Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Secret shared

Jim Newell, Salon.com
"The dirty little secret about political punditry, that is not actually a secret to anyone who watches and reads it, is that it’s all lies. It requires very little knowledge or skill, and there are no consequences for being wrong.

"For a major newspaper to fire one of its columnists for getting something wrong would bring down the whole pundit industry, as that logic would necessitate the firing of them all. Every election pundit is wrong about everything, nearly all the time, and there’s usually a direct correlation between a pundit’s frequency of wrongness and his or her status — see the Washington Post’s stable of columnists for a prime example. The entire punditocracy is a sham, but thank you for reading anyway."
Yes, thank you for reading. I bought into poll results and talked to a few Albertans whose judgement I trust. That personal, not-at-all scientific feedback reinforced the polling. I was convinced that a reputation for arrogant entitlement would bring down the ruling Conservatives, helped by Premier Redford's less than strong performance.

I haven't heard explanations yet from the professionals but one plausible idea is that social media has gained sufficient strength to change expected results, something that can occur right up to the moments votes are cast. Some Wildrose supporters were proposing radical alterations to the social order, with many driven by intolerant religious views. Additionally, the fuzziness of Libertarian objectives is confusing, if not scary. Are they really about personal liberty and freedom from bureaucratic oppression or is that merely cover for the most powerful to grab all they can as their own. I suspect that many people see advocates of unregulated business and free markets as servants of wealthy economic interests and primarily responsible for growing income inequality.

Social media has broken the information and opinion monopoly long held by relatively few companies. Concentration and convergence of mainstream media set the stage for a new order but its influence is not yet proven. I wrote earlier about the BC Liberals sagging steadily despite support from the traditional establishments and I credited new media for that. Perhaps, the Wildrose failure is another example showing that collective attitudes are now forming in unusual ways.

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1 comment:

  1. WE can only hope.
    Those I know that rely upon the MSM for political input are , sadly, brain dead; without individula thought .
    Long live the independent blogs.



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