kozinski has spent much of his career defending.

But the publication fails to acknowledge its own irresponsibility in bringing this “controversy” to the public eye in the first place, and doing so while using misleading descriptions and questionable timing. The LA Times may be saying “so what,” but were it not for its own reporter, Kozinski would—rightly—not be required to say anything at all on the matter.


At the Staten Island Advance, columnist Daniel Leddy piles on:

There is a final irony here, provided curiously enough by the Los Angeles Times itself. Shortly after it published the Kozinski story, the paper stated editorially that it really wasn’t interested in hearing any explanations from the judge. Instead, it asserted that his only response to the story should be “so what?”

This, because “scolds who argue that judges should be prevented from engaging in such private activity as gathering subjectively amusing or even appealing smut should recall that the 1st Amendment is not limited to high-minded endeavors”.

Well said.

Now all that remains is for the Los Angeles Times to explain why it chose to humiliate Kozinski in the first place.

They don’t explain such things, Mr. Leddy. Your reputation is in their hands, and that’s all there is to it.

No explanation required.

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