Saturday, January 23, 2016

PolitiFact Catches Wasserman Schultz Lying Again


This week Florida-based PolitiFact looked at Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's scheme to undermine Bernie Sanders' campaign from her perch at the DNC. If they were a judge and jury, she'd be going to jail. Amy Sherman examined Wasserman Schultz's claim that the debate schedule she put together was meant to "maximize" exposure for the candidates. PolitiFact rated the claim "False," which is consistent with pretty much everything Wasserman Schultz says when she gets caught-- as she often does-- doing something shady.

There has been a national outpouring of anger towards her for sabotaging the Democratic presidential campaign with the intention of denying exposure to the less well-known Bernie Sanders so that the universally-know Hillary Clinton wouldn't have to worry about him making inroads with low-info voters. The national anger has spilled over into her southeast Florida congressional race where Democrats nationally have been sending campaign contributions to her progressive opponent, Tim Canova. (Blue America has endorsed Canova and you can support his campaign to replace Wasserman Schultz here.)

On January 17, Wasserman Schultz told CNN viewers that [T]here's no number of debates that will satisfy everyone. So, I did my best to make sure, along with my staff and along with our debate partners, to come up with a schedule that we felt was going to maximize the opportunity for voters to see our candidates." Sherman looked at her claims about maximizing the opportunity for exposure.
Clearly, we can't rate what people within the Democratic party intended. Our fact-check looks at what the outcome was. Did the Democrats "maximize the opportunity" for voters to see their candidates? We found there’s no fair reading of the Democratic debate schedule that supports this.

The Democrats scheduled six primary debates; the Republicans scheduled 11 primary debates (plus one more in March that is unscheduled).

So far, Democrats have held four debates with a cumulative viewership of about 42.5 million while Republicans have held six debates with a cumulative viewership of about 103.7 million, according to Nielsen ratings of same-day viewership.

Back in 2008, when Barack Obama won the nomination, the Democrats held about 25 primary debates while the Republicans held 21.

Overall, it looks like the GOP is doing a significantly better job of reaching viewers.

...We contacted five professors of political science and communications. None of them bought Wasserman Schultz’s statement.

"By the time voting starts in Iowa, potential voters will have seen about 40 percent less of Democratic candidates on the debate stage than their Republican counterparts," University of Michigan’s Director of Debate Aaron Kall told PolitiFact.

Kall cited several factors contributing to the larger Republican viewership:

 The first Republican debate occurred in early August, before the start of the NFL and NCAA college football seasons. Viewer anticipation is usually highest for the first debate. The Democrats didn't host their first debate until over two months later.

 Of the four Democratic debates so far, three were on weekends, including the Dec. 19 debate a week before Christmas and the same night as the New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL game. The Jan. 17 debate was the day before the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

Kall cited two major factors beyond the Democrats’ control that have aided superior Republican ratings: a much larger GOP field and the phenomenon of Donald Trump, an entertainment star in his own right from his time on The Apprentice.

John Schroeder at Northeastern University noted that the two highest Republican debates each drew between 23 million and 24 million, much higher than the Democratic debates. While a lot of the disparity is due to Trump, another factor is that all the Republican debates so far have been held on weekdays.

"I think we can safely say that weekend time slots are not the key to maximizing the viewing audience," Schroeder said.

Our ruling

Wasserman Schultz says the party came up with a debate schedule "to maximize the opportunity for voters to see our candidates."

Wasserman Schultz’s best point is that the Democrats largely scheduled their debates with TV networks, which means viewers without cable can see them. But other than that, her statement is very disingenuous.

There are six Democratic party debates compared with 11 scheduled for the Republicans, and half of the Democratic debates are on weekends-- including one the weekend before Christmas and another on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. If the Democrats had wanted to "maximize" opportunities for viewers, the party could have added more debates, scheduled them on weekdays and avoided holidays.

