Election 2012: Musings on Iowa

Trawling through my laptop I just discovered some notes that I wrote while switching between the channels covering the 2012 Iowa Caucus. I’ve included my thoughts on CNN, MSNBC, FOX and the BBC, they’re mostly a little tongue-in-cheek if not downright sarcastic:

MSNBC: Chuck Todd sums up the day for the media, unable to contain his glee saying: “It’s caucus day. Finally! I’ve been waiting for this day for 3 1/2 years.” Speak for yourself mate… I still have no idea why I’m so interested in watching this.

-Ron Paul supporters in a style that would make North Korea proud declare old man Ron as the Iowa winner, living deity, the winner of the Super Bowl, Olympic high jump champion and handsomest man alive. In support of their claims, they cite as proof the indisputable fact that 100% of Ron Paul supporters voted for Dr. Paul. Since they ignore anyone else’s views, that stands to reason that his support was unanimous… This was all before a single vote had been tabulated.

-Here’s a beauty from FOX News: An official announces that it costs money to rent the room that the caucus is held in so encourages everybody to throw money in the bucket. This is grass-roots democracy at its finest…

BBC seems to be ignoring Iowa in favour of the football/soccer…

-Coverage so far: FOX News: Talking head panel of their most ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’… Taking bets on how long it is until they finally change their name to the Republican News Channel (you’re not fooling anyone guys). MSNBC: Chris Matthews is interviewing former Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele. I preferred the Daily Show’s puppet version. CNN: Only CNN is talking to actual voters… They seem to be competing to see just how many pundits they can fit into one room… And also, the best use of utterly pointless but visually appealing technology…

***Watch the Daily Show’s puppet parody here

CNN: Shining a light on the the dysfunctional nature of Gingrich’s campaign organisation, CNN show a  tweet that  reveals that nobody in an Indianola precinct advocated for Newt… This is especially worrying as this is the last forum for convincing voters to side with a candidate… even Huntsman who isn’t bothering with Iowa had a speaker on his behalf.

MSNBC: Al Sharpton is babbling incoherently about something. MSNBC is openly campaigning for Ron Paul… Fox has already taken on the real Republicans… Who does that leave CNN (more commonly known as the last kid picked in PE) with? Huntsman? At least Piers Morgan seems to be happy at that prospect.

CNN: Ron Paul infers in an interview that the entire world agrees with him on every issue point and every policy. His supporters take this as proof… because he said so.

FOX: Rick Perry tells Fox that he will be a good governor of Iowa… He seems to have forgotten that he is running for president… His ‘brain farts’ are good air time fillers though.

MSNBC: Rachel Maddow is as giddy as a school girl in a Beiber concert at the thought of Ron Paul winning the caucus. Maybe she hopes that it would turn the entire GOP into an anti-war party… Good luck with that, not even the Democrats are an anti-war party… At least Obama actually seems to be good at waging wars though…

BBC still doesn’t care…

FOX: Mike Huckabee is interviewed. His strategy on winning Iowa in 2008: Be really really Christian, camp in a state where most of the voters agreed with him (and are really really Christian), and hope that no other like-minded (really really Christian) candidates ran… Sadly this is more or less the extent of Fox’s in-depth coverage… I guess they’re playing to their audience..  Huckabeee has not yet been interviewed about how to lose New Hampshire spectacularly… Watch this space Rick Santorum…

CNN are continuing their impressive mix of pundits, technology and interviews with real people. FOX is seemingly happy to focus on their mix of All-American male pundits and peroxide blonde females… This is why the mute button was invented. MSNBC appears to not have a news division, no interviews with people on the ground will be taking place. The BBC… I don’t know why I’m bothering…

-Poll Coverage: CNN are using real numbers thanks to the impressive work of Blitzer and John King (on the magic wall). Fox seem to distrust numbers and from the look of it the English language. MSNBC Only seem interested in polls that show Paul beating Romney. BBC Don’t appear to know that there’s an election going on…

CNN: Erin Burnett is a really good distraction from CNN’s other really good distraction: their seemingly pointless over-use of technology

-Apparently Iowa caucus goers are 54% Evangelical Christian. This will likely help Santorum… Ron Paul supporters disagree claiming 100% support from them as well.

FOX: Megyn Kelly told viewers that the numbers on the screen were “our best guess-timates”, co-anchor Brett Baier had to correct Kelly without sounding like he was pointing out that she had no idea what she was saying and was only there because FOX needed to fill its quote of peroxide blondes who hate Obama.

BBC: Coverage so far – Pippa Middleton’s ass… Antiques… Sale on bowler hats… Wait a minute, they’ve mentioned the US. False hope, they’re talking about the LA Galaxy, David Beckham to be more specific.

