Friday, October 10, 2008


After the Vice Presidential and Presidential debates, each television station ran their statistics as to who “won” the debate. While we know that these numbers mean next to nothing in the grand scheme, it is interesting to look at what each station reported.

CNN and MSNBC ran results showing that around 70-75% of their viewers believed that Biden and Obama “won” their respective debates.

At the same time, FOX, the “fair and balanced” station, announced that 75-80% of their viewers believed that Palin and McCain had “won” theirs.

Fascinating, don’t you think? How is it that millions of people can watch the exact same broadcasts and come to such opposite conclusions?

The answer, I believe, is that we see what we WANT to see. This phenomenon can be seen every day in our lives.

What this shows me is that the vast majority of people already have their minds made up and that we migrate towards those (people or TV stations) who share our beliefs. We do this because the #1 need for every living person is VALIDATION. We WANT to be right, and so we watch, read and listen to whatever reinforces whatever beliefs we ALREADY have.

If you had any question as to whether these TV stations had a bias one way or another, I believe this answers it for you.

Perhaps you have wondered what the average Marine, soldier, airman, or sailor thinks about all this and who he or she would vote for. The following information is taken from the recent Military Times Election Poll 2008.

Across the board, regardless of branch of service, active duty or reserve, rank, gender, or age, between 63-76% (accounting for all those variables) would vote for McCain. The one variable that changed, drastically, was the black vote, coming in at 79% for Obama.

When asked what the most important issues are for deciding who to vote for, the top three broke down like this:

(1) character of the candidate
(2) economy
(3) Iraq

Again, the one variable was the black vote. The top three issues were the same, but in differing order of priority:

(1) economy
(2) Iraq
(3) character of the candidate

I don’t include the numbers about the black vote for any other reason than that they were overwhelmingly different. So much for voting for the best person regardless of color or gender. Can the same be said for the white vote? I don’t know. With Obama, I believe there is too much going on to be able to say that whites will not vote for a black president (after all, CNN and MSNBC have a few white viewers don’t they?). I think there is more to it than that. Or maybe I am just too white and don’t get it.

So, what does all this about the TV stations and the military vote tell us? Well, nothing we didn’t already know really. But isn’t it fascinating that hours upon hours of screen time will be devoted to explaining it all? In the end, it is my estimation that the vast majority of the voters already know who they will vote for, and they will watch and read whatever will validate their choice, and debate endlessly about the “best” candidate.

I am still looking for the best candidate. I haven’t heard or seen anything in either McCain or Obama’s records that indicate to me that either will be anything but a continuation of business as usual.

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