November 03, 2004

Advantage, Llamabutchers!


From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Chalk up the 2004 election as another strike for the subversive mischiefmakers of the internet, even if they got it wrong.

By early on Tuesday afternoon, New York time, long before the polls had closed, political bloggers began running stories about a likely victory for Senator John Kerry.

This was a full six hours before the polls began to close, and a full news cycle before the mainstream media could begin to report the election results. The stories were based on the leaked results of early exit polls, which the media are not permitted to report before the polls close.

These early exit polls were giving the senator a strong swing in all the key marginal states and a clear victory. The impact was immediate. The US stock market fell. In contrast, the mainstream media behaved with extreme caution. This was a hangover from the embarrassment of 2000, when the networks predicted a victory for Al Gore in Florida and thus a victory in the general election.

Because of the exit polls, TV networks spent much of the night anticipating a swing to Senator Kerry. But it gradually became apparent that despite a surge in voter participation he was not making significant gains on the 2000 result.

Not until the early hours of the morning (around 5pm yesterday, Sydney time) did it emerge that George Bush would hold the key battlefield states of Ohio and Florida, and had increased his popular vote by some 3 million.

By the time everyone quit for the night, the election was so close that no one had conceded anything, but it appeared that Mr Bush, like John Howard three weeks before, had increased his majority.

Something had gone wrong with the exit polling. And the internet had swallowed it whole.

Umm, yeah except for those of us who had it right (scroll down to the bottom of this post, and then work backwards through the day---did we buy into it? Were we wrong? No and No.)

SECRET MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE DINOSAUR MEDIA: Matt Drudge is not a blogger. He is an online tabloidist. A very successful one, a true pioneer, but he's not a blogger---he provides no analysis and has no link accountability. While he's often right, in the case of the mushy Kerry polls (which sounds like a vaguely pornographic Nancy Drew novel) he was hysterically, almost Axis Sully-ish wrong.

But maybe on purpose, because some folks made an absolute killing yesterday knowing the impact soft but misleading exit polls would have on the financial markets, and released them just in time to cause a huge sell-off without a chance for a serious reassessment before the markets closed. It's nothing that someone who watched Trading Places two or three times couldn't have figured out, with Matt Drudge in the role of Clarence Beaks. I wonder if Matt is right now sailing away on a container ship, stuck in a cage with a lovelorn gorilla, put there by a very young and yet still unfunny Al Franken....

Posted by Steve at November 3, 2004 12:17 PM | TrackBack

Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune. Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654 - 1734), Gnomologia, 1732

Posted by: bank who offer secured credit card at November 22, 2004 10:25 PM
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