In a report on ACORN's voter registration drives, CNN's Drew Griffin asked an ACORN official: "[W]hy is the deputy city commissioner of Philadelphia telling me that ACORN is hiring recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless people, who are so desperate to get money that they know that, if they don't make their quota, they just fill in any old name?" After the official responded, "That is not the point," Griffin asked: "But has it presented itself as a problem to ACORN? Wouldn't ACORN like to run a nice, clean, smooth voter registration drive?"
To us, the stories have the same ring as the McCain "comeback" narrative, and that the press seems more interested in injecting some missing drama into the campaign (Obama could still lose!), than advancing real news stories.
The problem, as illustrated by the ABC story, is that despite the breathless headlines, there's very little that's news to substantiate the Bradley effect narrative, which is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American, who he ran for California governor in 1982 and lost, despite pre-Election Day polls showing him with a comfortable lead. The theory was that voters mislead pollsters about whether they would vote for a minority candidate.
The issue is a legitimate one for debate and discussion. It's just that in terms of the press presenting it as a burning news issue right now, there were few if any examples of The Bradley effect during the very long primary season. Polling pro's say there hasn't been a clear example of the Bradley effect in decades. And the Obama campaign claims the notion is absurd:
"I think this is a completely overblown story," said Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, saying concerns about hidden racism skewing polling data are "ridiculous."
Despite the lack of empirical evidence, the Bradley effect lives on, fueling anxiety and nervousness among many Democrats that Obama's lead will disappear on Election Day.
Radio host Bill Cunningham stated: "I think there will be 100 cities burning if Barack loses. Yeah, that's what the black intelligentsia says." Cunningham also asserted that "Flavor Flav, 50 Cent, and Diddy" are "really in charge of the [Obama] Inaugural [Ball]."
On his radio show, Michael Savage said that "not all Muslims are terrorists," then falsely asserted that "all terrorists happen to be Muslim." Savage stated: "I am a believer in all five of the world's religions. As long as they're peace-loving and are pro-American, as far as I'm concerned, all religions are equal." He continued, "However, when you consider the fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists happen to be Muslim and that the 19 hijackers who destroyed the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were Muslim, mainly from Saudi Arabia, we have a very real obligation to remember that."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity again claimed that "[n]obody in the Republican Party" is bringing up race in the context of the presidential campaign. In fact, several Republican officials and supporters have brought up the issue of Obama's race, made racial innuendos, or used his middle name.
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On his radio show, Jim Quinn said that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, whom he referred to as "the Queen Bee," "hated" Sen. Hillary Clinton "because she didn't want Hillary to be the most important woman in Washington." He added: "[I]t seems to be a trait that flows through, for whatever reasons, the gender, if you will."
After Paul Begala quoted an AP article suggesting Sarah Palin has leveled racially-tinged attacks on Barack Obama, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper turned and asked Alex Castellanos if he thinks there is a racial element to the GOP campaign.
I mean, sure: he's an expert on racially-tinged campaigns. But what makes CNN think they'll get an honest answer out of him?
On his radio show, Jim Quinn claimed that Gloria Steinem opposes Gov. Sarah Palin because Palin "refused the sacrificial right of passage, better known as the Eucharist of the feminist church: abortion. That's right. She declined to slaughter her own unborn child, Trig, to the goddess of feminism, even after doctors told her that he was one of those Down syndrome 'throw-aways.' "
On The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Rose Tennent twice stated that "I don't think you can be a Christian and vote for Barack Obama." Tennent and co-host Jim Quinn also referenced comments Obama made on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to again falsely suggest that Obama is not a Christian.
Minneapolis radio host Chris Baker said Gov. Sarah Palin "shoulda had a little cleavage going" during the vice-presidential debate, and that he "noticed a panty line on her."
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On his KSFO radio show, Lee Rodgers claimed O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder because of a "racial vote" by the jury and said of polls that show "98 percent of black voters voting for" Sen. Barack Obama: "[A]re we to assume they all agree with him on all his principles? Or could there be a hint of racial brotherhood in that vote? Come on, we know the answer to that." Rodgers also declared, "If any white person, for whatever reason -- because they think he consorts with terrorists or communists, or believes in all the things that black racist preacher said for 20 years votes against him for that reason -- no, no, no, no. If you're a white person voting against Obama, you are a racist."
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On his radio show, Michael Savage said: "[Y]ou may say, 'Why should we care about homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage that they perform in order to mock God, the church, the family, children, the fetus, the DNA of the human species? Why should we care about it while we have a financial meltdown?' Because the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street is directly related to the moral downturn in the United States of America."
On his radio show, Chris Baker said, "I don't think homeless people should vote. Frankly. In fact, I have to be very honest. I'm not that excited about women voting, to be honest." Baker later said: "But that's just me. I'm a pig, and that's fine. All right? And we'll see that, I'm sure, on a lame-ass website very soon. But I don't think hobos ought to vote at all. They're nuts. And I think that there needs to be a little more care in who votes."