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Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Guest Contributor | 1 comment

Who Won the Debate? Duh.

First Debate “highlights”

The spin cycle has gone into overdrive. Naturally. Here is craven and former news organization CNN, hedging their bets meaninglessly:

CNN Poll: Split decision on debate
Posted by CNN Political Unit

Hempstead, New York (CNN) – Give a slight edge to President Barack Obama.

Forty-six percent of voters who watched Tuesday night’s presidential debate said that the president won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Tuesday night’s faceoff here at Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island. Thirty-nine percent questioned said Republican nominee Mitt Romney did the better job.

Obama’s seven-point advantage came among a debate audience that was somewhat more Republican than the country as a whole and is within the survey’s sampling error.

Ah, Republican oversampling and plus or minus more than seven points sampling error? What’s the point. More to the point: What’ s the “news”?

Leave it to CNN to put this equivocation up as news.

I say this because of the utter idiocy of their “reporting” on the Supreme Court’s disposition of the Ohio voting case yesterday, QUOTE:

October 16th, 2012
12:48 PM ET

High court allows early voting in Ohio
Posted by CNN Supreme Court Producer* Bill Mears

[* WTF is a “Supreme Court Producer”?!?? Having only been a media and journalism professional for thirty-six years, I am unfamiliar with the term.]

(CNN) – The United States Supreme Court has given the green light to early voting in Ohio in the three days prior to November’s election.

The brief, one sentence order from the court Tuesday is a setback for Republican leaders in the state, who had asked the justices to step in and allow pending restrictions to take effect….

Uh, except Mr. CNN “Reporter” can’t be bothered to quote said sentence or link to it, since Supreme Court decisions are IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN!!!

“I wanna be your back door man …”

Seriously: these boobs continue to pretend that they’re a news organization? Ted Turner would be spinning in his grave, were he there yet.  As with everything else Time/Warner has touched, the entire Turner operation they bought has been turned to crap, like the Gallup Poll, which ALSO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the mega-conglomerate media corporation (and who supplied all the “undecided” voters for the debate, please note). Here’s the sentence, by the by (in case Bill Mears ever wants to make the transition from amateur hackery to real live journalism):

(ORDER LIST: 568 U.S.)


The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.

I guess that sentence was too difficult for CNN to include in their reportage, just as the oversampled “within the margin of error” poll THEN BREAKS DOWN into endless blather on instant polling with CNN (with great relief) able to actually report nothing at all. (Or, in 332 words on the web, there wasn’t room for the  solitary sentence that forms the basis for the story? Right.)

Let me leave aside the moronic reliance on polling that passes as “election coverage” and don’t pay any attention to any side commentary that I might make noting that polling is inherently flawed AS A PRACTICE USED TO ANALYZE elections, because polling can only tell us what we KNOW, and can NEVER tell us what we DON’T know (and that it is what we DON’T know that ultimately drives elections and especially SURPRISE elections).

A vote to ban the incest exception for rape is
a vote for more people like US! Hooray!

CNN has, in other words, in modern craven practice, managed to produce a poll filled with blather and endless qualifications that tells us very little, so much so that CNN itself debunks its own poll in the second paragraph of its own story.  Hey, if you want to deconstruct something, CNN, try deconstruction your conceit that you’re a news organization. As a longtime observer I can state that CNN is NOT. Occasional journalists inadvertently wander through, of course, but mostly the CNN Mission Statement must be something like, “First: Do no news.” Never come to a conclusion; split all questions down the middle, and don’t bother actually including news material in your news stories. (And get conned by any flim-flam artist who dances down the turnpike.)


President Obama won the debate. How can you tell?

Exhibit Number One:

Karl Rove says that Romney won the debate (on Faux Nooz.)

(Rove is so allergic to the truth that any major political pronouncement is invariably and reflexively a lie. Or, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if the enemy of Karl Rove was the truth. Which it is.)

Oh, and that anybody considers Fox to be “News.” (No wonder CNN can get away with pretending it’s still a news network staffed by journalists.)

Exhibit Number Two:

The Right has gone overboard beclowning themselves that Candy Crowley wasn’t “fair” to Mitt, “fact checked” him (see #3) and actually counted the interruptions, etc. to “prove” that Mitt got a raw deal. If you won, you don’t complain that you were treated unfairly.

And  squeal that (gasp!) Michelle Obama CLAPPED and BROKE THE RULES!!!

Winners don’t get that nitpicky if they won. They only do if they lost.

Exhibit Number Three:

Reince Priebus doubled down on Karl Rove’s swiftboating attack on the 9-11 attacks, as the rightie blogosmear has gone into overdrive to “prove” that Obama didn’t exactly precisely in the words Mitt demands retroactively say that Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

(There’s nothing more hilarious than the satanically-inspired splitting hairs to prove that their lies are the truth. Really? You agree that this corpse-humping swiftboating attack has ANYTHING to do with the truth? Or patriotism? Or any moral approach to governance?)

Exhibit Number Four:

Craven PBS/NPR and their equally craven reporter Mara Liason  (and Fox News shill) soberly reported (seemingly with a straight face)  “both sides claimed victory” as a way of not reporting the results that they were purportedly reporting. Had Mitt Romney won the debate, there would have been no problem stating that the President had lost.

As I listen to NPR, the former White House Republican speechwriter is “drilling down” to find that Mitt Romney somehow won on the “core issues” even though instant polling indicates an Obama win.

As I’ve said before, the debate about the debate is the only debate that matters.

The debate about the debate …

Right now, the Republicans are debating as hard as they can that either a) Mitt Romney “won” the actual debate  POSITIONS or b) this won’t be the “game changer” that the first debate allegedly was.

So, even stripped of factual bases (and this is the grand obscenity of our culture: that one may, implicitly, win or lose a debate without actually telling the truth, can be demonstrably be proven to have lied, and somehow it’s like the Seattle/Green Bay game in which no matter how lousy the referees’ call was, the final “call” stands), the coverage pretends that this is a sporting event and there was clear “winner” and “loser.”

Given that the ultimate winner of any and all debates will be chosen—without any real reference to the debates—on November 6th by the voters, the question of winning and losing is “academic,” yes. But, given the reaction from the GOP side of the aisle, we can safely state with surety that President Obama won the debate.

Or, we can rationalize like an alcoholic at an intervention and prove that nothing in the intervention is true and people are just being mean to us.

Not the only “tea party” in town anymore …

In which case, you would be a Republican or an even more rarefied “conservative” who is “independent,” because you are an island, you John Galt, you.

In the final analysis, the true loser of the modern political debate has been fact and truth, with a lapdog media that explicitly doesn’t give a good goddam about them, and explicitly denies their ever having existed in the first place. As this most important election of our lifetimes will be decided, evidently, entirely on the basis of how appealing a proven serial liar’s lies are. Mitt the Mendacious and his Prevaricating Party.

(I don’t say the Democrats don’t lie on occasion, but they haven’t turned it into a cargo cult of greed, power and Roman excess.)

And that’s a spot that the demonically-inspired liars of the GOP and the post-modernist deconstructors of the “liberal media” can comfortably occupy together.

With a cup of hot cocoa, terry cloth bathrobes  and a bottle of “personal lubricant.”


A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog