O'Reilly and Ingraham on Minnesota Senate Vote Recount, Also Media Matters inaccuracies

From the November 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: There are 200 votes separating Senator Norm Coleman from his challenger Al Franken in Minnesota. There will be a recount, because Coleman's lead is so small, but now there ar charges of cheating. After the vote last week, Coleman lead Franken by 727 votes now the lead is down to about 200 votes with various things adding to 458 to Franken and taking 63 away from Coleman. He didn't get one vote, Coleman. So things are looking pretty shaky in Minnesota even more so because the guy in charge of the election, Mark Ritchie, said this:

[begin video clip]

CONTESSA BREWER (MSNBC anchor): Do you understand why the Coleman campaign is now questioning the integrity of the vote counting?

RITCHIE: Oh, I think that is normal campaign. Their goal is to win at any price.

[end video clip]

O'REILLY: That is pretty shocking. He is supposed to be impartial. But then it got even worse. When hours after making that statement Ritchie said this:

[begin video clip]

RITCHIE: I don't have any reaction to that because I didn't say that their campaign is willing to win at any price.

[end video clip]

O'REILLY: He just said it. Sounds like Barney Frank. Joining us now once again to analyze this Laura Ingraham.

You know. Now we are into the twilight zone. OK. Just like Barney Frank. We play the clip and the guy comes on anyd says that I didn't say what you just heard. But this guy is the secretary of state. He's in charge of overseeing this thing, and now we've been investigating it. Do you realize that since Election Day -- do you know, that since Election Day, Coleman didn't get -- they didn't find one vote for Coleman. He lost 47 or 67 votes. The other guy, Franken, they're finding votes all over the place -- in the trunks of cars --

INGRAHAM: Well, you know --

O'REILLY: -- you know, up in the tree. You know, and, I mean, everybody's watching this, so I don't know, can you -- do you think they can get away with it?

INGRAHAM: This is vote counting by David Copperfield. I mean, this is like a David Blaine illusionist finding votes everywhere.

Look, this is my rule of thumb, Bill. Anytime a Republican in a race like this is only winning by, let's say, a thousand votes or less, then you can bet that that Republican's going to end up losing that seat. It just always seems to work out this way, that -- that the election officials in the state where there's, you know, some type of dispute, always get into this kind of gray area, and -- and we find now that these votes -- these 504 votes -- came from three precincts -- just three precincts out of the whole state. That's staggering.

And as John Lott pointed out, Bill, in a great column he wrote that was in today's New York Post, the -- the numbers of votes they found -- found for -- for Cole -- for Franken, excuse me, since Election Day outpace the number they found for Obama by 2.5, OK? Two-point-nine times as many votes were found for all Democratic officials statewide.

O'REILLY: Well, but -- but here's the deal. Here's the deal.

INGRAHAM: Something doesn't add up there. It's very strange.

O'REILLY: Everything doesn't add up, not something. Everything doesn't add up. You're not finding any votes for the Republican guy? None?

INGRAHAM: No, of course not.

O'REILLY: You're taking votes away from the guy? And then, all of a sudden, as you pointed out, three -- and what are there, a thousand precincts? More than a thousand. Three, all right, heavily Democratic, they're kicking votes in like this. But here's the deal. If Franken gets in, that puts the Democrats over the 60 magic number. So, that -- that means it's every American, because this is a far-left loon we're looking at right here -- not Bill Clinton, Al Franken. He's a loon, OK? So, if he gets in, every American, every single person in this country is gonna be impacted. And I just -- see, I don't know what you do here.

If -- if the fix is in -- and you just heard the secretary of state -- the fix is in. What does Coleman do? Does he take it to the federal level? What does he do?

Media Matters has a transcript of the exchange between O'Reilly and Ingraham where they misquote O'Reilly and cuts out any material that points out the problems with Ritchie's comments. Just compare the beginning of the transcript that I have here with the beginning of their transcript.

Media Matters changes completely alter the impression created by O'Reilly's broadcast. Media Matters also edits the video to completely change the meaning of the exchange. Media Matters is taking O'Reilly's statement about Coleman not gaining a single vote completely out of context. O'Reilly was obviously just talking about their not being a net loss and not any net pick up for Coleman.

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New Kindle Version of Freedomnomics is available

For those who are interested, a Kindle version of Freedomnomics is now available. A Kindle version of the book works with Amazon.com's portable electronic book reader. I don't have one yet, but a few friends tell me it is a handy way for they to travel with multiple books at the same time. If you haven't read Freedomnomics yet, I think that it is my best book.

If you are willing, hitting the "Economics" tag under "Tags Customers Associate with This Product" is appreciated just so people who are searching for economics books will find it easier to see it.



Some Evidence that the Bailout of the Car Companies is to Protect Union Workers from any cuts

CNBC has this piece:

United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said it is critical the Big 3 receive a financial aid package from Congress to avoid one or more of Detroit's auto makers from sliding into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy would mean a liquidation, or going out of business for an auto maker.

"We are in a crisis," Gettelfinger said. "We need a package approved by this lame duck session of Congress. If we don't get it, I'm not sure some of these auto makers will make it to mid-January when Barack Obama becomes president." . . .

Gettelfinger said the auto makers would slide from a Chapter 11 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because potential buyers will not but from a company that may or may not be around in years to come. That would mean already weak sales could plunge even further and reduce revenue for the Big 3 even more.

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Ed Morrissey on the Undervote Controversy in Minnesota

You can read Ed Morrissey's piece here.


Slate on Guns

Jack Shafer has a piece up on gun sales. It makes a couple useful points about media coverage, though there are some significant mistakes in it. Here is what I wrote him today:

1) Your article seems to assume that each background check means that just one gun is sold. In fact, any number of guns might have been purchased with that sale. It is quite possible that the number of checks could fall and the number of guns sold increased. The reverse is also true. This seems like a pretty important point to at least acknowledge given your piece. My guess that in the current period gun sales are rising by more than the number of background checks.

2) (Nota bene: These days, 1.6 percent of gun applications are denied each year, translating into no gun sale.)
-- initially denied. This is not to say that they were permanently denied. It is very difficult to figure out how many guns that translates into for multiple reasons. Some may be denied a second time. You also don't know how many guns were involved in each sale.

3) National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. NORC found that gun ownership in the United States has been falling since 1977 (PDF, Page 11),

-- The NORC survey is basically the only survey that I know of that has shown this type of drop over time. That by itself should be enough, but Tom Smith who ran the survey for many years had strong views on the gun issue and the survey was also received funding by the Joyce foundation.

A reader who posted a comment below brought up another excellent point that I am kicking myself for not mentioning: in some states permit holders are exempt from having to get a background check done and as the number of permits have gone up this would cause the number of background checks to fall. The numbers also don't include firearm transfers even in those states where a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check is required for such a transfer.

Other NICS info is available here.

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Palin Remarks to Republican Governors Association on Nov. 13th

Palin is amazing. I only wish that she had fewer restrictions on her during the campaign.
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Gun Owners not welcome to serve in Obama's Administration?

CNS has the story here:

President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is showing its hostility toward lawful firearm owners by “weeding out” job applicants who own firearms themselves, a Second Amendment group says.

The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) notes that question 59 – part of a 63-item questionnaire given to Obama administration job applicants – asks for information about firearms owned by the applicant and his or her family.

Found in the questionnaire’s “Miscellaneous” section, question 59 reads, “Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”

Other questions in the Miscellaneous section ask about the applicant’s postings on Facebook and MySpace Web sites; health and medical status; associations with groups that could be used against the applicant; and any other information that could prove embarrassing to the applicant.

Although it’s not clear that gun ownership would disqualify a job applicant, ISRA says question 59 shows the Obama team’s “distaste” for firearm owners.

"Question 59 provides clear insight into how Obama and his people perceive firearm owners," said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “The questionnaire poses a number of questions asking the applicant to reveal any unethical activities, or embarrassing Internet chats, then wraps up by asking if anyone in the applicant's family owns a firearm. Obviously, Obama feels that owning a firearm is akin to talking dirty in Internet chat rooms.”

Pearson says the attitude is not surprising, given that Obama – as an Illinois State senator -- voted for SB1195, which included a provision calling for gun owners to be registered in the same manner as sex offenders.

"Once again, we have to ask ourselves just what candidate Obama was talking about when he said he has 'respect' for the 2nd Amendment," said Pearson. . . . .

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"Orange County sheriff's crackdown on gun permits comes under fire"

The LA Times has this story:

In her first five months in office, newly appointed Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has brought in a new management team, fired deputies accused of misconduct and tried to distance the department from the legacy of her indicted predecessor, Michael S. Carona.

But the most controversy she has generated has been her decision to review the concealed weapons permits issued by Carona.

Hutchens said she was concerned that more than 1,100 people held concealed carry permits issued by the former sheriff -- nearly three times the number of permits issued in Los Angeles County. She assigned a lieutenant to review each concealed weapons permit to determine whether the holder had a valid reason for carrying a weapon in public and whether these were people whose safety was at risk.

In the months that followed, the department sent 422 letters to permit holders, warning them that they could lose their licenses unless they could provide the department with valid reasons for having them. . . .


Media Matters gets it wrong, again and again:

Media Matters is know for not being very accurate, but I had to comment on two posts that they have today.

NBC's Today program on Coleman-Franken race.

Summary: In a report on NBC's Today about the Minnesota Senate race, Lee Cowan repeated the discredited rumor that "ballots have suddenly appeared out of nowhere, including some found unsecured in an election worker's car." In fact, according to election officials quoted in news reports, the ballots did not "suddenly appear[] out of nowhere," and they weren't "unsecured." Cowan also aired a statement by Fritz Knaak, a lawyer for Sen. Norm Coleman, apparently critical of the handling of the ballots in question, but he didn't report previous statements in which Knaak reportedly said he felt assured that the ballots weren't compromised. . . .

Here is the obvious problem: Having one Democrat election judge in control of the ballots is not making sure that they are secure. You are supposed to have the ballots in the control of the election judges from all the different parties. Previous precedent going back to Elmer Anderson in 1962 such ballots would not have been counted.

Attacking talk radio, Media Matters says:

Summary: Several conservative talk radio hosts have accused Democrats of "trying to steal" the Minnesota senatorial election for Democratic challenger Al Franken over incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R). They offer no evidence for the accusation; indeed, the state's Republican governor has said there is none. . . .

I know that at least Hannity (as shown in the quote MM reports) and Limbaugh referenced research showing that the probability that the changes which occurred were extremely low.


Major changes ahead in abortion

Why should the government subsidize abortions? In any case, we seemed destined for major changes very soon. THis is hardly a very balanced article from the WSJ, but in any case it outlines the planned changes.

Supporters of legal abortion were elated by last week’s election. Pro-choice forces gained 17 seats in the House and five in the Senate – plus, of course, the White House.

What will they do with their new clout?

First up: Press President-elect Barack Obama to reverse a policy of withholding U.S. family-planning grants from any international group that provides abortions, or even counsels women about that option. “We’d like to see that overturned on his first day in office,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Mr. Obama’s transition team has already indicated he shares that priority.

Liberals also expect Mr. Obama to stop federal funding of abstinence-only education and to boost subsidies for poor women’s reproductive health care, including contraception and gynecological exams.

That agenda, if enacted, would likely send more federal funds flowing to Planned Parenthood. Along with being the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood teaches sex ed to teenagers across the country and offers women subsidized health care through a network of nearly 900 clinics.

The prospect of Planned Parenthood getting more taxpayer dollars – at a time when the organization is reporting record revenue – has anti-abortion activists up in arms. . . .


Mark Ritchie's statements on Coleman's campaign wanting "to win at any price"

Democrat Mark Ritchie is heading up the board that is overseeing the Senate recount in Minnesota.


The Obama Market

The WSJ has this:

The voters may be full of hope about the looming Obama Presidency, but so far investors aren't. No President-elect in the postwar era has been greeted with a more audible hiss from Wall Street. The Dow has lost 1,342 points, or about 14%, since the election, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting similar skids. The Dow fell another 4.7% yesterday.

Much of this is due to hedge fund deleveraging, as well as dreadful corporate earnings reports and pessimism that the recession will be deeper than many had hoped. We also don't want to read too much into short-term market moves. But there's little doubt that uncertainty, and some fear, over Barack Obama's economic agenda is also contributing to the downdraft.

The substance of what Mr. Obama has promised for the economy is bearish for stocks. The threat of higher tax rates, especially on capital gains and dividends, now may be getting priced into the market. Add that to investor doubts about Democratic policies on unions, health care and trade -- and no wonder stocks are falling. Lower stock prices in turn reduce household net worth, thus slamming consumer confidence and contributing to what appears to be a consumer spending strike. . . .

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Story about Palin not knowing that Africa was a continent was not based on McCain adviser

This guy has made a career of giving false information to the media. Fox News has the story here.

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a FOX News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

"The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air," said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. "We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes." . . .


KSFO on Lee Rodgers' show tomorrow

Lee Rodgers' will have me on KSFO in San Francisco tomorrow at 9:05 EST AM/6:05 PST AM.


Media today

Here are some of the national media that I have for today. All involve discussions about the Minnesota race.
I will be on NBC's Today Show at either 7:15 or 7:18 AM.
Bill Bennett's Morning In America at 8:05 AM
Mike Gallagher Show at 9:45 AM

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Greta Van Susteren's interview with Governor Palin

For those interested (and it was a good interview), you can watch the interview below. I really wish that the McCain campaign would have let her respond earlier on so many questions about clothes and everything else.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
A transcript of the interview is available here.

Dennis Miller on Sarah Palin and other issues. He is very funny.

You can find McCain commenting on the attacks on Palin here.


WSJ Unsigned Editorial Largely Repeats what was in My Fox News Piece on Monday

From Wednesday's WSJ:

Up in Two Harbors, another liberal outpost, Mr. Franken picked up an additional 246 votes. In Partridge Township, he racked up another 100. Election officials in both places claim they initially miscommunicated the numbers. Odd, because in the Two Harbors precinct, none of the other contests recorded any changes in their vote totals.

According to conservative statistician John Lott, Mr. Franken's gains so far are 2.5 times the corrections made for Barack Obama in the state, and nearly three times the gains for Democrats across Minnesota Congressional races. Mr. Lott notes that Mr. Franken's "new" votes equal more than all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the Presidential, Congressional and statehouse races combined (482 votes). . . .

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Quotes from Election Officials in Minnesota

My son Maxim, who is working right now at Fox News, interviewed several people today about the vote counting typos in Minnesota. As I noted in my piece, these stories might be right, but it still doesn't explain why these problems are occurring for just this one race. Still, they might be correct and I thought that it was important that I pass these points on to my readers.

Paul Tynjola, St. Louis County Auditor

Added 100 votes for Franken and 100 votes for Obama.

Tynjola said that he thought county workers had simply made two typos when the precinct phoned the numbers in. "I guess you could mistake a 5 for a 4," he said, adding that the workers were probably tired.

He said that the thought the error had been made by a county worker and not at the precinct level, because the total number of votes cast in the race had been entered correctly from the beginning.

"There are no suspicions on our part that there were any shenanigans here," he said. "Correcting these errors is part of a normal process that we go through every election cycle… it's unfortunate [that] it's the one race everyone's watching where this happened."

Tynjola said he understood the scrutiny on the vote changes, however.

"If I were a candidate in this race, I'd want to know what was going on with this."


Cathy J. Clemmer, Pine County Auditor

Added 100 votes for Franken.

Clemmer said that the 100 votes added for Franken were the result of correcting a data entry error by a county elections worker (29 was entered instead of 129.) She said that the precinct always had the right total, but the county had entered it incorrectly.

"I don't know if you've ever worked on a keyboard at 2 in the morning," Clemmer said. "Anything can happen."

The error was detected in a canvassing of precinct vote counts to make sure they matched up with county totals. Clemmer added that today the county had just finished checking results in the rest of the state, and had found no errors.


Rachel Smith, Anoka County Election Manager

Subtracted 90 votes from Franken and 124 for Coleman. Made similar changes in all other races.

"The precinct officials ran the absentee ballots through the machine twice," Smith explained. "We found out Wednesday and immediately worked to correct it – the updated results were reported Thursday."

Smith explained how the incident had happened. When election workers feed ballots into the optical scan machine for counting, she said, they are supposed to insert a card into the machine when feeding regular ballots and a different card when feeding absentee ballots. That way the machine keeps a tally of how many absentee and regular ballots were cast. Smith said that, unfortunately, precinct officials forgot to put the absentee card in when feeding those ballots. That caused the machine to report that no absentee ballots had been cast, and so the precinct workers assumed they had not been counted and feed them in again.

"They had been working hard helping voters all day," Smith explained. "I think they just got flustered."



On the Dennis Prager Show at 2:05 PM EST to discuss Minnesota Senate race



New paper available on health insurance and health care quality

I have a new paper that I have just put up at the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) that I think that people will find interesting. You can download a copy of the paper here.

