7 thoughts on “Reminds him of that time Trump won the election…

  1. Media’s preoccupation with calling winners and losers — so-called “horse race journalism” — is of interest here.

    Once you become aware of it you may notice a few things:

    • Horse race journalism is incredibly common.
    • As a framing device, the horse race theme tends to distract from the story it is used to convey.

    • In fact, the distraction can be so complete and so powerful that the story itself becomes lost.

    I suppose you could account for the power of horse race journalism by noting that fighting is one of the four “F”s psychologists describe as primal human impulses. The others are Food, Flight and sexual reproduction.

    I couldn’t really say, one way or the other. I just note that horse race journalism creates a classic container/content problem in which the box becomes more important that the candy.


    1. Consider the nature of politics and legislation.

      Political campaigns are always framed as winning or losing. Which is fine since there is no alternative result after votes are cast. You either won the office, or not.

      Legislation, however, doesn’t move forward on all or nothing. Compromise and horse trading (to continue the equine metaphor) are the keys to running a nation based on the rule of law.

      And that is why doing behind the scenes negotiating before laying the cards down for all to see is much more productive. The media calling a horse race is only possible if all negotiations are public. That forces politicians back to election mode. Winning is everything because constituents like winners



    2. From what I gather, Adams is saying in a long and drawn out fashion, that if we get better border security then we had before, it is a win.

      And you contend that the obsession with winners and loser by the media obscures that end result.

      Do I have that about right?

      Of course I think the obvious answer is that this could all have hashed out in private as Pelosi suggested to Trump in that meeting. Without closing the government.

      Trump was obsessed with winning… “horse race politics” perhaps.

      And this singular focus just puts immigration reform, DACA, work visas and residency on the back burner.


      1. RE: “Do I have that about right?”

        No. You’re being clever at the expense of grasping the point.

        Obviously, it makes sense to call winners and losers when there’s a contest, as in an election. But obviously, too, negotiations are not necessarily contests.

        In this case in particular, it is neither factually accurate nor clearly helpful to describe Pelosi as a “winner” or Trump as a “loser.” In doing so, media performs a positive disservice. which it is in their capacity to control.


        1. “But obviously, too, negotiations are not necessarily contests.”

          That was exactly my point. Nothing clever.

          The media declaring a winner and a loser is all Trump’s doing. He demanded all negotiations to be played out in media and tweets. He went to his base with a speech from the Oval Office.

          He was playing horse race politics and the Pelosi thoroughbred beat him by a furlong.


  2. I do wish Scott would go back to a print blog. I can read a lot faster than he talks and he writes more concisely than he talks. I used to be able to read his blog daily but I just don’t have the time to listen regularly.

    There is no advantage to being right if too few listen.


    1. I have to agree. I have tried to listen a few times based on recommendations, but he drones on and on before he gets to the point.


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