April 21st, 2008
This just in from a Drudge Report Siren Alert email: “Controlled excitement is building inside of Clinton’s inner circle… Developing… CLINTON INTERNALS SHOW 11-POINT LEAD IN PA.”
Ah, sweet spin…you gotta love phrases like “controlled excitement,” particularly the day BEFORE the primary election, when there’s still time for a campaign to hope to get late-deciding voters to jump on the bandwagon. The online tie-in, of course, is both the Drudge Report’s involvement itself (remember those mutterings earlier in the election season about a Drudge/Hillary connection?) and the more general vast explosion of channels for distributing a message (see pro wrestling, below). Obviously we have no way of judging the validity of an internal poll whose methodology is opaque, and the Clintonistas have every incentive to get out a positive message at this critical point in their candidate’s political life (Update: they’re denying it). So, who knows how valid this story is. Still, think about the 1988 presidential campaign: it was only 20 years ago, but in media terms, it now seems like an ancient, remote and alien era.