After five years of examining the media's habit of promoting false narratives and ignoring the facts, it should not have come as a surprise to Penn Staters that the media was all wrong about the 2016 election.
While most of America woke up in shock this morning, on election day I was quite confident that the media had blown it and that the polls and predictions couldn't be more wrong.
It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but in the last five years the evidence reported on this blog has shown the media blew major stories on the Duke lacrosse scandal, the Hillsborough soccer disaster, Richard Jewell, the UVa rape case, and the Exxon Valdez.
The common thread among these stories was that the media fell in love with a narrative and ignored the evidence against it.
There is little question the media favored Hillary Clinton and wanted her to become the first female President. After they made the seemingly easily defeatable (in their opinion) Donald Trump her opponent, they went on to bias the reporting against him. Meanwhile, the media did its best to not report Clinton's problems or to downplay them as much as possible.
In the Sandusky scandal, this type of reporting was evident over the last five years. The improbable story offered by the Office of Attorney General in its Sandusky grand jury presentment and the scant evidence offered in the Freeh Report were readily accepted as facts condemning PSU's (and Paterno's) culpability.
When evidence came out contrary to the narrative of a Penn State/Paterno cover up and showing that the evidence in the Freeh Report was biased and wrong, it was either not reported or discounted completely by the media.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
2016 Election AnalysisWhile the media is still trying to put its finger on where it went wrong, the answer is obvious to those who understand the influence of cognitive biasing in making projections. In short, cognitive biasing ignores information and evidence that would cause an adjustment or change to a projection.
The final IBT-TIPP poll, which as correctly predicted the last four elections (including 2016) had Trump winning. The media paid little notice to this poll, instead relying on other polls and the realclearpolitics.com poll average.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled for the nomination with Sanders winning numerous states the "rust belt" states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. See the map below with Sanders in green and Clinton in gold.
Next, while Sanders didn't win Pennsylvania and Ohio, he competed well in both states, winning around 43% of the popular vote in both states.
To the shock of the media, who had Clinton winning the "rust belt," Trump was doubling down in the seemingly solid Clinton "rust belt" states.
What was going on?
The Trump campaign rightfully dismissed the biased media reports and instead looked at the evidence. It understood that some Democrats and Independents who supported Sanders could be swung to support him.
Emails released at the time of the Democratic National Convention revealed that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was tipping the scales in favor of Clinton. Emails released just before the election revealed that DNC Chair Donna Brazile was leaking questions to Clinton for her debates against Sanders. Sanders' supporters were ripe for the picking.
It also understood, thanks to Liberal film maker Michael Moore's Trumpland, that the "rust belt" was indeed vulnerable due to the economics of the region.
Finally -- and this point will strike home with Penn Staters who have been called pedophile and child rape enablers -- many Trump voters knew they would be demeaned as bigots, homophobes, xenophobes, and other derogatory terms if they admitted who they were going to support. As a result, they lied to the pollsters about for whom they would and/or did cast a vote.
Not only were most of media's pre-election polls wrong, but so are its exit polls.
In summary, Bernie Sanders supporters could not be counted on to support Hillary Clinton and many of them lived in the "rust belt." The Trump campaign made an evidence based decision to go after those votes. Meanwhile, there was a percentage of voters who were silently Trump backers. In combination, the those factors threw off the polls -- "Big League."
Coming Together In A Time of Crisis
Over the last five years, there is little doubt that the Sandusky scandal - a crisis - became a unifying force among tens of thousands of Penn Staters and even those who were not affiliated with the University, but who valued the truth.
We all knew the media narrative was wrong.
It didn't matter if we were white, black, red, male, female, Republican, Democrat, gay, transgender, or straight.
Barry Bozeman, the founder of this blog, is a hard core Liberal Democrat.
I am a registered Republican.
The truth, or finding it was all that mattered. Our political differences were put aside to work for a greater cause.
As you are probably aware, Anthony Lubrano, another truth seeker was a registered Republican who campaigned for Democrat Kathleen Kane because she promised to investigate the Sandusky matter.
For about half of those who read this blog, this morning's result was likely saddening and considered disastrous.
Now you know how the other half of us felt in 2008 and 2012.
We lived. We didn't hold mass protests. We stuck it out.
So, stay here and stay in the fight for the truth -- the force that unifies us all.
Finding the truth was Joe Paterno's death bed wish.
While the nation is undoubtedly divided over the election, there is a glimmer of hope for Republicans and Democrats to come together and make that wish come true.
In October 2014, unabashed Liberal MSNBC Commentator Chris Matthews made this statement about Joe Paterno.