Wednesday, November 9

Election 2016: No Surprise! Media Wrong Again

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. 


Ray Blehar

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 Analysis

While 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 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.

“I’m going to editorialize. I think JoePa’s coming back at some point. I don’t know how long it’s going to take — you don’t have to say it, I’m saying it, I’m not running for anything.  I don’t know what kind of words were passed about Sandusky’s conduct, but horsing around doesn’t tell me anything. I want to know the words — I’m tired of words that don’t tell you anything. It was a terrible thing that happened to those kids, terrible beyond belief. People should’ve used English graphic language to describe to other people. There shouldn’t have been any confusion, and I think there was.”
You can check out the video of the exchange here  (credit: OnwardState).

On the Conservative side, here is President-elect Donald Trump on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, talking about bringing back the Paterno statue and referring to the fiasco by saying "how about that whole deal."

As we should have learned over the last five years, the reason that few politicians have come to our aid is that the Sandusky scandal and the topic of child sexual abuse is too toxic and has a way of bringing an end to the careers of those who have gone near it.

This scandal and finding the truth will not and cannot be handled by anyone in Pennsylvania.  The help we need must come from Washington DC. 

Regardless of how you feel about last nights election, having the most powerful man in the world in your corner is a very good thing.  

A thing that could bring people together.



  1. Chris Mathews had that mentally ill author and radio show host, Buzz Bissinger on his program shortly after the sh-t hit the fan in 2011. Chris interviewed Buzz as an authority on "football culture." It was clear that Buzz believed what he researched for Friday Night Lights also applied to the "Penn State Football" culture. It didn't and doesn't. I wrote to Chris a number of times asking him to balance what Bissinger had to say about Penn State. To my knowledge, he never did. I stopped watching Chris's show shortly thereafter. He OWES Penn State a factual report on what happened at our University along with an apology.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I recall Bissinger had a brief bask in the sun as a so-called expert on football cultures -- and PSU let him appear at its Berks Campus. He met some resistance there by some supporters of the truth movement.

      I've never spent much time watching Matthews or MSNBC -- they're a little too far out there on the Left. Interestingly, this year they moved up in the ratings and surpassed CNN. Or maybe CNN lost viewers...probably both.

      Anyway, Matthews would be in a long, long, long line of reporters who owe PSU a big apology.

  2. Ray, I have the utmost respect for you and Barry working together as political polar opposites. You both knew instinctively that something was terribly wrong with the story that lays blame on one man for another's crimes. You both recognized that corruption is the reason that this could be done so easily in Pennsylvania.

    Liberal and Conservative are terms that are far too broad to fairly label anyone. But the problem is we've unwittingly accepted these two words as a way to identify the "enemy". Just as I consider myself to be morally conservative, I also consider myself to be politically liberal. I believe whole-heartedly in separation of church and state. But I also believe and trust in God and his son and our savior Jesus Christ. I don't pretend to be an expert in world religions, but I do know this much: God is a constant and a truth that doesn't change. This is taught and reflected in all the world's mainstream (non-cult) religions. Our Ten Commandments are also the basic tenets shared by other religions around the world. In my opinion, people that respect and practice those tenets share the same God. Our religion then is only a cultural avenue to that same God.

    Ray, I am in partial agreement with your statement, "This scandal and finding the truth will not and cannot be handled by anyone in Pennsylvania". Yes, you are correct, it does appear that the help must come from outside of PA. But I'm just not sure that Washington will initiate it. Four or five years ago I had hope that maybe some brave legislator in PA would push the issue and force an investigation of The Second Mile. But it's quite clear now that even the ones that talk about it won't act on it. Even Governor Wolf has castrated himself with fear. It's very sad and disappointing that Pennsylvania has lost its courage and is now a mushy, stagnant pool of complacency.

    Should we really put hope in Trump to help us with putting PACORN in its place and telling the truth about The Second Mile? I would say yes if Trump were clean. But he's not, he's had way too many questionable affiliations to be trusted. I think a powerful religious leader with absolutely no political ties whatsoever will be needed to bring out the truth that exposes and disproves the lies generated by Pennsylvania's culture of corruption. Then possibly Washington may act to exonerate Joe Paterno, The PSU Three, and Kathleen Kane.

    1. Truthseeker,
      Thanks for your comments.

      I absolutely DO NOT think Trump would initiate any action regarding PSU, Paterno, or PACORN without a lot of prodding from PSU alumni and supporters. And it would be unlikely that anyone would seriously consider stepping into the toxic situation unless they had a very good reason.

