Monday, August 25, 2008


Keith Olbermann: Way Out of Line

Earlier this evening MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann stepped over the line in a somewhat confrontation with Joe Scarborough. Scarborough was speaking about the recent closing in most polls, both nationally and state-by-state. He spoke of the new found hope in the McCain camp and new weariness of the Obama camp. Scarborough wasn't making news.

In describing the feelings of McCain's camp, Scarborough said they felt like they dug themselves out of a hole with a shovel. Olbermann interrupted Scarborough to say "Jesus, Joe. Why don't you get a shovel?"

I'm not exactly sure whether Olbermann was telling him to just go away... or making some sort of bury with a shovel death joke.

Olbermann went on to talk about the only poll that shows Obama improving his position in the past month over McCain, the USATODAY/Gallup poll.

In fact, most of the trends have been in the other direction. See this diagram,

Or perhaps this diagram showing McCain's upturn (also showing a slight Obama upturn):

NBC News, LA Times, and CNN all show a tightening race. Other polls show the race static or bouncing up and down (Rasmussen/Gallup Tracking).

And the USA Today Gallup poll likely voter model is for a lack of a better word suspect. Nate Silver rips it in this gem,

The basic gist of the complaint is that it sets arbitrary cutoff points to determine likely voters.

Now, all of this doesn't even touch on the closing of the state polling (the one that really matters). All major websites (, RCP, and have showed Obama's lead in the electoral college dropping to below 50 and he below 300 electoral votes. In fact, it was for a short time in the past week McCain with the slight lead in the state by state polling. Although Obama has recovered to take a slight lead (mostly due to an Ann Selzer poll in Michigan on fivethirtyeight and a few polls out of Colorado on RCP), the race remains tight.

The bottom line is that not only was Keith out of line with his comment, but he was also factually wrong.

See the video:

Harry Joe, your full of bluster. Thank God somebody is around to put Morning Joe and a good majority of naysayers in check. We thought it was a bold and brilliant move by Keith to get Joe back on track. Joe and his morning show are definately a part of the 70% + negative comments about Senator Barack Obama. Nobody in our circle wanted to hear his negative comments tonight, save it for the morning Joe when we are sleep. Tonight, Joe was an idiot and Keith was in line with getting the facts out to the viewers. This is the Democratic convention, tell Joe to save his biased statistics for next week when his commrades meet.
What did I present that was false?
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