If I didn't know better I'd think that the only news worth reporting this weekend was tonight's scheduled presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Did you know that there was another terrorist shooting in a shopping mall in the Pacific Northwest over the weekend in which five people were murdered? Oh, and down in Texas yet another mass shooting.
No, instead we get non-stop pre-debate hype, interspersed with claptrap about the "peaceful" protests in Charlotte, NC, where an armed black man was shot by a black cop and bunches of white people were assaulted as a result. And property was burned, cops were attacked, the streets were full of gunfire, windows were smashed, cop cars were damaged, all in the name of "peaceful protest." Oh, and five white men were killed by police last week in the same time span as the shooting in Charlotte, but few Americans have heard of that.
Has it occurred to anyone else that the media is so self-insulated and removed from the rest of society that they don't know that we know they are full of crap and we can see for ourselves that what is really happening doesn’t mesh with what they are saying?
Instead, the media has to hype the debate, even though sometimes it is on only one network, because they hope there will be more debates on the other networks and if they make these debates appear important enough or entertaining enough, then they can sell ads at out-of-control rates and justify the bloated news readers' and "contributors" salaries.
Taken together this mish-mash of real news and media-generated propaganda has an ulterior motive, the end result of which is to get Hillary Clinton elected. The media has long been the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party and nothing has changed this year except that FOX News is so anti-Trump – with a couple of notable exceptions – that it now is lumped in with all the other media in terms of being seen as Clinton supporters.
Also, after NBC news personality Matt Lauer was vilified by his media colleagues for actually asking tough questions of Clinton in a Commander-in-Chief Forum last month it is highly unlikely that tonight's moderator, Lester Holt, will even consider anything remotely resembling fairness in his approach.
As far as the alleged polls that have Clinton ahead nationally, many outlets use the Real Clear Politics average, unless another poll comes along that more convincingly makes a point they favor. But the problem with the RCP average is that most of the polls they use to arrive at the average are done by … The Media!
In the case of the most recent RCP average going into the debate, Trump is a couple of points behind in the average. But that is only because one of the few non-media polls sampled, the McClatchy-Marist poll, had Clinton ahead by 7 points – as did the NBC poll – and which happened to skew the results heavily in Clinton's favor!
As usual, there was no true verification of the poll respondents who simply were contacted by "random" phone calls on their house phone or cell phone, asked who they were and what party they belonged to, which is hardly scientific to say the least. All the media relies on these polls, but a simple search of the methodology used shows that the NBC poll queried 45 percent of respondents who said they ranged from strong to leaning Democrat, and only 35 percent who said they were strong to leaning Republican, while a mere 13 percent identified themselves as independent.
Oddly enough the McClatchy poll methodology claims that 35 percent of voters nationally are Democrats, 30 percent are Republicans and 33 percent are Independents. When they query only "likely voters" they say that 37 percent are Democrats, 32 percent Republicans and 30 percent Independents.
Not only does the McClatchy poll raise serious questions about the NBC News poll, it also contradicts itself in that of its respondents 47 percent ranged from strong to leaning Democrat, while 42 percent said they were strong to leaning Republican and only 9 percent self-identified as independent. Meaning these polls are garbage and irrelevant.
So why are they used? Why do they drive every single news cycle? Well, one theory says that if you are going to tamper with the outcome of an election it is best to keep your tampering within the margin error of expected results. So if on Election Day the polls have Trump ahead by 3 points and the margin of error is 3.6 points and Clinton wins by 2.7 points – which is way outside the margin for an automatic recount – well, the media can say the polls had it wrong but only by the slimmest of margins.
This is important because professional analysts know their numbers and if results are out of skew they will jump on it hard and fast. Remember in 2004 when the media reported in late afternoon on Election Day that exit polls were showing John Kerry ahead of George Bush in some key districts? But analysts looked at the districts where those false exit poll numbers originated and knew right off the bat something was amiss.
So how do voters overcome this attempted manipulation of the public will? Do the same thing the English did in the Brexit vote last summer. Turn out in numbers that overwhelm the margin of error and vote in the person who should be voted in by such a large margin that any attempt at voter fraud will stand out like a neon sign.
Oh, and when all is said and done, the polls likely won't move a single point due to the debates. Check out George Bush in his presidential campaigns. Same amount of hype, all kinds of endless arguing about who won this one or that one and in the end, there was no change in the pre-debate status. Much ado, etc. Food for thought.