      Unfortunately, like the majority of Americans, Trump and other Feds have no idea why the "whole deal" went down the way it did. That's why the notion that is about Joe's statue is not the way to go.

      I will be retired soon enough and have time to put together a compelling case for someone at the Federal level to conduct a real investigation into this mess. If we need to go to the person at the top, so be it.

  3. Watching the network folks pissing their pants was a sight to behold! I bet your "pal" JZ is in hog heaven (he still claims that you owe him two grand for not proving email tampering, and thinks your claim that the Feds are investigating SM is a pipe dream.

    There are a lot of things that the media missed. A lot folks saw this as an opportunity to elect a ticket that is firmly anti-abortion, and to get pro-life justices on the Supreme Court. They view protecting the vulnerable and innocent as a priority for a just society. The idea that the tax payers should subsidize the sex life of teenagers and irresponsible adults did not sell in "Peoria".

    Many of us old folks were tired of "political correctness" and the impulsive knee jerking, feigned outrage, and name calling when the smallest "micro-aggression" occurred. Being called a "bigot" because you have a different opinion had to stop.

    Hillary surrounded herself with Lady Gaga and the Hollywood set, and the social media gurus in the Bay Area. That didn't go over in "Peoria" either.

    1. Peoria may not be a good example, because Illinois went for Clinton.

      I think there were a lot of reasons why Clinton lost, including sexism, FBI meddling with their last minute email investigation, Russian hacking of Democratic emails, Clinton's deplorables comment, Democratic overconfidence/complacency and Clinton's failing to throw nearly as much mud at Trump as he threw at her.

      The more significant election result for the Spanier criminal case may be the election of the new PA Attorney General, Shapiro. He wants to make consumer issues his focus so maybe prosecution of a 5 year old failure to report case may not be his priority. He also has ambitions for higher office so he is certainly aware that Corbett's involvement in the Sandusky case hurt his reelection campaign.

    2. "Peoria" is a metaphor. Even at that, if you look at the Illinois county map, there is not much blue outside of Cook.
      Even in California, Hillary's support dropped dramatically outside of Los Angeles County and the Bay area. She didn't seem to have a grasp of what was really happening inside this country. Most Trump supporters conceded that she was the most qualified candidate, but rejected the direction the country would go under her administration. She was beholding to too many people and organizations that the work-a-day ducks of this country didn't like. The Press was in a bubble with her...maybe they don't go to church or community events where issues of morality and family are discussed. Sadly, the Democratic Party has been seen as the major promoter of the "Culture of Death". I have seen too many political commercials hold a candidate's belief in the sanctity of life held against him as some sort of aberrant liability. It makes me sick!

    3. Hillery lost because she couldn't stop at disparaging Trump. No, she and her elitist followers had to attack his followers as well. The 'basket of deplorables' comment was a prime example of this. It is my understanding that a political candidate is supposed to try and attract the votes of her opposition, not energize them against her. 'Stop the Hate' and 'When They Go Low, We Go High' were laughable statements once her deplorable comment sailed.

      I am a registered Democrat and have voted for Hillery in the past. I could not ignore her dramatic turn towards the dark and divisive forces of Saul Alinskyism in recent times. And getting clueless celebrities to support her didn't work either. It only placated those already supporting her.

      As in the PSU case and as Ray suggests, the media not only blew it, but by disparaging the targets of their enmity in such an egregious fashion, this time they embarrassed themselves and blew the election. Let's hope that ultimately PSU gets the same result once the truth is revealed. Keep at it Ray. Good work.

    4. Gregory,
      I am very happy for John because he has gotten a nice gig writing for Mediate and is often featured on LawNewz. I know many times he said his career was over and I am happy it's not. I agree with him on many things and disagree on some others. It is always good to have a diversity of opinions. However, John was a "NeverTrump" person, so I don't think he is in hog heaven right now.

      As for the email issue, it is still unresolved. If it ever gets resolved and I am wrong, I'll be happy to wire John his $2000. However, the Democrat denial of the authenticity of the Wikileaks emails was quickly refuted by tech bloggers who were able to download the files and confirm their authenticity. In the case of the PSU 3, the OAG has never made the email files available to do such a check. Moreover, the OAG forensics expert's explanation for validating the authenticity of the emails made no mention of checking header information, as is done by the software.

