“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”
– Alice in Wonderland
The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) study disclosing that Barack Obama actually raised most of his campaign money from “larger” not “small” donors has gained wide, approving, coverage in recent days, from USA Today to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and countless web sites, even making Huffington Post at least twice, including as a top link. Inevitably the headlines refer to the “myth” of Obama riding a wave of small donations to victory. That study’s author himself uses it.
But the “myth” is actually in the spinning of the report, including by its author, Michael Malbin, a former speechwriter for Dick Cheney, when he was Pentagon chief, and a resident fellow at The American Enterprise Institute from 1977 to 1986.
As usual in these cases, it’s not that the numbers are wrong, it’s the analysis and how the interpretation is being played by the media. Because, buried in the report, are all the figures and arguments for showing that the CFI’s “myth” is actually a myth.
Make sure to read the whole thing, as Mitchell quite thoroughly addresses a lot of the issues brought up by both the report and its breathless beltway boosters. With that said, I suppose it would do you all well to keep the following caveat in mind, in the interest of fairness: Don’t let, y’know, facts and reality automatically stand in the way of all those oh-so-balanced-and-objective attempts to erect a solid foundation of misinformation that reinforces lazy conventional wisdom.
For all we know, up really is down.