Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Idiot of the Day

Jim Lampley, in an apparent effort to ingratiate himself with the tin foil hat brigade led by fellow sports-reporter-cum-journalist Keith Ohlberman, declares the 2004 election to be “The Biggest Story of Our Lives”:

Many of the participants in this blog have graduate school educations. It is damned near impossible to go to graduate school in any but the most artistic disciplines without having to learn about the basics of social research and its uncanny accuracy and validity. We know that professionally conceived samples simply do not yield results which vary six, eight, ten points from eventual data returns, thaty's why there are identifiable margins for error. We know that margins for error are valid, and that results have fallen within the error range for every Presidential election for the past fifty years prior to last fall. NEVER have exit polls varied by beyond-error margins in a single state, not since 1948 when this kind of polling began. In this past election it happened in ten states, all of them swing states, all of them in Bush's favor. Coincidence? Of course not.

Karl Rove isn't capable of conceiving and executing such a grandiose crime? Wake up. They did it. The silence of traditional media on this subject is enough to establish their newfound bankruptcy. The revolution will have to start here. I challenge every other thinker at the Huffington Post: is there any greater imperative than to reverse this crime and reestablish democracy in America? Why the mass silence? Let's go to work with the circumstantial evidence, begin to narrow from the outside in, and find some witnesses who will turn. That's how they cracked Watergate. This is bigger, and I never dreamed I would say that in my baby boomer lifetime.

And the incontrovertible evidence, the smoking gun, as it were?

At 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day, I checked the sportsbook odds in Las Vegas and via the offshore bookmakers to see the odds as of that moment on the Presidential election. John Kerry was a two-to-one favorite. You can look it up.

People who have lived in the sports world as I have, bettors in particular, have a feel for what I am about to say about this: these people are extremely scientific in their assessments. These people understand which information to trust and which indicators to consult in determining where to place a dividing line to influence bets, and they are not in the business of being completely wrong. Oddsmakers consulted exit polling and knew what it meant and acknowledged in their oddsmaking at that moment that John Kerry was winning the election.

Yes, boys and girls, the sports reporter has it all figured out… the election was stolen because the bookies had it figured that Kerry would win. Never mind that they were looking at the same RAW DATA as everyone else, and never mind that the FINAL, SCRUBBED exit poll data actually supports the “Bush Wins” outcome, and never mind that those of us who have actually paid enough attention to this stuff to have an informed opinion realize that social research certainly DOES NOT exhibit “uncanny accuracy and validity”, especially when you are talking about exit polls, which CAN NOT be used in any scientific way to predict outcome, and which the pollsters later admit were conducted by a bunch of nineteen-year old college kids with almost no training and certainly no real experience at anything other than going to school.

(I'm sure I've posted previously on the invalidity of exit polls in predicting outcome, but I can't find it. And if you actually make any effort to be informed on subjects like this, you already know all that anyway!)

I simply had no idea that any being walking on two legs was still flogging this particular dead horse.

Oh, by the way, I’m sure we can all take note of the fact that, like exit polls, oddsmakers are NEVER wrong…especially when they’re looking at distorted and largely irrelevant data.

If you look at the very first post on this blog, it’s a composite of emails sent to various persons. It starts after the election. The reason for that is that prior to that time I operated a subscriber newsletter on politics, which ended after election day. Please note the message dated Nov. 2, derived from an e-mail I sent to subscribers, pointing out that all exit poll data from that afternoon should be disregarded. You may also remember Hugh Hewitt’s famous “everybody at The Corner go out and shoot hoops until 6:00 p.m.” post on election day.

While actresses, sports tv reporters, barking moonbats and assorted left wingnuts wearing the latest in tin-foil headgear may have been confused by the exit polls, many of us who have actually studied electoral politics for more than five minutes, and analyzed more than one election, knew those exit polls stank within minutes of seeing them.

As a final note, the Pew poll right before the election pegged the numbers pretty closely…but I’m sure those raw exit poll numbers compiled by nineteen year old Kerry supporters are much more accurate.

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