Monday, November 22, 2004

In Denial

Richard Morin, the Washington Post's pollster, was "Surveying the Damage" yesterday.

But rather than flog the bloggers for rushing to publish the raw exit poll data on their Web sites, we may owe them a debt of gratitude. A few more presidential elections like this one and the public will learn to do the right thing and simply ignore news of early exit poll data. Then perhaps people will start ignoring the bloggers, who proved once more that their spectacular lack of judgment is matched only by their abundant arrogance.
Get the feeling he doesn't much like bloggers?
My imperfect memory of election was that the bloggers I was following noted the report of Wonkette and expressed their skepticism. For example here, here, here, here and here is Power Line.
Also IIRC a reason for the skepticism was the report that Virginia was going to be close. In other words, the bloggers showed skepticism - as they should have - of the exit polling data. They wondered if there was a concerted effort to undercount support for the President. But where was the arrogance?
I love what Morin writes towards the end:
Compounding and amplifying the exit poll woes this year was that the first wave of results, available moments after 1 p.m. on Internet Web sites everywhere, shaped the way journalists were thinking, at least through much of the afternoon and early evening. The first rounds exert a particularly strong influence on broadcast journalists because they use them to develop story lines ("Kerry won a majority of female voters, but Bush did better among women than he did four years ago . . .") before the evening news.
So even as he's dissing bloggers, he acknowledges that the MSM was trying to develop its stories based on - what they must have known was - false data! (And no doubt you recall that the MSM was calling Pennsylvania for Kerry on the basis of a smaller relative lead than what the President had in Ohio!)
In other words, it appears to me that the bloggers were the ones who were properly skeptical. And Morin wishes they'd disappear? Talk about your arrogance.

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