Uninsured Americans Vs. Insured Canadians: Who is More Satisfied with Their Health Care?

John R Lott
University of Maryland

The debate over government-provided insurance for Americans frequently makes two assumptions: that the uninsured are unsatisfied with the health care they receive and that government health insurance would improve the quality of care for the uninsured. This paper finds that the vast majority of uninsured Americans are satisfied with their health care. Indeed, only 2.3 percent of Americans are both uninsured and very dissatisfied with the quality of the medical care that they receive. The paper finds that Canadians are much closer to uninsured Americans than to insured Americans in their satisfaction with their health care. There is also little difference in the level of Americans' satisfaction with their health care based upon race, marital status, educational attainment, income, or political views. There is some difference in satisfaction based on age and between the most extreme levels of educational attainment.

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Obama will want to enact curbs on concealed handguns

The AP via Fox News notes this:

"Gun rights advocates interpret that as meaning he'll at least enact curbs on ownership of assault weapons and concealed weapons."

Before the election the media kept on repeating what a great backer of gun rights that Obama was. Now they talk about the regulations that he supports.

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Glenn Beck Show at 10:45 AM EST on Tuesday

Somehow I am going to fit this in all the talks that I have tomorrow. Glenn is nice enough to have me on his show again to talk about my article at Fox News on the Minnesota Senate election.

A transcript of the interview is available here.

UPDATE:I will be on Thom Hartman's show on Air America at 2:05 PH to discuss gun control.

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On the Lars Larson Show at 8:20 EST PM

Obama's campaign scrubs website of campaign promises

The Washington Times has the story here:

Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama scrubbed Change.gov, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site.

Gone are the promises on how an Obama administration would handle 25 different agenda items - everything from Iraq and immigration to taxes and urban policy - all items laid out on his campaign Web site, www.BarackObama.com.

Instead, the official agenda on Change.gov has been boiled down to one vague paragraph proclaiming a plan “to revive the economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign policy objectives.”

“We are currently retooling the Web site,” said Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro.

The site went active on Wednesday and was available to the public Thursday. The agenda items, which were active for at least part of the weekend, appear to have been deleted by late Saturday. . . .


New Op-ed up at Fox News: Vote Counting in Minnesota

My new piece at Fox News can be found here. It starts this way:

Minnesota is becoming to 2008 politics what Florida was in 2000 or Washington State in 2004 – a real mess. The outcome will determine whether Democrats get 58 members of the U.S. Senate, giving them an effective filibuster proof vote on many issues.

When voters woke up on the Wednesday morning after the election, Senator Norm Coleman led Al Franken by what seemed like a relatively comfortable 725 votes. By Wednesday night, that lead had shrunk to 477. By Thursday night, it was down to 336. By Friday, it was 239. Late Sunday night, the difference had gone down to just 221 – a total change over 4 days of 504 votes.

Amazingly this all has occurred even though there hasn’t even yet been a recount. Just local election officials correcting claimed typos in how the numbers were reported. Counties will certify their results today and their final results will be sent to the Secretary of State by Friday. The actual recount won’t even start for over another week on November 19th.

Correcting these typos were claimed to add 435 votes to Franken and take 69 votes from Coleman. Corrections were posted in other races, but they were only a fraction of those for the Senate. The Senate gains for Franken were 2.5 times the change in the presidential race count, 2.9 times the total change across all Minnesota congressional races, and 5 times the change for all state House races. . . .

The piece has gotten widespread coverage on everything from Drudge to HotAir to Ann Coulter and many other websites. For two days now it has been the most read and emailed piece on Fox News.

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Several talks at Marietta College on Monday and Tuesday

My schedule on Monday and Tuesday at Marietta College is as follows:

Monday, November 10, 2008

4:00pm-5:00pm Q&A Session with students. Location: McDonough Balcony. Host: Dr. Greg Delemeester, Professor of Economics.

5:30pm-7:00pm Reception and dinner. Location: Betty Cleland Dining Room, McDonough Center, Marietta College. Host: Dr. Jacqueline Khorassani, Chair of the ERT and Associate Professor of Economics.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

8:00am-9:00am Breakfast with students. Location: Lafayette Hotel. Host: Dr. Greg Delemeester. Delemeester will meet Lott at 7:50am to take to hotel.

