Wednesday, January 14, 2004

More Journalistic Torpor: When Misinformation Goes Unchallenged

While riding around in the car today, I heard Madeleine Brand talking with Ed Gillespie (RNC Chair) on NPR's Day to Day. The topic was, did Gillespie think the Republicans needed to worry about any of the Democratic candidates in the 2004 election? He was gracious [sarcasm] and stated that he thought regardless of who the Democratic nominee was, that they expected it would be a close race. However, the discussion continued as follows:

Gillespie: The Democrats are going to spend an awful lot of money. There are outside groups coming together to defeat the pResident [my deviation]. These 'so-called' 527 groups, and America Coming Together and the trial lawyers and AFL-CIO. They're going to spend 500 million dollars next year- half a billion dollars (for emphasis) to defeat the pResident. That money will have an effect, I guarantee you. It won't have enough of an effect to win at the end of the day. But it will have enough of an effect to make things close, I suspect.

Anyone besides me wondering where Ed got that ridiculous $500 million figure? And what about Republican-leaning 527-groups -suppose they might exist? Well, Ms. Brand apparently wasn't curious about those things.

Brand:The pResident has already raised $130 million dollars dwarfing all of the candidates on the other side combined. But why does the pResident need that much money and does that not flout, if not the letter, then the spirit of campaign finance reform?

Oh, you go girl -and Gillespie continues ...

Gillespie: Well, that figure is dwarfed by the number I just made up gave you. Which is $500 million from these outside groups that are designed with the full intent of defeating the pResident with their expenditures. The Democratic nominee is likely to have, along with the Democratic Party, about an equal amount of dollars to combat the pResident in his bid for re-election. So, if anything, we will be outspent between now and November on our side of the aisle.

There's that $500 million again and now, all the 527 groups are specifically designed to defeat Bush - I wonder if they know that's their sole purpose? The Democrats are going to outspend the Republicans? Never mind that this should actually be the case, as we are talking about an incumbent incompetent with no primary rival -is it likely? And what does Ms. Brand have to say?

Brand: Ed Gillespie, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Thank you.

Okay, then. In an article which appeared in the Boston Globe in August it was stated that the success of Democratic-leaning 527 groups may aid Democrats in the election because those groups had raised ~$185 million relative to the $81.6 million raised for their Republican counterparts. The idea being that this money would balance the large discrepancy in 'hard' money raised by Republicans, who have greater access to large numbers of wealthy individual donors, relative to Democrats. Go here for a breakdown of major 527 groups. My personal favorite is Republicans for Clean Air [almost choked on my water on that one]. It's a pro-Bush group that spent money on ads trashing John McCain's environmental record. If you care to give Ms. Brand your thoughts on her interview techniques, you can e-mail her at


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