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Thursday 8 November 2012

Guido Fawked – Dishonest Election Spin

The rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog decided yesterday afternoon, in the aftermath of the US Presidential Election, to sneer at the rest of the punditry and demonstrate their superior insights. Curiously, their post, published just over 40 minutes after I posted on the same subject, mentioned four of the same own-goal merchants that my post did, not that the Fawkes folks read Zelo Street, oh no.

Nah, I don't read Zelo Street, I get Alex to do it for me while I'm on the piss, shit, no, phone. Yeah, on the phone in the pub, bollocks, no, office. After he's served the beer, shit, no, coffee. Yeah, coffee and a slug of Russian Standard. Oh sod it

Who they? Janet Daley, Charles Moore and Tim Stanley of the Telegraph, plus fantasy island inhabitant “Dick” Morris from the States were common to both. And while we’re talking of “those who have been left red-faced by their ill-advised Presidential predictions”, one thing the Fawkes blog isn’t going to crib is the mildly inconvenient fact of their own side’s rank hypocrisy.

Ron Hopeful Tweets ...

That would be the hypocrisy (and unrelenting spin) of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines himself, bolstered by his occasional partner in crime Old Moron, sorry, Holborn. Not for them the meek acceptance of reality as Barack Obama was conclusively re-elected, while the right went into meltdown, not least the assembled hosts of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).

... then he spins ...

Staines’ bogeyman as he saw Virginia potentially remaining Democrat was Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight (that’s the total number of delegates in the Electoral College, for the uninitiated), who had called that Electoral College for Barack Obama. “Two days ago Nate Silver gave Virginia a 71% probability of Obama winning. It is 49% to 49%” Staines Tweeted defiantly.

... then spins again ...

Sadly for The Great Guido, the Obama vote was 50.8% against 47.8% for Romney, and Virginia was duly called for the Prez, vindicating Silver’s prediction. And Staines’ assertion on Obama’s lead – he claimed it was a mere 1.2% of the popular vote – was also wrong: with 50 out of 51 declarations, it was 2.4%. So The Great Guido grudgingly upped his claim to a whole 2%.

... then resorts to porkies ...

And the final Staines spin was on the elections for the Senate and House: “Republicans also advanced in Congress” he asserted. Advanced? Only towards the exit door, for those that moved: the Democrats have picked up a net two seats in the Senate and seven in the House as I type, with just nine House seats – most showing as “lean Democrat” – still to call.

... as does his pal

Meanwhile, Old Moron claimed the popular vote numbers had Mitt Romney slightly in front, while in the real world Obama was over 2.8 million ahead. So when the Fawkes rabble want a suitable target for skewering “The Profundity Of The Punditry”, they need look no further than their own ranks, where Staines and his pal can’t stop spinning and telling whoppers to keep their spirits up.

Not that they’re Conservatives, of course. Not much. Another fine mess, once again.


Anonymous said...

He also falls for the same fallacy that the conservative commentariat in the US fell into - confusing the probability of a state win in Virginia with the actual vote share. Nate Silver never did say that the vote share would be 71%-29% (or similar)

Anonymous said...

Actually, just to follow up that previous comment (if it gets posted) - 538 had the vote share as 50.7-48.7 with a 2.5% margin of error. The actual vote tally was 50.8-48.8 so bang on