-Bachmann has more children (including foster kids) than Huntsman has votes…

-Mormon Church offers support to Romney… Paul supporters are confused, they wonder why anyone would offer support to any candidate other than Ron… Santorum views this as equivalent to an endorsement from the devil… Bachmann realises that its over and starts crying, offers to trade foster kids for votes… Gingrich is still angry… Huntsman sends a message from New Hampshire stating he is also Mormon… The room shrugs.

FOX: is reporting a three-way tie. Paul supporters claim that support cannot be measured just by numbers. Interesting theory, good luck with that…

-A poll across America shows 100% of Iowa voters saying Iowa matters while 100% of people in 49 other states saying it does not.

MSNBC: Their pundits have the ability to draw a single, possibly flawed point, out into a five minute meandering speech which is comparable to watching Henry Fonda pick strawberries or paint dry… Ed Shultz is running out of time to explain to Rachel Maddow why she has no idea what she is talking about… Maddow’s retorts with a 16 candles reference for only reasons that she understands.

CNN: When Wolf Blitzer gets serious about an issue he resembles an actual wolf.

FOX: declares that Gingrich, Perry, and Bachmann are officially 4th, 5th, and 6th. The top three spots are still unknown. This sort of analysis is as useful as pointing out that the Georgia and Russia did not make the RWC Final

MSNBC: Al Sharpton vigorously defends the ‘Occupy’ movement. At least, according to polls, the 1% has a bigger percentage than Huntsman’s support in Iowa… That was a cheap shot I know, but at least I’m mentioning him at all.

-The BBC still doesn’t care….

CNN and FOX both offer analysis of the impact of the yet-to-be-counted Aimes County… MSNBC is confused as they seem to be uncomfortable if bewildered by the concept of useful analysis… Refer to any post that I’ve made on the BBC for their Iowa analysis so far.

CNN: James Carville said something about something, presumably politics in Iowa. CNN should offer subtitles or a translator.

-Ron Paul offers his thoughts via his concession speech. He states that “nobody else has supporters like him.” Understatement of the year.

-Newt Gingrich has his turn. Offers a spectacular attack on Romney and the voting process: “This process does work.” Decalres war on Romney. Sounds like one of the old guys who sit on the balcony in the Muppets.

-Michele Bachmann comes to the microphone, but not before FOX‘s Brett Baier shows that he has no idea how a calculator works. Bachmann is phoning it in and appears to just read her speech… Is this the end for her? “I never aspired to be a politician.” Mission accomplished, or more accurately that should be ‘good’ politician.

MSNBC: Maddow said that Rick Perry was suspending his campaign. She corrected herself one minute later and used the word reassessed… CNN also thinks that he may bow out… FOX is inconsolable… BBC has yet to notice…

-Rick Santorum tried to out-wait Romney, loses their game of chicken. Speaks emotionally about his late coal miner grandfather. “Those hands built freedom for me.” Asks us if we want to know what is crushing business: “This administration is crushing business.” Goes on to reveal that he doesn’t appear to know how the economy works. Omits to mention that manufacturing jobs are experiencing large growth recently.

-Mitt Romney finally comes to the microphone and congratulated Santorum and Paul very graciously. Went on to say that “this is a campaign where America wins. We’re gonna change the White House and get America back on track.” Romney went after Obama hard in a front-runner speech. Still undecided regarding whether he is a robot…

CNN: Piers Morgan pops in and refers to Santorum as one of the great comebacks in modern political history. Uses Rocky analogy.

MSNBC: reckons that “the South is going to love (Santorum).”

CNN: Finally offers a voice of reason among the partisan blow-hard punditry favoured by FOX and MSNBC, correctly remind us that at the end of the day that this is about delegates. Thinks Romney, Santorum, and Paul have about six each, while the other seven are split between the others.. Except Huntsman… The room shrugs…

-The BBC seems to have noticed that there is an election going on, the way they cover it suggests that they still don’t seem to care… The room shrugs…

-Late in the night with 99% counted, CNN has Romney ahead by 8. FOX has Romney by 14, and MSNBC has Santorum by 4. Paul supporters have their candidate up by somewhere between 100,000%.

– In summary: Mitt technically won but the media has seemingly ignored this fact as it was so close between him and Santorum (the underdog). Paul  wasn’t too far behind in third but his supporters, unsurprisingly, acted as if he walked it. Gingrich, Perry and Bachmann were largely irrelevant… Huntsman was completely irrelevant…


As the night drags on CNN beginning to sound more like a comedy roast than election coverage. It is hilarious if a little unprofessional. Everyone takes a turn at having a go at their social media specialist. 


5 thoughts on “Election 2012: Musings on Iowa

  1. Pingback: Election 2012: Iowa Coverage – CNN wins in coverage, but FOX wins in ratings « soapbox nz

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