9:30am-10:45am Economics 360 (Law & Economics). Location: 103 Thomas Hall. Host: Dr. Greg Delemeester.

11:30am-1:30pm Economic Roundtable Luncheon (Topic: “What the New President's Economic Policies Will Mean for the Country.”)
Location: Parkersburg Country Club.

The notice at the college for the talks can be seen here.


Reagan on why people should be able to run their own lives



Washington Post: "An Obama Tilt in Campaign Coverage"

The Ombudsman at the Washington Post writes this:

The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.

My assistant, Jean Hwang, and I have been examining Post coverage since Nov. 11 of last year on issues, voters, fundraising, the candidates' backgrounds and horse-race stories on tactics, strategy and consultants. We also have looked at photos and Page 1 stories since Obama captured the nomination June 4.

The count was lopsided, with 1,295 horse-race stories and 594 issues stories. The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views. There were no broad stories on energy or science policy, and there were few on religion issues.

Bill Hamilton, assistant managing editor for politics, said, "There are a lot of things I wish we'd been able to do in covering this campaign, but we had to make choices about what we felt we were uniquely able to provide our audiences both in Washington and on the Web. I don't at all discount the importance of issues, but we had a larger purpose, to convey and explain a campaign that our own David Broder described as the most exciting he has ever covered, a narrative that unfolded until the very end. I think our staff rose to the occasion."

The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces about McCain, 58, than there were about Obama, 32, and Obama got the editorial board's endorsement. The Post has several conservative columnists, but not all were gung-ho about McCain.

Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Reporters, photographers and editors found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics.

The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786. Both had hard-fought primary campaigns, but Obama's battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton was longer, and the numbers reflect that. . . .

Our survey results are comparable to figures for the national news media from a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. It found that from June 9, when Clinton dropped out of the race, until Nov. 2, 66 percent of the campaign stories were about Obama compared with 53 percent for McCain; some stories featured both. The project also calculated that in that time, 57 percent of the stories were about the horse race and 13 percent were about issues. . . .


Palin defends herself, others who worked closely with her do so also

I really admire Palin and I am glad that she has spoken out about the bizarre attacks on her. You can see a statement by her here.

The Politico has additional information here:

The Republicans who worked most closely with Palin — the ones who were with her from when she first walked into that swooning Ohio basketball arena in August until she walked off the stage after McCain’s concession speech in Phoenix Tuesday — are now having their say in that conversation.

And they want it known that they’re sick of Sarah Palin being dragged through the mud.

“It’s depressing,” said Steve Biegun, a veteran foreign policy hand who tutored and staffed Palin and traveled with her through the fall. “We worked our asses off. It was a tough campaign. Then we have this?”

Biegun emphatically made the case for his much-maligned former boss.

“I think she was fantastic. She just brought a special energy to our ticket. Look, I was there at those rallies.”

Adds another former campaign aide: “You know what she did for us. She certainly solidified a hell of a lot of [previously unenthused Republicans].”

Without question, Palin offered McCain a boost of energy that he’d lacked since winning his party’s nomination. She gave the party’s base something to be excited about, nearly overnight drawing wildly enthusiastic crowds, more grassroots volunteers and a spike in small-dollar fundraising.

But she also wound up appealing less to supporters of Hillary Clinton and skeptics of President Bush than McCain aides had hoped; instead, she reinforced the ticket’s standing with voters already inclined to pull the Republican lever. And polls show that she actually turned off some of the moderate and independent voters she was picked, in part, to attract.

Still, she remains beloved by much of the GOP base, and top party officials are already predicting that she’ll be their top fundraising draw going into the 2010 cycle. . . .

“I’m appalled by it because Sarah Palin was one of nicest people I have ever had the chance to work with,” says Biegun, a former Bush NSC aide. “I’ve worked in Washington for 20 years, on the Hill, in the White House and in the private sector, and she ranks at the highest levels of decency, kindness and graciousness of anybody I’ve ever worked with.”

Biegun said Palin’s generous spirit was on clear display the final weekend of the campaign, after she was subjected to a prank call by a pair of French Canadian radio DJs imitating French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“I approved the call and was in abject horror of what I had done,” he recounted. “But she said, ‘Look, it’s not about whose fault this is, don’t beat yourself up, let’s just move on.’" . . .