      I believe if the defense teams and the Alumni 9 trustees were able to subpoena and obtain the original files from the Outlook folder of Schultz, they would find at least two emails from 2001 that were altered and at least one from 1998 that was altered.

      The forensics experts I consulted found those emails to be suspect and all of them stated that the only way to verify them would be to obtain the original files.

      As for the Feds, we'll see. As you know, I did not provide the evidence that I possessed Erickson's notebook for 3 years -- and still haven't disclosed much of that information. Take from that what you will

  4. Clinton won Illinois with 55% of the vote. The population is concentrated in the urban areas so she didn't need to win that many counties.

    Clinton has been vilified by FOX News and the GOP for years and years. Trump vilified her, and she quoted Obama's wife "If they go low, we go high." That rarely works in politics. Negative campaigning works.

    Trump conned an angry electorate with promises he can't keep. He benefited from the archaic electoral college because Clinton won the popular vote by a million or more. Trump shouldn't speak of a voter mandate.

    1. Tim,
      I don't know what you were watching, but both sides were negative. The only difference was that Hillary was LYING (as usual) about taking the high road. In the last days of the campaign Hillary, Barack, and Michele were out there going as LOW as they could go.

      Both sides were negative.

      The electorate is angry and while you may believe Trump can't keep his promises, he was the CHANGE candidate. That's why he won.

      Conversely, Clinton & the Democrats weren't listening to the people and didn't provide a vision for America (other than America shouldn't be led by Trump!).

      Last night, the architect of Obamacare was interviewed and his response, I think, showed the disconnect in the election. He stated Obamacare was a success even though the public doesn't think so.

      And there you have it.

      The framers of the Constitution designed the electoral college so that power could not be accumulated by just a few states or by large cities. The framers also were brilliant in designing a government in which it is difficult to change the Constitution or even get laws passed. Many complain about that, but our government is of, by, and FOR the people. Our government is structured so that the PEOPLE, even if a minority voice, can be represented effectively.

    2. Clinton won the popular vote by 200 thousand, not a million. She won California by 2.5 million. Excluding California, Trump won the popular vote by over 2 million. That is why we have the electoral college.

    3. Frank,
      Thank you for your comments.

      As of today, the AP is reporting Clinton is up 395K in the popular vote.

      Electoral college stands at 290 Trump, 228 Clinton -- NH and Michigan haven't been called. I think Michigan will end up in Trumps column while NH will go to Clinton.

      Final count will 306 Trump to 232 Clinton.

    4. Ray -

      The negative Clinton commercials that I saw were just video of Trump speaking so that wasn't lies.

      The websites that fact check politicians say that Trump had far more lies than Clinton. Politifact examined over 300 Trump statements and concluded only %4 were true versus 19% mostly false, 34% false and 17% pants on fire false.

      The Washington Post gave Trump 59 four Pinocchio ratings versus 7 for Clinton.

      Trump is already walking back some of his campaign promises.

    5. Tim,
      In the last days of the campaign, Hillary, President Obama, and Michele Obama were on the campaign trail invoking the KKK, fomenting racial division, and going on full out attack on Trump's character. That was in no way the "High Road."

      Next, back when there was still some honest journalists left in America, William Safire wrote "Blizzard of Lies" about Hillary Clinton's penchant for lying and suborning perjuy from otheres -- in 1996. What followed was 20 more years the same.

      67% of the electorate considered Hillary to be dishonest. Trump's numbers were slightly lower at 56%.

      As I wrote in the blog, Trump won because of the dishonesty in DNC that rigged the system for Clinton's nomination -- and turned away Sanders voters. And that Trump appealed to many who were hurting economically. While I don't put a lot of stock in the exit polls because they too underestimate the support for Trump, he received 42% of the female vote -- not too shabby for someone who was labeled as a misognyst. Moreover, he got 53% of the vote of White women.

      Looking at those numbers indicates that these women voters weren't buying what the media was selling.

      I also don't put much stock in the media's tally of whose more dishonest.

      Had the media decided that Bernie Sanders should have been the Democratic nominee, we probably would have found out that Hillary is a warmongering bigot who steals, a risk to national security, and that she doesn't support the rights of victims of sexual assault. They could have easily constructed that narrative from the things she has said and done over her lifetime.

      While they could have done that, would it have really been reflective of her character? No.

