Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Bradley Effect

The text for this rant is the Kelly Tilghman - Dave Seanor (Golfweek) affair. Thanks to readers Boris and Get-a-Life for broaching the (Tom) Bradley Effect, even if obliquely. And thanks to Bill Dwyre who has a has a piece in the L.A. Times which provokes me to make a few points.

Racist comments and jokes, however inadvertent, constitute intermittent clues that we have not yet crossed over into the Promised Land envisioned by Martin Luther King in 1968.

  • These inconvenient reminders cannot be excused away. A defense of Kelly Tilghman or Don Imus might be:
    Well, they're always talking, 24-7! Some things, during some understandable lapses, are bound to slip out.
    The solution is to spend less time in front of the open mic and more time in front of an open book. Try reviewing American history, for example. Checkout the American holocaust about which you're apparently in denial.

  • Print journalists are in jeapardy if they try to be as colorful as bloggers. In the blogosphere, we constantly review, revise, and ultimately delete if we recognize our clay feet in our mouths. But it's hard to recall the cover of a national magazine.

  • Additionally, Politicians on the primary campaign trail, 24-7. You boys and girls are in a very risky situation, what with all of the minicams out there recording any unguarded moment. This came to me watching a close-up of JRE in a recent debate. Edwards looked like he had gravel in his stomach, gravel in his mouth, and gravel in his ears. His whole exhausted countenence indicated that he was thinking, "How much more of this unadulterated bull shit can I take." The fatigue has got be a 100 times more for the candidates than for the rest of us. I totally excuse their guarded, carefully worded responses to specific questions. But they too, like talk journalists, need to take some down time and read a little, reflect and re-charge.

  • Finally, as Dwyre writes,
    Racism needs to be reported. Blatant, inadvertent, miscalculated, all kinds.
    We can't afford to lose all persepective, but it has to be recognized for what it is and talked about. And a Tilghman or Imus might have to take a time out before we can move on. But this stuff has to be aired out in the sun.
Only in this way can we put to rest the Tom Bradley Effect. Eventually.

8 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Messenger said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/19/2008 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

The Progressive Effect:

The big picture is the Democratic turnout:

New Hampshire...55%
Michigan (no democratic primary)

1/19/2008 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Sen. Barack Obama appeals strongly to affluent whites and minorities -- the old John Lindsay coalition -- but he seems to lose working-class whites. Moreover, if the pollsters turn out to have been wrong in predicting the outcome in New Hampshire in part because of the "Bradley effect" -- that is, the polling tendency to overestimate the number of votes a black candidate will win because some bigoted whites refuse to speak to pollsters or claim to be undecided -- then Democrats may also be deceiving themselves about the Illinois senator's chances in the general election. National surveys that show Obama beating various Republicans may be overstating his potential share of the vote.

1/20/2008 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

Imagine if Hillary does well in the general election polls all year long, and then gets crushed on election day, as hordes of voters - in the privacy of the voting booth - decide not to entrust the nuclear football to a woman.


What name shall we give this effect?

1/20/2008 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good comments, sensible and doable Vigil...

1/20/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Pink Liberty said...

Is there really any statistical proof of the Bradley effect? A lot of people were saying that New Hampshire folks just take insult when they are asked who they voted for and then lie. I also heard a statistical guy saying that there are many, many examples of people really voting for the black candidates they'd said they'd vote for.

1/20/2008 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

What Tom Brady effect?

1/22/2008 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

Oops! My bad!

1/22/2008 06:34:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home