Mark Halperin Still Sucks

Marky Mark, via Media Matters:

Halperin on McCain: “During the first half of the debate, showed off the best of himself — dedicated, sincere, patriotic, cheery, earnest, commanding–all without seeming old or anxious.  Even scored some points in the ‘change’ category, against the candidate who has owned the theme. … if a majority of persuadable voters watched the debate, they saw why McCain’s advisers have faith in him and still believe he can win this race.”

Halperin on Obama: “During the first half of the debate, too often displayed his worst traits–petty, aloof, imperious–and behaved as if he had someplace better to be, although he became warmer and more engaged as the evening progressed.  Did not seem to have an explicit strategy; instead, he answered the questions piecemeal as they came his way, without driving a message or even a theme. Retained his consistently unflappable air, and had a few fine moments. If he was sitting on his lead, it worked – but perhaps at the expense of relinquishing part of it.”

CNN’s poll of debate viewers found that 58 percent thought Obama won; only 31 percent thought McCain won.  66 percent thought Obama expressed his views more clearly; only 25 percent thought McCain did.  56 percent said Obama seemed to be the stronger leader; only 39 percent said McCain.  70 percent said Obama was more likable; only 22 percent said McCain.

CBS polled uncommitted viewers, and found that by a 53-22 margin, they thought Obama won.

I’ve always sot of wondered what the point of someone like Mark Halperin is. He’s the guy who pioneered the “weekly winner” crock, and sets these written narratives in real time for the rest of the press. But really, there’s no point to it. After all, if you want to know how people reacted to something, why not ask them? And when people do ask them, why not look up how people answered?

This is the dog and pony aspect of the political media even people like Media Matters don’t point out. In this realm of punditry, it’s not even that “journalists” like Halperin are lazy or sloppy in their work, it’s that they’re simply out for their own ego. Halperin doesn’t bother to wait for polling to see how people reacted, because he’s Mark Halperin and he doesn’t need no stinking polls. And besides, accuracy is so 1970’s. Now the measure of a “good” journalist is whether or not you can spin a good yarn, and if it gets the facts right swell, and Marky Mark is definitely good at that.

On the other hand, you’d think someone like Marky would want to get some information first, in order to avoid the embarrassment of being wildly wrong. But then again, the first rule of punditry is that you can’t be held responsible for anything you say, no matter how wrong it winds up being, so Marky’s in good shape.