We rate this claim False.
As Glenn Greenwald wrote in The Intercept, "In general, Wasserman Schultz is the living, breathing embodiment of everything rotted and corrupt about the Democratic Party." Amen to that! For the Democratic Party to regain the mantle of champion of working families-- rather than of special interests and careerist politicians-- the old guard establishment led by corrupt hacks like herself, Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, Chris Van Hollen, Steve Israel, Steny Hoyer, must be supplanted by men nd women interested in public service rather than self-service. FL-23 voters have a chance to lead the way this summer by nominating Tim Canova to replace Wasserman Schultz. Please consider contributing to his campaign here.

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At 6:25 AM, Blogger Daro said...

She looks like a half-drowned rat. And what's with the fcking guyliner?

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daro: Gentle remonstrance: The way she looks isn't the problem. It's her politics.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Daro said...

I KNEW I'd get zinged for saying that but I have DWSDS (DWS Derangement Syndrome).

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only said it because I really liked what you had to say about not-so-concealed class bias in another comment a while back. If we ever want to put the FDR coalition back together, class bias in the Democratic Party is the first thing we need to address. Did you see this?:

At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. It didn't paste

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Daro said...

I read a synopsis of the article by a commenter on Naked Capitalism. I had The Archdruid Report in my bookmarks for the longest time but he writes so prolifically I never had the time. Now I cheat. Most of what I want to read is read by someone else and they critique it in one of my aggregator sites. In this case, Lambert:

"What the Archdruid is calling the “waged class” I’ve been calling (following Occupy) the 80%. And what he calls the “salaried class” I’ve called the 20% (some of whom are only wannabes, others of whom have real power). The reason I hesitate(d) to make the wage/salary distinction is that I question putting a (salaried) Walmart or McDonalds supervisor into the same bucket as, say, a (salaried) university Dean, a (salaried) network anchor, or a (salaried) Human Resources manager at a large corporation. (I grant that they both might go in adjacent buckets, since from a 30,000-foot view, their roles in the workplace are the same.) And I also think that the Archdruid credits the salaried class with too much power, and the 1% (really,the 0.01%) with w-a-a-y too little; it’s as if he described how planets move through the curvature of space, without mentioning the immense mass and size of the sun that creates the curvature. That said, it’s a wonderful piece, and I hope readers will weigh in with critiques in comments."

Back to DWS for a second, I see Corporatists embedded in the left as an existential threat. As analogy, to the homesteader it's not the wolves that are the danger, it's the weevils embedded in the flour. I'm impressed with the argument made in recent years that Obama has done more to further the agenda of the 1% than the Republicans by corralling the left into compliance and offering 5% change as the payoff. Anyway, I could rant on (and often do) but I learned a lot about class working for a bank and if anyone is interested can submit some vignettes about my experiences on the inside that informed a lot of my views about the invisible class boundaries that exist.

PS - I also think "The Iron Law of Insitutions" also applies to DWS.

The iron law of institutions, usually attributed to political blogger Jonathan Schwartz, states:[1]
“”The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution "fail" while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

He was originally describing Nancy Pelosi's unwillingness to consult with Iraq War protestors in 2007 — and more generally, Democrats' failure to embrace disaffected leftist voters, as it would affect their power within the party, and in turn, the party's standing among the overall electorate. (This leaves aside the question of whether there would be enough disaffected voters for this to pay off, and whether it would alienate enough current voters to nullify any gains.)

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...they would rather the institution "fail" while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution."

A bit off-topic, but as a union member, I see Rich Trumka fitting this description. As unions get decimated, as state after state goes Right-To_Work-For-Less, as SCOTUS considers how hard to back Friedrichs against the California Teachers Association, just what is he doing for the thousands of AFL-CIO members about to lose their middle-class existences?

This is the basic question to ask of all those who claim to be Democrats while the middle class dries to dust and blows away in the winds of change. Whether Hillary, Wasserman-Schultz, or Rich Trumka, none of them are a hundredth the Democrat Bernie Sanders is. It's time to call them all out.

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