Extracting News From NPR
Every weekday morning I drop my two older children off for school – one on one side of town, one on the other – then I head off for work in a third direction. This takes time, so when I quickly tire of the local DeeJay's morning show, "Morning Breath," I turn reluctantly to NPR.
I do this because the local commercial talk radio stations don't get cranked off until 9:00 a.m. or so. I can't explain the economics of that. Why talk radio basically ignores morning drive time is something someone should take up with Rush or Hannity. Anyway, I turn to NPR and hear the latest Democratic Party talking points passed off as news on a taxpayer supported network. I found that galling.
Here's the story I heard this morning, "Kerry Volunteers Woo Pa. Swing Voters." Actually, the story is about how both parties are engaged in vigorous get-out-the-vote campaigns in a swing state. Apparently the headline author only heard the Kerry part of the story.
A practiced conservative NPR listener can sometimes pick out some actual news from even NPR's biased reporting. Here's what I learned:
- The Kerry campaign is having to rely on out-of-state volunteers. The Bush volunteers tend to be more local.
The out-of-state v. local volunteers may indicate that there isn't as much local excitement for Kerry as for Bush.
- The out-of-state Kerry campaign volunteer who was interviewed asked "who in the world would be voting for Bush?" but has seen since her arrival in Pennsylvania that there are many voters who are passionate about Bush.
How effective can a Kerry volunteer be with swing voters if she can't even imagine the motivations of a Bush voter? This is also a problem within the larger Kerry campaign. It exists in a cocoon of yes-men and Democrat true-believers. The best campaign volunteer (and campaign) knows and understands the arguments of the other side, and is prepared to answer them.
- The Kerry campaigns is having to fight hard (spend money) to keep a state that went for Gore by 4 points.
...and Gore lost. It appears that Kerry has to win both Florida and Pennsylvania to win. Bush can win if he takes either. The RealClearPolitics map has Bush ahead in Florida, and tied in Pennsylvania.
- The local Bush volunteer is comfortable enough on the issues to stray from the script as needed.
All good news.