Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Media myths

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was out of town for a couple of days and just not that inspired to write anything yesterday (yes, even considering the $7 million Dean story). One thing I would like to talk about though is media myths. The establishment media likes to push certain story lines despite the fact that the evidence doesn't really support the myth. For example, there is the myth about the disparity in fundraising abilities between Republicans and Democrats. Now, historically speaking, Republicans have almost always raised more money than Democrats. Sometimes 2-3 times as much. Yet, despite that disparity, the Democrats still manage to beat Republicans as often as not. This is the first part of the myth: that raising more money translates to greater electoral success. The second part of the myth has to do specifically with George W. Bush. There have been a lot of news stories in recent days talking about the "juggernaut" that is Bush's fundraising apparatus. You hear story after story about him raising $2 million in a single day. How he will raise $30 for the 2nd quarter and is on track to have a $200 million dollar war chest ready to go for the 2004 campaign. These stories then talk about the "pathetic" performance of Democratic contenders: $5 million for Kerry, $7 million for Dean. Message: Democrats simply can't compete with Republicans when it comes to raising money. Don't buy the bullshit. If you add up the fundraising totals for the Democrats for the 2nd quarters, based purely on the estimates we have heard in the last couple of days, you get results like this:
Dean$7 million
Kerry$5 million
Edwards$5 million
Gephardt$5 million
Lieberman$3 million
Graham$3 million
And the rest...$2 million
Total$31 million
In other words, Democrats are, so far, VERY competitive with the Republicans when it comes to raising money for the Presidential race. It's just divided amongst a greater number of candidates so it is easy for gullible establishment media types to misinterpret the numbers. Admittedly I would rather have the $30 million that Bush has than the $7 million that Dean has. But this particular myth does nothing but feed into a message that says to Democrats that they should be demoralized and should just surrender to the inevitable. Again I say this is bullshit. Election 2004 is a VERY competitive. It is far from a sure thing for Bush, no matter what the pundits try to say.

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