      Were the items they cherry picked out of Trump's life reflective of his character? No -- but they wanted you to think they are.

      Don't believe me?

      For five years the media has labeled Penn Staters as child rape enablers and that Joe Paterno turned a blind eye to the rape of a child and doesn't deserve to be honored because of it.

      In closing, no one should put much stock in America's media and in this election nearly 50% of the electorate didn't.

    6. Exactly Ray.

      The whole "Trump is a racist" narrative was based on his statement that many of the ILLEGAL immigrants from Mexico were rapists and criminals.

      The media morphed this into "all Mexicans are rapists and criminals". Although easily disproven, the media continues to use this false narrative even after the election.

  5. Ray - In any other democracy, Hilary would be President or in a run-off with Trump. The latest count I've seen is Hilary ahead by over 700K and that should grow as most uncounted votes are in the western states that Hilary won.

    Trump tweeted his displeasure - "The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy." "We should march on Washington and stop this travesty." when it looked like Romney had won the popular vote in the last election. Romney hadn't.

    Hilary has been demonized for decades by FOX News, which is part of the media you say is not to be trusted.

  6. Yes, the media is wrong again. But why? Why do they just keep getting it wrong, over and over again? Too many of us reach for the easy answer, "they're lazy, incompetent, poor fact checking", etc. etc. If this is true, then when did the media collectively take its stupid pill? I don't think they have just suddenly become voluntarily incompetent. Actually, I think the MSM has gradually become voluntarily corrupt.

    As our internet information sources are growing, the traditional MSM has been adversely affected. They used to have a monopoly on our "news". Now they don't, and this makes them more willing to comply with big money political and corporate manipulation of our "news". The click bait term reflects the desperation of the industry that is dying. And just like a drug addict seeks more of what's killing him, the MSM is now desperately seeking more sensationalist falsehoods to publish as news. Because, the falsehoods are generating ill-gotten money for their dying industry--it's keeping them alive. It's not "the media" that is solely to blame for "getting it wrong". It's the "pushers" of the lies that are more to blame. The "pusher" keeping MSM alive is the global multi-billion dollar corporate/government/military alliance. The war and intelligence community is now a profit-driven industry. It used to be a community of pragmatic professionals that saw no need in creating fear, trouble and terror in the world to make itself appear more valuable than ever. This dysfunctional capitalism can be compared simply to the firefighter that starts fires. It becomes a sickness born out of greed and insecurity. The arsonist that is the firefighter has become mentally ill--creating his own controllable reality at the expense of his sanity.

    A similar type of mental illness is known as Munchhausen by proxy disease. It is usually a parent or caregiver of some sort that begins to secretly hurt the one they are supposed to be caring for. They then "discover" the affliction of their "loved one" and pretend to be their savior. This sick and elaborate ruse tends to repeat itself quite often as the offender thrives on, and becomes addicted to the attention he/she receives as the "hero" that saved the child or perhaps an elderly parent. Needless to say, it's a very serious and disturbing mental illness.

    IMO, some of our national "saviors" are actually the ones that are hurting us with events like 9/11 and smaller terror events that have followed. Hillary, Trump, Giuliani, Louis Freeh, Cheney, General Ralph Eberhart, Bush and Obama are all birds of a feather. Don't let Freeh's created PSU crisis and the televised partisan bickering between the others fool you. Freeh hurt PSU and then with his "recommendations", appeared to be their savior. These "leaders" are extremely mentally ill and this circus debate and election shows just how desperate they are to distract us from what they've done.

  7. Barry and Ray,

    Neither of you or your other contributors has something to say about Bruce Beemer's censored version of Doug Gansler's report? What about the extra 5 million given to Mike McQueary?

    This debacle goes on with still no justice for Joe Paterno's widow. Five years of this blog fighting for her and PSU should not come to a screeching halt because Donald Duck, I mean Donald Trump, is the President elect. Or is that his purpose, to distract and divide?

    Ray, you say, "so stay here and stay in the fight for the truth--the force that unifies us all". Why would you have to say that if you didn't think that your blog readers would tend to give up on fighting after your election post? It seems Trump is so outlandish and reckless in his interaction with foreign leaders that everything else of importance pales in comparison.

    So are we to assume that the corrupt powers that have ruined Paterno have won? So this must be what Trump signifies--forget all the lies and corruption--I'm a dangerous, reckless leader that steals the news everyday.